Another Week, More Distressing Sales News

Jan 30th, 2009 // 8 Comments

Not surprisingly, Bruce Springsteen‘s Working On A Dream is projected to take the top spot on next week’s album charts away from Taylor Swift, who gripped on to No. 1 for five post-Christmas weeks (Taylor will hold on to No. 2, probably, don’t worry). Bruce’s 250,000-album sales tally isn’t too surprising, but the numbers that HITS is foreseeing for the bottom of the top 10 are more than slightly distressing. You can chalk it up to the weather, the power outages, or just general malaise surrounding the impending apocalypse, but making the top 10 on next week’s chart will likely only take 25,000 sales—possibly the lowest total ever for the No. 10 slot, with either Keyshia Cole or a compilation of WWE entrance themes barely sliding past that threshold by Sunday. Maybe that’s not a big deal, but consider this: If Merriweather Post Pavilion had been released just one week later, we would have been subjected to wall-to-wall blog raves over how Animal Collective landing in the top ten meant that a bold new direction for popular music was nigh. Instead, we just have the end of recorded music as we know it to worry about. No big deal. [HITS]

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  1. Chris Molanphy

    Forget Animal Collective — I’m still shocked at how well that Andrew Bird album charted.

  2. tigerpop

    @Chris Molanphy: He sold out a 3500-seater in Chicago in one day. And he just played the Beacon in NYC. When exactly did he become so damn big?

  3. Maura Johnston

    @Chris Molanphy: @tigerpop: I would imagine the regular Times exposure (on that blog and in that huge magazine profile a few weeks back) helped, as did NPR.

    Also he’s from Chicago, which probably explains the sellout.

  4. tigerpop

    @Maura Johnston: I knew that! But it’s still a very big number in a small amount of time for an indie artist.

    Times? NPR? I’m a Fox/Rush guy. (NOT REALLY.)

  5. Ned Raggett

    I’m actually amused at Andrew Bird’s success just because after all that AC chatter he just strolls in and sells more anyway. It’s payback for something.

  6. T'Challa

    What I love about Bird’s success is that it harks bad to the olden days of building over time, and comfortably out of the glare of the general public. Bird was hitting mass appeal when I saw him open for the Decemberists a couple of summers ago. Akin to someone like Ray Lamontagne, he’s been able to build a rabid fan base pretty much one show at a time. And it’s a contingent that puts its money where it’s mouth is by actually supporting the artist. If as many AC freaks had purchased the CD instead of just talking about it, maybe they would’ve moved more substantial units and really made an impression on the charts. Oh well–just more proof that hype will only get you so far.

    The REAL test will be when AC makes their inevitable SNL appearance. Let’s see if they get a sales bump a la Adele and Fleet Foxes. That ‘s when it gets interesting…

  7. T'Challa

    What I love about Bird’s success is that it harks bad to the olden days of building over time, and comfortably out of the glare of the general public. Bird was hitting mass appeal when I saw him open for the Decemberists a couple of summers ago. Akin to someone like Ray Lamontagne, he’s been able to build a rabid fan base pretty much one show at a time. And it’s a contingent that puts its money where it’s mouth is by actually supporting the artist. If as many AC freaks had purchased the CD instead of just talking about it, maybe they would’ve moved more substantial units and really made an impression on the charts. Oh well–just more proof that hype will only get you so far.

    The REAL test will be when AC makes their inevitable SNL appearance. Let’s see if they get a sales bump a la Adele and Fleet Foxes. That ‘s when it gets interesting…

  8. DJorn

    @T’Challa: …would’ve moved more substantial units and really made an impression on the charts…
    They’re still a cult band who managed to place an album of psychedelic synth noodlings at #13. I admit to being a little underwhelmed myself; considering the pre-release hype, combined with the chart debut of, say, Neon Bible, I thought they might break the Top Ten, but that’s still pretty impressive. Also, keep in mind that album came out digitally a couple weeks early, as did the vinyl; surely a few of those moved before the CD hit shelves.

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