Mariah Carey Gets Touched By 463,000 Record Buyers

Apr 23rd, 2008 // 8 Comments

eequalsmariah.jpgMariah Carey pulled in her highest sales week and the highest sales week of 2008 during the first week that E=MC2 was on shelves, but her tally didn’t break the half-million mark; the album sold 463,000 copies, outpacing the first-week sales of Jack Johnson’s Sleep Through The Static by about 90,000.

Biggest Debuts: The new country band Lady Antebellum entered the big chart at No. 4 and the Country Albums chart at No. 1, with their self-titled debut selling 43,000 copies. Meanwhile, Thrice’s Vol. 3-4: The Alchemy Index and Rush’s Snakes & Arrows Live each sold 21,000 copies in their opening weeks, with Thrice coming in at No. 17 on the big board and Rush entering at No. 18.

Notable Jumps: Even though I found her completely irritating and smug when she was co-hosting last week’s CMT Awards, Miley Cyrus’ TV appearance spurred a big jump in sales of her live album (which she shares credit on with her alter ego, Hannah Montana). The Best Of Both Worlds Concert had a 162% sales leap and sold 47,000 copies, which was enough for it to land at No. 3 for the week. Other post-CMT Awards bumps were much more modest: Taylor Swift hopped 13% (26,000 sold, No. 10), Sugarland’s Enjoy The Ride inched up 16% (12,000 sold, No. 47), and Leann Rimes’ Family reappeared on the chart at No. 178 (4,000 sold, up 22%). And despite taking away three awards during the evening, Kellie Pickler’s sales didn’t jump enough to bring her back to the top 200 albums chart.

Dropping Off: Leona Lewis’ Spirit was off 54%, but thanks to yet another weak sales week (seriously, I should get a macro for this), her 95,000-copy tally was enough for her to take the No. 2 spot.

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Every week that the Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack is in the top 10 is yet another week that I shake my head and despair for the future of this world. (It’s at No. 7 this week, having sold 32,000 copies–which means that it’s sold only 623,000 so far. Why does it seem like it’s been around so much longer?)

The top 20, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (463,000)
2. Leona Lewis, Spirit (95,000)
3. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, The Best Of Both Worlds Concert (47,000)
4. Lady Antebellum (43,000)
5. Now 27 (39,000)
6. George Strait, Troubadour (38,000)
7. Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack (32,000)
8. Juno soundtrack (31,000)
9. R.E.M., Accelerate (30,000)
10. Taylor Swift (30,000)
11. Rick Ross, Trilla (27,000)
12. James Otto, Sunset Man (26,000)
13. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through The Static (25,000)
14. Danity Kane, Welcome To The Dollhouse (23,000)
15. Daughtry (23,000)
16. Jordin Sparks (23,000)
17. Thrice, Vol. 3-4: The Alchemy Index (21,000)
18. Rush, Snakes & Arrows Live (21,000)
19. Sara Bareilles, Little Voice (20,000)
20. Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple (20,000)

  1. Al Shipley

    If Kellie Pickler winning three belt buckles doesn’t make the CMT Awards the Special Olympics of music award shows, I don’t know what would.

  2. DrWorm

    ..or the better reason for the jump for the Hannah Montana album is that it was the first time it was available at stores not named “Wal-Mart”.

  3. Chris Molanphy

    In a world where Kanye West can still move just shy of a million CDs in a week (and Fitty can move more than 600K), I fail to understand how Mariah Carey coming back from one of the biggest albums in her career and getting the promo push from half the TV dial and selling 463K albums is considered impressive.

    I also call shenanigans on Billboard‘s contention that this is her biggest SoundScan week ever. There had to have been weeks during Christmas 1995 when Music Box moved more than that.

  4. ghostyhead

    @Chris Molanphy: Billboard called it her biggest debut week ever, not biggest SoundScan week ever.

  5. Chris Molanphy

    @ghostyhead: Aha. Thank you. Sorry for the confusion, but I could’ve sworn they wrote “biggest ever” this morning. Must’ve been my mistake.

    Still: 463K. Meh.

  6. Rob Murphy

    @Chris Molanphy: @Chris Molanphy: Agreed on all points, sir. This album was expected to break 500K, which itself was a low target. In spite of the spin, the label has to be very disappointed in these numbers.

  7. Anonymous

    @Chris Molanphy: You’re right, but I still think anyone selling over 200,000 copies in the first week is a big deal these days, established artist or not. I’ll be interested to see how Madonna’s new album does, although I have a feeling Mariah will outsell her by quite a bit.

  8. Chris Molanphy

    @Varina: See, this is my point: of course there’s a lower sales bar now – no one expects anyone to do N Sync/Britney/Eminem-in-2000 numbers anymore – but there are very recent exceptions for superstars: not just Kanye and Fitty, but Justin, Beyonce, hell…even Rascal Flatts. All have done more than 500K in first-week sales in the last two years, in this same depressed climate, and with less of a promotional setup than Mariah just got. I’m not saying her number is anything to be ashamed of, but it’s nothing exceptional to crow about, either.

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