Motley Crue Song Premieres on Video Game

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The title track from the soon-to-be-released Motley Crue album Saints of Los Angeles isn't available in stores — or on iTunes — until June 17. It's the first single to be released exclusively through a video game.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

That's the title track of the soon-to-be-released Motley Crue album "Saints of Los Angeles." It's out this week, but not in any store. It's also not available on iTunes for another two months. The song is being released for 99 cents through a video game called Rock Band.

Cyrus Farivar explains a novel marketing decision.

CYRUS FARIVAR: Rock Band has sold nearly two million units, and it's one of the most popular video games on the market today. A lot of people, even nontraditional gamers, have fallen in love with it, mainly because they can thrash on a plastic guitar controller or go nuts on the drum kit in the comfort of their own living room.

Rock Band comes with 58 songs. That means 58 different ways to drive your neighbors crazy. Players can also download new tracks for two dollars a pop. But this is the first time that a band has released a new track for Rock Band before releasing it through other channels.

Mike McGuire, an analyst with Gartner Research, is taking notice.

Mr. MIKE MCGUIRE (Analyst, Gartner Research): What it tells you is that this particular band Motley Crue and their management have decided that there's enough critical mass in that base of Rock Band games that are out there, that it significant enough that they're feeling they want to give the first taste of this album to that crowd.

FARIVAR: Up next, British band Def Leppard has plans to release its new track "Nine Lives" on April 24 for the game Guitar Hero.

For NPR News, I'm Cyrus Farivar.

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