Chartopsy: Which Recent Releases Are On Life Support?

Oct 20th, 2006 // 2 Comments

Idolator presents Chartopsy, its occasional look at albums whose shelf lives wound up being a little shorter than expected. Today, we’ll go over the sales woes felt by recent releases from Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Elton John, and Jet–and we’ll give them each a diagnosis for longer-term chart success.

Jessica Simpson, A Public Affair
Debuted At: No. 5 (9/22/06).
Current Position: No. 117.
What Happened: The Madonna-biting lead single from Public got a cool reception from radio, and Jim Farber at the New York Daily News noted that Nick Lachey’s album has lapped his ex-spouse’s sales tally. While we do think that people have grown weary of Jessica’s dumb-blonde airs, we also aren’t 100% sure anyone should cede sales victories to the former 98 Degrees mewler yet.
Condition: Critical, but stable; Public had a chart bounce this week, no doubt because Simpson is playing the self-mutilation sympathy card in her video for “I Belong To Me.”

Paris Hilton, Paris
Debuted At: No. 6 (9/1/06).
Current Position: Not on chart.
What Happened: Sure, people were going to give “Stars Are Blind” a chance on the radio, but those who actually wanted to part with their dollars for some Paris Hilton merchandise opted, by a nearly 7:1 ratio, to pick up Paris’ unauthorized porn tape, One Night In Paris–despite Paris showing up and dancing along with her record at every one of her club appearances for a month. (Hey, for her, that’s a commitment.)
Condition: Grave–unless she decides to repackage Paris with One Night.

Elton John, The Captain and The Kid
Debuted At: No. 18 (9/29/06).
Current Position: No. 116.
What Happened: Captain was Elton’s much-heralded sequel to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy , but there was a little problem: What radio station in 2006 would be able to cram ’70s-style piano balladry into its tight format? The answer, alas, was none; even the Pussycat Dolls giving Elton a lapdance during his Fashion Rocks special couldn’t goose sales.
Condition: Critical. Perhaps he can goose his rep with the TRL set by having Justin Timberlake cameo in another one of his videos?

Jet, Shine On
Debuted At: No. 16 (10/13/06).
Current Position: No. 56.
What Happened: All the marketing tie-ins in the world couldn’t make people care about this record from the faceless, yet formerly ubiquitious, Aussie garage rockers.
Condition: DOA–and people started pissing on this album’s grave the day it came out.

The Billboard 200 [Billboard]
[Photo: Getty Images]

  1. Niles

    no album has a shelflife anymore! you could add 95% of the records released this year to this feature. I care about this sort of chart trivia and even i find this running thing dumb.

  2. Chris Molanphy

    Radio still sells albums. Any one of these – even Jet, even Paris – could be resuscitated easily with an old-fashioned Top 40 hit.

    The only one who’s beyond help at this point is Elton, because you’re right that no radio format will have him. Not even AC, because they’re too busy playing Daniel Powter for the ninth month in a row and Elton’s own old shit for the 30th year in a row. And well-crafted piano pop is too busy for them.

    I’m still mourning that the Elton-Timberlake video in ’02 didn’t bring that record to life. The album was just okay, but that song (“This Train Don’t Stop…”) was the best thing Elton had recorded in a couple of decades, easy.

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