Riddle me this: The record album is supposed to be dead as a doornail, safely laid away in the grave, with the last rites proclaimed by blogger Bob Lefsetz. The opinion that download singles now rule became the new conventional wisdom. The top-selling album on last week’s Billboard 200 chart was Mumford & Sons’ Babel, at 96,000 copies that week. Topping the country albums chart was Little Big Town’s Tornado, which sold 23,000 copies.
But this week is a different story. Taylor Swift’s Red album is on a safely predictable track to sell a million copies this week. Jason Aldean’s Night Train just moved over 400,000 copies in its first week of release. That’s his biggest sales week ever. Red sold more than 262,000 copies the first day alone. And it is not available on Spotify, Rhapsody or other streaming services.
The previous big album noise this year came from the folk music group Mumford & Sons, who recently sold 600,000 Babel albums in their first release week. That was the best first week for any artist this year. Mumford now have sales of over 900,000 albums.
What the hell is going on?
It just proves all over again what has been said about the movie industry for decades: Nobody knows anything about anything.
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