Thursday, January 27th, 2011
Feel that chill in the air? It’s not just climate change, friends. The music industry is suffering through historic lows in record sales, the worst since SoundScan started tallying them in 1991.
How are country artists faring? Let’s take a look at cumulative sales for current albums. Sales are rounded to the nearest hundred.
Top Selling Current Country Albums
- Taylor Swift, Fearless: 6,233,900
- Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift: 4,955,000
- Lady Antebellum, Need You Now: 3,138,700
- Taylor Swift, Speak Now: 3,078,600
- Zac Brown Band, The Foundation: 2,489,200
- Carrie Underwood, Play On: 1,937,041
- Lady Antebellum, Lady Antebellum: 1,835,800
- Jason Aldean, Wide Open: 1,364,700
- Miranda Lambert, Revolution: 1,149,000
- Rascal Flatts, Greatest Hits Volume 1: 994,600
- Sugarland, The Incredible Machine: 815,200
- Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party: 766,300
- Tim McGraw, Southern Voice: 749,200
- George Strait, Twang: 670,200
- Kenny Chesney, Hemingway’s Whiskey: 655,200
- Zac Brown Band, You Get What You Give: 636,000
- Rascal Flatts, Nothing Like This: 585,800
- Luke Bryan, Doin’ My Thing: 509,200
- Keith Urban, Get Closer: 508,200
- Brooks & Dunn, #1′s…and Then Some: 479,700
- Toby Keith, American Ride: 432,100
- Chris Young, The Man I Want to Be: 408,000
- Eric Church, Carolina: 380,600
- Darius Rucker, Charleston, SC 1966: 376,700
- The Band Perry, The Band Perry: 364,000
- Josh Turner, Haywire: 361,800
- Justin Moore, Justin Moore: 325,600
- Easton Corbin, Easton Corbin: 314,000
- Toby Keith, Bullets in the Gun: 279,400
- Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song: 256,300
- Gary Allan, Get Off on the Pain: 238,000
- Reba McEntire, All the Women I Am: 224,800
- Jerron Niemann, Judge Jerron & The Hung Jury: 222,700
- Billy Currington, Enjoy Yourself: 222,000
- Tim McGraw, Number One Hits: 220,500
- Dierks Bentley, Up on the Ridge: 204,900
- Zac Brown Band, Pass the Jar: 202,100
- Trace Adkins, Cowboy’s Back in Town: 194,200
- Johnny Cash, American VI: Ain’t No Grave: 190,100
- Brad Paisley, Hits Alive: 189,200
- Alan Jackson, 34 Number Ones: 181,000
- Blake Shelton, All About Tonight: 160,700
- Little Big Town, The Reason Why: 158,300
- Blake Shelton, Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton : 142,300
- Jaron and the Long Road to Love, Getting Dressed in the Dark: 119,700
- Josh Thompson, Way Out Here: 107,000
- Joe Nichols, Old Things New: 100,700
- Brantley Gilbert, Halfway to Heaven: 81,400
- Lee Brice, Love Like Crazy: 81,200
- Steel Magnolia, Steel Magnolia: 41,000
- Joey + Rory, Album Number Two: 34,100
- Randy Houser, They Call Me Cadillac: 30,900
Category Crunching the Numbers
Tags: Alan Jackson, Billy Currington, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Gary Allan, George Strait, Jamey Johnson, Jaron and The Long Road to Love, Jason Aldean, Jerron Niemann, Joey + Rory, Johnny Cash, Josh Turner, Justin Moore, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Lee Brice, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Randy Houser, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Steel Magnolia, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Zac Brown Band
Sunday, July 25th, 2010
Radio has never been my primary way of receiving country music. Growing up in NYC, we had a decent country station in 103.5 WYNY. But 24-hour CMT was better, back in the days when it played everything from the hot new artists to the legends to Canadian imports in roughly equal rotation. By the time that the station folded, I was heading to Nashville and attending college. By the time I was back to NYC, the internet had replaced the video outlets as my preferred method of discovering new music.
But radio is the way most country fans have discovered new music for generations now. So why not give it another try? Normally, I wouldn’t, but as we began an overnight drive up the east coast, I was growing weary of the easy listening station that was on. Air Supply will do that to you. So I went up to the next station, and the radio displayed that it was a country station.
The sound, however, was virtually identical to the seventies and eighties light rock I’d been listening to already. By the chorus, I was able to discern that what I mistook for a lesser Gordon Lightfoot was actually Zac Brown Band. “Highway 20 Ride” was the song. Not bad, but kind of faceless and generic in that Seventies Gold way.
Things went downhill quickly. The next record was that Steve Holy hit “Brand New Girlfriend”, which sounds just as clever now as it did back then. Interpret that as you will. Then Eric Church sang about a girl who was “Hell on the Heart”, and Lee Brice screamed about some people who chose to “Love Like Crazy.”
Finally, an artist that I liked came on. Tim McGraw. Singing “One two three, like a bird I sing,” the start of his worst post-Everywhere single, “Last Dollar (Fly Away).” Suddenly, a feature that had begun as “An Hour With Country Radio” became “one more bad song and I’m plugging in the iPod.”
Then I heard the gentle intro to Alan Jackson’s “Remember When.” I actually do like country music, I’m reminded. And I can hear this song and more on my iPod. Cutting my losses before Taylor Swift or Danny Gokey surfaced, I said a quiet thank you to Steve Jobs and switched from FM to AUX.
/uploads/2010/06/Screen-shot-2010-06-03-at-7.22.16-PM.png” alt=”" width=”173″ height=”220″ />I guess I like the origin of this song, which has a modern narrator marveling at how an elderly couple has actually managed to endure their whole lives together. It’s a nice little bit of social commentary.
But wouldn’t you know it, the thing quickly devolves into just another “how to live your life” chorus, like “Help Somebody”/”Don’t Blink”/”Voices”/”You’re Gonna Miss This” all over again. Seriously, when did mainstream country become all about old people rattling off sound bites at young people?
On the other hand, I guess the song must actually have some good advice, since the second verse talks about how the young version of the Wise Old Man fearlessly embraced retail technology and was financially rewarded for it by Microsoft, all because he was a best friend and told the truth and loved like crazy…wait, what?