Taylor Swift has now confirmed that all this cryptic snakes business was to promote the release of her new album ‘Reputation’, which is due out just in time for Christmas. When you’re one of the biggest artists in the world simply falling silent can have a massive impact. She isn’t the first artist to come up with an innovative album campaign…
1. Stone Roses
Manchester indie heroes Stone Roses teased their 2015 reformation with a series of lemon posters. The white posters containing the famous lemon image from their iconic self-titled album mysteriously appeared in their home city fueling speculation that a new album was in the works. It was eventually revealed that the band would be reforming for a tour and releasing a new single.
Known for his distaste for the internet and record labels, Prince decided to get his music to his fans for free in 2010 with the release of his album 20Ten. The CD came free with the Daily Mail.
For her 2014 self-titled visual album, Beyonce made one of the most surprising moves in music marketing – no marketing campaign. The album simply appeared with download services and no fanfare.
5. Wu-Tang Clan
In 2014 Hip-Hop pioneers Wu-Tang Clan released a double concept album entitled ‘The Wu – Once Upon A Time In The Shaolin’, but there was only one copy and it toured art galleries. In order to listen to the record fans had to catch it at its nearest stop on the tour. Once the tour ended it sold for approximately $5m making it the most expensive piece of music ever sold.
6. Arcade Fire
To promote their 2013 release ‘Reflektor’ Arcade Fire mobilised a team of graffiti artists from around the world to spray the album’s title.
7. Katy Perry
To publicise the release of the lead single from her 2017 album ‘Witness’ Katy Perry’s team chained disco balls near global landmarks. Fans could hear the single via headphones beside the ball.
8. The Sex Pistols
A boat ride to go down in music history, The Sex Pistols released the infamous single ‘God Save The Queen’ during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. They celebrated by playing a very loud gig on the Thames.
9. Michael Jackson
As a means of subtly raising awareness for his new album ‘HIStory’, in 1995 Michael Jackson floated a humongous effigy of himself down the Thames. The stunt reportedly cost a cool $30m.
10. Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift marked the third anniversary (Friday 18th August) of her single ‘Shake It Off’ by wiping her social media accounts. Monday 21st August saw a cryptic snake clip appear on her instagram and twitter. It has been widely assumed that the snake image is a reference to several high profile feuds. Kanye West included mention of Taylor in his song ‘Famous’ and when she claimed he hadn’t sought permission West’s wife Kim Kardashian leaked a recording of a phone converesation between the pair in which she appears to acknowledge the lyrics and give permission. Kardashian’s posts and subsequent support tweets from her well known family included numerous snake emojis and references. Swift’s ex Calvin Harris was also offended by a leak from her PR team which exposed that she had co-written one of his songs under a pseudonym.
Eagle eyed fans have noticed that Swift’s team have registered a song called ‘Timeless’ and a new website has been set up bearing the name and words ‘Timeless: Coming Soon’. Could this be the lead single from her eagerly anticipated new album?