Today’s entry looks at how some new artists are faring with their albums.
James Otto, Sunset Man
Release: April 8, 2008
Sales to Date: 246,000
It’s not his first album, as his 2003 debut set sank quietly, despite a great single in “The Ball” and an opening slot for Shania Twain’s Up! tour. But the once also-ran of the Muzik Mafia is now giving all of the other members a run for their money, as he’s moved an impressive number of units in just three months. If he keeps up this pace, he’ll outsell the most recent albums by Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich by the end of the year.
Lady Antebellum, Lady Antebellum
Release: April 15, 2008
Sales to Date: 173,300
They’ve already won an ACM award and have enjoyed a top ten hit with their first single, “Love Don’t Live Here.” But even with both of those accomplishments on their side, selling 173k in three months is an impressive feat. Like Otto, their album has stayed in the top fifteen, even as their first hit fades from the radio and a new one has yet to replace it in heavy rotation. I actually have a sneaking suspicion the average country fan doesn’t know Lady Antebellum from Little Big Town, but that’s just me.
Luke Bryan, I’ll Stay Me
Release: August 14, 2007
Sales to Date: 166,300
Powered by his good-natured drinking hit “All My Friends Say”, Bryan sold a decent amount of records. Second single “We Drove in Trucks” didn’t quite replicate the success of its predecessor, but he’s having more luck with the third single, “Country Man.” I imagine that by the end of this album’s run, he’ll have enough of a solid base underneath him for his second project.
Chuck Wicks, Starting Now
Release: January 22, 2008
Sales to Date: 93,000
With one of the biggest breakthrough singles in the past year, it’s surprising to see that Chuck Wicks has sold so few units in the past six months. Weekly sales are barely north of 1k these days. Wicks might be the textbook example of how sales patterns have changed in the digital age. “Stealing Cinderella” is one of those songs that ends up in weddings, embraced by people who wouldn’t normally embrace the artist. I love Lee Ann Womack, but if “I Hope You Dance” was released today, the album of the same name would not sell three million copies.
Ashton Shepherd, Sounds So Good
Release: March 4, 2008
Sales to Date: 44,900
There was a lot of hype surrounding this album, particularly given the circumstances under which she received her recording contract and the rush recording and release of the album. Radio support was only enough to produce a top twenty hit in “Takin’ Off This Pain”, though the title track is now at radio. The album’s only been out for three months, so there’s still room for growth. MCA just needs to stay strong behind the project.