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October 1, 2014

Top 10 music releases that crashed the party

Fans went cray for Lady G A G A and Queen Bey - so much so that the sites crashed.

By Ben Sullivan

Steve Rawlinson, Managing Director at web hoster Tagadab, has put together a list of the top 10 musicians that have caused websites to crash with the release of new music.

Rawlinson said: "Website crashes aren’t unique to the music industry – it can happen to any business and the results are the same. We saw it recently when the rush for the iPhone 6 crashed Apple’s website, and we saw it when HBO Go crashed under the immense demand for season four of Game of Thrones.

"Owners of websites of all sizes need to be aware that surges in traffic happen and need to have the resources to deal with an unexpected (or even expected) surge in traffic. For all businesses, scalability should be a priority to avoid damages to brand and lost revenues."


10) Chris Webby, Webster’s Laboratory

After five mixtapes were released without a glitch, Chris Webby didn’t predict that his sixth mixtape, Webster’s Laboratory, would be quite so popular. Featuring guest appearances from rappers Freeway, Gorilla Zoe, Apathy and Kinetics, the mixtape drew a lot of attention from hip hop fans which resulted in Datpiff, the site hosting the mixtape, crashing as a result.

9) Boards of Canada, Tomorrow’s Harvest

Back in June 2013, Boards of Canada made a big comeback with Tomorrow’s Harvest, their first full-length record in eight years, and the massive demand for the live album playback crashed their official website. Not long into the transmission, Twitter also went down for a few minutes, leading Warp records to ask "Did @boctransmission break twitter? #tomorrowsharvest." Er, no, probably not!


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8) Ellie Goulding and Tinie Tempah, Hanging On

Duets – double the voices, and double the fans. Ellie Goulding and Tinie Tempah however didn’t seem to expect this reaction to their collaboration in July 2012. After unveiling the new song on Twitter, fans swarmed onto Soundcloud, crashing the website.

After initially telling her fans to "Enjoy and share responsibly", Ellie later had to apologise saying: "I’m sorry sound cloud d/l link is down it will be back up soon yous crashed it!!!" Well quite.

7) My Bloody Valentine, Loveless

My Bloody Valentine’s first attempt at releasing Loveless, their first album since 1991, didn’t go exactly to plan. The band’s site buckled under the sheer number of fans rushing to order it. With a server error and no updates, fans turned to Facebook to vent their frustration. If there’s one thing we can learn from My Bloody Valentine, it’s that communication is essential.


6) Kylie Minogue, All The Lovers

Sometimes it doesn’t even take a song or album launch to crash a website – devoted fans are desperate for any glimpse of what’s to come. This was the case for Kylie Minogue, when she promised her fans some "extra special" news on her website in April 2010. Thousands of fans tried to log onto her site to watch the video clip of her upcoming track All The Lovers – crashing the site.

In a Twitter post, Kylie exclaimed "Aaahhhhhhhhh … you’ve overloaded the system!!! Arrgggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!… That is the strength of your combined power!!!!!! OMG (Oh my God)!!!!"

5) Coldplay, Violet Hill

Coldplay fans turned to fansites to rub salt into the wounds of those who didn’t get a chance to download Violet Hill before the website crashed. Coldplay released the song as a free download in April 2008, but didn’t anticipate how many fans would rush onto their website. Crashing your website during the free release period is a great way to secure a few more paid downloads after that date though…


4) 5 Seconds of Summer

Knowing the unharnessed power of adoring "tweenagers" everywhere for boybands, it’s no surprise to see 5 Seconds of Summer featuring in the top 10 website crashes. And these boys didn’t even have to send out a single note of music. Just letting their fans know that there was something "hidden in the maze" of their Pacman-inspired video game was enough to crash the website. For those lucky few who played before the site went down, their prize was to see the new album… artwork. Oh.

3) Radiohead, In Rainbows

At number three, we’re going back to 2007 when Radiohead’s official website crashed after overwhelming demand for the band’s album, In Rainbows. Fans could pre-order the new release at any price that they wanted. The band’s spokesperson, Murray Chalmers, said that the sudden collapse happened as waves of American fans woke up to the news and logged on en masse.


2) Lady Gaga, Born This Way

We’re seeing a recurring theme that cheap music brings in the masses, and that was exactly how Lady Gaga’s album, Born This Way, crashed After the Amazon bosses decided to offer the album for download at $0.99, fans flocked to the site resulting in lost connections as the service struggled to meet the demand.

1) Beyonce, Beyonce

Beyonce tops the list (as she does most lists), with the impressive publicity stunt that resulted in an amazing 80,000 downloads of her latest album in three hours – subsequently crashing iTunes. After the album was placed on the website with no prior warning or promotion, fans flooded to the store, and iTunes buckled under the strain of millions of hysterical fans.


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