Like the biggest of big Hollywood blockbusters, Metallica's first album in five years, Death Magnetic, was set for a release date all of its own on Friday 12th September, instead of a normal Monday.
Despite what amounts to a military operation against Lars Ulrich's pet hate, music piracy, reports of a French record shop selling copies of the album a week ago, resulting in an inevitable internet leak, were followed today by industry rag Music Week reporting that "the band’s UK label Vertigo has now soft released the set after a number of retailers put it on sale earlier this week." They do point out that "representatives for the band... insist that the release date remains September 12."
We're sure all this isn't out of fear that Glasvegas will beat them to the top spot in the album chart. It's not like Metallica care about charts, is it?
Our four-star review of Death Magnetic is now live anyway.
None of this extra publicity will do the album any harm ahead of their £5-for-charidee jambouree at The 02 on Monday night - and the organisers are turning it into a proper event.
A pre-show party features Guitar Hero action all afternoon (from 2pm) at The O2's sister venue Indigo2, and a post-show party (they like their parties, these metalheads) runs from after the show, as post-show parties tend to, till about 1:30am. We're told that river taxis will continue to run till 2am - a decidedly lush way of getting home after a schoolnight on the lash.
So we're declaring Monday Metallica Day. Unless you live in Berlin, in which case you'll be heading to your own Metallica gathering this very night.