July 10, 2008
At the end of 2006, I crunched the sales numbers of various albums released that year. With sales in the doldrums, it seems a good time to take a look at who’s doing well and who’s struggling. In each part of this series, I’ll take a look at five current albums. This seemed too interesting to be just a daily thread, so it’ll be a regular feature instead. Sales figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Enjoy!
Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift
Release: October 24, 2006
Sales to Date: 3,139,000
It’s been out for a year and nine months, and Swift’s self-titled debut is still schooling the competition on a weekly basis. Granted, it’s only taking 28k to top the country chart these days, but when the #2 title is still selling 10k less, you’re schooling the competition. This week, Swift became the first female solo act to score five top ten hits off of a debut album. She’ll probably rule the roost until Sugarland’s new album hits.
Sugarland, Enjoy the Ride
Release: November 7, 2006
Sales to Date: 2,329,000
Speaking of Sugarland, they’re budding superstars. Even though their most recent single from this album, “Stay”, peaked months ago, they’re still in the top five of this week’s album chart. Radio has jumped on the lead single from their upcoming album, they’re winning major industry awards, and they’re the only duo that’s actually selling records these days. That they’re also making the best music of the duos out there is a nice added bonus, don’t ya think?
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Release: October 23, 2007
Sales to Date: 1,030,000
Two artists who don’t need radio to sell records combined their audience bases to make a surprise smash hit. If there’s a lesson in this, it might be the same one that’s taught by Taylor Swift: connecting strongly with a narrow demographic reaps bigger dividends than not quite connecting with the wider general audience.
Miranda Lambert, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Release: May 1, 2007
Sales to Date: 485,600
The most critically acclaimed album of 2007 was named ACM’s Album of the Year in May, which helped make current single “Gunpowder & Lead” her highest charting to date. That being said, it still hasn’t cracked the top ten, making Lambert a fascinating case study. Her first album scanned nearly 900,000 units, at the same slow and steady pace as her current one is selling. Both sets have been more successful at retail than many albums that boast #1 hits.
Brooks & Dunn, Cowboy Town
Release: October 2, 2007
Sales to Date: 276,000
Then we have one of the true superstar acts of the nineties. They have a huge hit at radio right now, “Put a Girl in it”, which is on track to be a #1 single in the next couple of weeks. “Proud of the House We Built” was also a hit from this set, while “God Must Be Busy” missed the top ten. But even though they’re getting wide radio exposure, this set only sold 1,500 copies this week. We’ve all said over the years that we’d like to see an end to the B&D Vocal Duo domination at the award shows, but when they won over Sugarland at this year’s ACM’s, it was the first time their victory seemed blatantly unfair.
So what do you think about the albums featured today? Any surprises?