Nielsen released its Top 10 lists for 2006, which were formulated using hard data from SoundScan and BDS–no critical judgments, or Joanna Newsom tracks, here. Topping the digital downloads list was Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” which was purchased 1,880,000 times; No. 1 on the albums list went to the High School Musical soundtrack, which sold 3,480,000 units. Remember, some of these lists reflect what music people were willing to pay for:
THE GOOD: The top two slots on the radio-airplay list are occupied by the totally unhateable Mary J. Blige (“Be Without You,” 395,995 spins) and Natasha Bedingfield (“Unwritten,” 336,276 plays). Blige is one of two artists to have songs on both the airplay and album-sales lists; the other is Beyonce, whose Pink Panther tie-in “Check On it” was the eighth-most-played track this year. Also, are we missing something, or did James Blunt’s seemingly ubiquitous “You’re Beautiful” really get less airplay than Ne-Yo?
THE BAD: We will never understand how The Fray (No. 4 on the digital-download chart, No. 10 on the airplay chart) became such a dominant pop-music force–their dishwater-dull tunes make even the likes of Powter seem edgy.
THE WHAAA? Nestled among the hip-hop snippets dominating the Top Ten Mastertones chart: Hinder’s “Lips Of An Angel,” which was purchased 1,090,000 times. Because nothing will make you want to answer your phone quickly like a hoary power ballad that’s all about how you want to get back together with your ex.
Daniel Powter – Bad Day [MP3, link expired]
Nielsen Issues Most Popular Lists for 2006 [PR Newswire]