The band was a longtime holdout on DSPs like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, where fans can either stream albums or, on some platforms, purchase digital copies. That stance forced Tool listeners to seek out physical copies or stream unauthorized uploads on YouTube — or even resort to illegal downloads. Safe to say, Tool were missing out on a good amount of potential revenue and streaming/sales figures.
In the latest wave of RIAA certifications on April 15th, the band’s 1993 debut, Undertow, was upgraded to 3-times platinum status (3 million units moved in the United States); 2001’s Lateralus was also boosted to 3-times platinum; and 2006’s 10,000 Days was certified 2-times platinum. The albums’ certifications hadn’t shifted since 2001, 2003, and 2006, respectively.
The numbers are indicative of the millions of users listening to Tool via streaming services or purchasing their music digitally since August 2019. Under the new RIAA guidelines, 10 purchased song downloads count as 1 album unit, while 1,500 on-demand audio or video streams from a particular album also count as a single album unit.
Tool joined the digital world around the release of the highly anticipated Fear Inoculum, their first new album in 13 years. That LP was certified gold in August 2020 for shifting 500,000 copies.
Hopefully, the follow-up to Fear Inoculum won’t take so long, as drummer Danny Carey previously mentioned that the band may write and record a new EP during the early months of lockdown. In the meantime, singer Maynard James Keenan has been busy hanging out with his ducks, battling COVID-19 twice, and staying active with his band Puscifer, who just streamed their second cinematic virtual concert of the pandemic.
Among the other acts receiving new certifications on April 15th were Avenged Sevenfold, whose Nightmare and Hail to the King albums each reached platinum status. See all the recent certifications via the RIAA website.