Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Magic Trick

Do you believe in magic?

"In a slow week for album sales, Bruce Springsteen's "Magic" returns to the summit of The Billboard 200 despite a 42% sales decline. The Columbia effort moved 77,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, climbing 2-1. The album bowed at No. 1 three weeks ago with 335,000."


I find it shocking that an artist can have a #1 album on sales of only 77,000. What does it say about the state of the music business? This has peaked my curiousity in wanting to research where this sales total would have fallen on the chart in years past, so I tasked The Weight's research department/intern/me with coming up with some comparable historical numbers. Here is what I found from an article from way back in June 2005:

Coldplay sold 186,000 more copies of X&Y in its third week of release to hold the number one spot. The album has already sold approximately 1.3 million CDs after just three weeks in stores. In second place is Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi, moving another 132,000 CDs two and a half months after its release. The Foo Fighters' double album, In Your Honor, dropped one place this week to Number Three (116,000), while Monkey Business, the latest from Cali hip-hoppers Black Eyed Peas, climbed one spot to Number Four (103,000) in its third week.

Big debuts this week included Atlanta MCs (and P. Diddy proteges) Boyz N Da Hood's self-titled debut, which sold 101,000 to open at Number Five, and R&B singer Keyshia Cole, whose The Way It Is came in at Six (89,000).

Rounding out the Top Ten were the Backstreet Boys' comeback, Never Gone, which has already started to slide in just its second week, down from its Number Three debut (a low for the blockbuster boy band) to Number Seven (79,000). A compilation of punk-inflected rock from Nineties hitmakers the Offspring, Greatest Hits, did surprisingly well, moving 70,000 copies to come in at Number Eight.

So there you have it. Less than three years ago, 77,000 copies sold would have landed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band firmly at #8, in between the Backstreet Boys comeback album and The Greatest Hits of The Offspring. But in October 2007, it magically qualifies for #1. It was nice knowing you music business.

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