Muse has made history with their ninth LP Will Of The People, marking the UK’s first number 1 album to incorporate NFT technology.
The limited edition “digital pressing” has been made in collaboration with Warner Music UK and Serenade, an eco-friendly music web3 marketplace.
It is the first full-length record containing NFT (non-fungible token) elements to make the top spot, and the first new format to be added to the official albums chart since it began counting streaming data in 2015.
A fairly recent craze from the cryptocurrency world, NFTs are unique digital assets that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated.
For clarification, if something is fungible, it is interchangeable with another good or asset – non-fungible means it is not.
Last year, a piece of digital art sold for more than $69 million (£50m) at Christie’s, marking the first ever sale by a major auction house of a piece of art that did not exist in physical form.
Muse’s NFT album was limited to 1,000 copies globally, and along with a different sleeve, came with a downloadable version of the record as high-res FLAC files that the band had digitally signed.
Each of the 1,000 buyers also had their names permanently listed on the linked roster of purchasers.
After NFT albums were made eligible for the charts several months ago Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, called them an “exciting new format”, and said he believed they would play a part in the charts for years to come.
With Aitch’s Close To Home becoming the first NFT project to enter the UK’s official albums chart last week, he appears to be right.
It’s a double whammy for Muse – the three-man band from Devon made up of lead singer Matt Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard – who also mark their seventh UK number one album with the record.
Will Of The People has outsold the rest of the Top 10 combined, racking up an impressive 51,500 chart units in its opening week.
Muse can now count themselves among fellow groups The Killers and The Prodigy who also boast seven chart-topping LPs apiece.
Bellamy has previously released three new songs as NFTs, one of which was recorded on one of late American musician Jeff Buckley’s guitars.
Muse will be touring the UK next summer.