How Soundgarden Cheated Their Way to Platinum Status

How Soundgarden Cheated Their Way to Platinum Status
While it's true that Soundgarden's reunion has a sizable portion of rock fans dusting off their flannels to bang with the '90s legends once again, it's doubtful anyone expected the Seattle quartet's new best-of Telephantasm, released just this past Tuesday (September 28), to go platinum.

That's right, Telephantasm, a greatest hits with barely any exclusive material, has just sold a million copies in the U.S. It boggles the mind until you factor in how the set was sold. And, for the record, it's pretty sneaky.

As we reported, this week's release was bundled with one million copies of Activision's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock videogame, which also features music from the band. This is in addition to multiple special-edition versions of the hits collection. In a bizarre loophole, as reported in the Wall Street Journal [via The Daily Swarm], the million copies of the retrospective that were purchased by the software company to bundle with their product has given Soundgarden the a free ride to platinum status.

While the prestigious status is generally tallied through the amount of albums pre-shipped to stores or download sales, because Activision actually had to buy Telephantasm in order to package it with the Guitar Hero game, the group got the prize before the album even blew up in the outside world.

"These one million units, purchased by Activision, are non-returnable and represent official sales of the album," said Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) director Kate Harold in a press release.

While it's disheartening that the group's representation shilled Soundgarden's wares in a mandatory purchase for gamers, at least those kids now have the option to rock "Spoonman" without the plastic guitar.