Just ask Babes in Toyland. Despite an opening spot on the Lollapalooza tour and fair support from college radio, the Babes' Fontanelle LP was threatening a slow suicide when a spot on Beavis and Butthead's show nearly doubled album sales in four weeks. Reprise, the Babes' Warner-affiliated label, got so excited, it re-released the band's "Bruise Violet" single with the version in which Beavis and Butthead perform their voice-over critique.
For White Zombie, the B&B plug was even more meaningful. Having su pported the act through hard times with "Stuck On Satan" stickers and heavy tour support, Geffen breathed a sigh of relief when B&B adopted White Zombie's "Thunderkiss '65" as one of their "Rock Videos That Don't Suck". The critical attention gave the band much-needed access to the mainstream MTV audience - alternative music fans - who helped the Zombie cross-over out of the death-70's revivalist-glam-metal ghetto. "It's like having a triple rotation on MTV", Ray Farrell, alternative sales manager at Geffen, told Billboard. Sales of the band's La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 LP had been slow-going when it was released back in March 1992. Now some 19 months later, the album rests comfortably in the Billboard Top 200.
Once the industry caught on to B&B's ability to increase sales, MTV executives found themselves fielding calls from promotion people. "People seemed willing to get on the show even if the clip got trashed", MTV's Rick Krim told Billboard.
Stay tuned for the Beavis and Butthead greatest hits CD in November. (Carrie McLaren, information from Billboard, Sept. 4, 1993)
Go to the next article: Carrboro's Secular Humanists: ...in the house! - by Hugh E. Jabor
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