Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wal-Mart rejects Green Day album

Green Day may be climbing the charts with its latest album, "21st Century Breakdown," which debuted last Friday, but it's getting there with no help from Wal-Mart. When the retailer wanted to stock the the album edited for language and content, the popular Gen Y band refused.

"Wal-Mart's become the biggest retail outlet in the country, but they won't carry our record because they wanted us to censor it," frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in a recent interview.

While Wal-Mart sells CDs from acts known for raunchy content, including Eminem's latest, they offer customers the "clean" version of those CDs, which are edited for content that may be objectionable, according to the Associated Press. But in Armstrong's view, "There's nothing dirty about our record."

"They want artists to censor their records in order to be carried in there," he said. "We just said no. We've never done it before. You feel like you're in 1953 or something."

"21st Century Breakdown" contains curses and some references considered "adult," and Wal-Mart has a long-standing policy not to stock any CD with a parental advisory sticker.

In contrast, the Best Buy in midtown Manhattan attracted hundreds of people waiting in line to purchase the new album last Friday. (And the first 500 people to do so were able to meet the band). Despite being left off Wal-Mart shelves, Green Day sold about 215,000 copies of "21st Century Breakdown" since it's debut. It looks like Green Day may not need Wal-Mart after all. ...

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