It is a widely known (and kind of sick) fact of the music business that nothing helps sales of the back catalog of an artist like the death of said artist.
The massive sales bump caused by people rushing to online (and occasionally also to brick-and-mortar) stores and buying up on the classic works of the dead musician can be an event of industry-wide magnitude (many jobs at Sony were basically saved last year on the strength of post mortem sales of Michael Jackson's Thriller and Off the Wall).
So, what happened in the past few hours between the death of cult surreal blues genius Captain Beefheart and today?
Well, on one Amazon.com ranking, he had outsold the Beatles, the Stones and Pink Floyd! And he was holding up at unprecedented sales throughout all the other charts. With Trout Mask Replica–a CD Amazon didn't even have in stock and iTunes wasn't even licensed to sell.
Beefheart outselling the Beatles, the Stones and Pink Floyd? For some people, this is some kind of cosmic justice.
Look at this!
Also: it's official (at least today) more buyers think Captain Beefheart is more experimental than Arcade Fire. Once again the death of an artist lends a hand to cosmic justice:
Hey Amazon–how about keeping classics like Trout Mask Replica in stock even when people don't die? We're sure you can return a couple of boxes of Bieber and clear the shelfspace for the Captain…: