1. Lil Wayne "Tha Carter III"
Sales this week: 124,676
Percentage change: -20%
Oh what a great country we live in. Where we have so many diversions that not only do we not care what’s number one, we never ever have to hear it if we don’t want to!
The major labels perpetuated a myth, that we lived in one homogeneous society. A closed environment of a limited number of records that everyone had to pay attention to. But that’s wrong. With in excess of 50,000 projects issued into the marketplace a year, with hundreds of satellite radio stations, with seemingly infinite Internet ones, with ubiquitous iPods, we don’t have to be subjected to one damn thing we don’t want to!
I don’t hate Lil Wayne. I love that his album was fueled by Internet giveaways.
But I also heard that the number of free goods given away to retailers staggers the mind.
2. Coldplay "Viva La Vida"
Sales this week: 112,586
Percentage change: -25%
Makes no difference that you hate them. If you hate Coldplay, and are writing/talking about it, then you’re playing right into the major labels’ hands. See #1 above. We live in a segmented society. People only listen to what they like. They don’t give a shit what you like. So when you hate on their pet loves, your words fall on deaf ears. You just reveal that you too want to be a member of the club, or that you want your wannabe act to get the same traction.
Well, you don’t get the same traction as Coldplay by hating Coldplay, you go down to the roots and try to build a career.
Yes, Coldplay had the advantage of being built by the old system, they were one of the last acts in. From an era where radio, MTV and SNL could create ubiquitous acts. That era is dead. Get over it. And hate on your friends, not your enemies… Your enemies aren’t listening.
3. "Camp Rock"
Sales this week: 88,474
Percentage change: -23%
Maybe too many kids are at camp, but I feel softness here.
Just like the Disney animated juggernaut faded out, at some point the synergistic Disney starmaking machinery will fade. Nothing lasts forever. A new paradigm comes in, like computer animation (and that’s why Disney bought Pixar).
These shows are formulaic. With the staying power and nutritional value of a Pixie stick.
Then again, Disney has been making musical stars since Britney. Only now they own the records.
Bottom line, these acts have a short shelf life. And I want the paradigm to fade, so I can believe it’s not just about owning the distribution machinery, that anybody can make it. Alas, there’s still a market for shit jammed down people’s throats. Especially when they’re kids.
Can we just call this a different business and not talk about it? Can I stop hearing that those who go to see Miley/Hannah are now concertgoers? When did you lose all your passion, when did you smile about the lowest common denominator?
Or, why don’t we just let Disney release all new product and close the old labels down. They do it better than Universal. And Universal is the big kahuna!
4. Beck "Modern Guilt"
Sales this week: 84,313
A cult favorite, the favorite icon of hipsters who are as dorky and short as he is and control what’s left of the bleeding edge in old media.
This guy’s very first track was his best.
He’s not without talent, but he’s niche at best.
This will fall right off the chart. Don’t buy the hype.
5. Kid Rock "Rock N Roll Jesus
Sales this week: 61,082
Percentage change: +35%
Maybe the new Madonna, albeit with a bit more musical talent. BRILLIANT business concept. Melding "Werewolves Of London" and "Sweet Home Alabama" into a new track.
If this were a new act, there would be no end result other than these sales. But since Bob has got over a ten year career, it’s just bringing more people to the show, where more money can be made, by him, not the label.
Yes, radio still sells records.
But come on, this is lowest common denominator stuff. This proves how vapid today’s scene is, that this track can be a hit. Can you imagine this getting any traction in the heyday of rock radio? Or even the 1989 Kid Rock is singing about?
For those scoring at home, this is the single of the summer. In an era where only the young and ignorant care.
12. Katy Perry "One Of The Boys"
Sales this week: 31,971
Percentage change: -4%
Welcome to the modern music business, where you can have a number three track at Top Forty, number one at iTunes and you can’t sell any fucking albums.
She’s not a star, she’s a promotional vehicle, a way for TV and radio to sell OTHER shit. If this were the twentieth century, she’d be dropped.
The public is smart. All they want is the single. They don’t believe she’s got more than that, is worth more than that. Whereas they’re inured to believing that Coldplay and Kid Rock deliver a bit more. In other words, it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to get the public to take a risk on a new act’s album.
16. Three 6 Mafia "Last 2 Walk"
Sales this week: 24,391
Percentage change: -34%
Guess Oscars don’t mean much. Or, as they say in Hollywood, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?
The time for a new Three 6 Mafia album was within a couple of weeks after their left field Academy Award victory. I loved that song, I was rooting for them. You know that Lil Wayne could have had product in the market just that fast.
In other words, if you’re the beneficiary of/involved in a train-wreck, shoot pictures and sell them RIGHT AWAY!
18. Journey "Revelation"
Sales this week: 23,778
Percentage change: -4%
And that’s what it is!
Not the incredible pipes of their Filipino lead singer, but the PRICE!
Irving’s the leader on this… He told me if Dave signed off on it, he was going to put out a Van Halen DVD for $7.99!
Maybe I’m talking out of school here, not that Irving said this was off the record, but this is a very important point. PRICE MATTERS! Stop weeping over the death of the CD, the declining margins, and just lower the damn price so music becomes an impulse item. Lower the price enough and it doesn’t PAY to steal!
And you wonder why the established acts would rather go with Irving and Wal-Mart than Doug and Universal. Wal-Mart pays, the act gets the lion’s share of the money and the customer is HAPPY!
21. Duffy "Rockferry"
Sales this week: 20,947
Percentage change: -14%
She’s kind of made it. But she’d be even bigger if more of the target audience KNEW WHO THE FUCK SHE WAS!
That’s the problem. She’s still an unknown.
Yup, many people don’t watch the talk shows or listen to Top Forty, but they’d love this record.
22. Jonas Brothers
Sales this week: 20,264
Percentage change: +20
I’m not a hater. Anybody who plays their own instruments and is involved in composing their own material gets my blessing. Better than some young twit lip-synching to a backing track.
The bump is from "Camp Rock". But its small size contributes to the vibe that "Camp Rock" just isn’t the phenomenon of "High School Musical". Still, this is a great cume, and they’re CLEANING UP on the road!
31. Mariah Carey "E=MC2"
Sales this week: 14,774
Percentage change: -8%
Maybe she should have offered the album for ONE WEEK ONLY! Because she sold the lion’s share just that fast. Why risk not getting Top Forty airplay. Take a page out of Irving’s Wal-Mart book, lower the price and get everybody to buy the album right away!
If this is a big star, the record labels are in trouble.
Oops, SHE IS! And THEY ARE!
38. Sugarland "Enjoy The Ride"
Sales this week: 12,452
Percentage change: -9%
Am I the only one who thinks their new single sucks?
You follow up the gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching "Stay" with this vapid fluff?
Where was the manager here?
This was the time to go for continued greatness.
The Beatles didn’t go backward, they always tested our limits.
"All I Want To Do" is junk. (And not on this album.)
39. Vanessa Hudgens "Identified"
Sales this week: 12,272
Percentage change: -44%
She won’t be in only a matter of years.
The show is the star, not the participants. Despite all the publicity, despite the hoopla of the nude photos, no one cares about her music, because they don’t believe she’s got any musical talent! (Unlike the Jonas Brothers…)
48. Alvin & the Chipmunks
Sales this week: 10,523
Percentage change: 0
No, they are not going to tour. Harvey Goldsmith promised them a fortune, but Alvin says he’s dedicated to his work with Olive Oyl. He wants to continue to stretch himself, he doesn’t want to get back together with Theodore and Simon and cover the greatest hits.
But, rumor has it that the orchestrations on this album were done by John Paul Jones and he and Jimmy Page are going to give Alvin the middle finger by touring behind Theodore and Simon.
Alvin has no middle finger, but he was overheard telling Perez Hilton that you DON’T TELL THE WITCH DOCTOR WHAT TO DO!
61. Sex & the City
Sales this week: 9,568
Percentage change: -18%
They want the clothes, not the music!
72. N.E.R.D. "Seeing Sounds"
Sales this week: 8,197
Percentage change: -20%
Interscope’s done no better than Virgin. Sometimes the label doesn’t make a difference. Then again, Pharrell used to be hotter.
73. My Morning Jacket "Evil Urges"
Sales this week: 8,010
Percentage change: -17%
They channeled Prince FOR THIS?
Fucking idiots, they think they’re going to get Top Forty airplay? That the mainstream is going to embrace them?
Play to your core.
And MMJ’s core is rooting for them, but an incredible percentage is turned off by their musical left turn. DON’T FUCK WITH YOUR FANS!
79. Sara Bareilles "Little Voice"
Sales this week: 7,878
Percentage change: +38%
Wow. Pretty fucking good.
But she’s only as big as her next single.
Sales this week: 7,842
Percentage change: -7%
As Pete Townshend said, "Rock is dead they say, LONG LIVE ROCK!"
83. Nickelback "All The Right Reasons"
Sales this week: 7,723
Percentage change: -10%
Ditto Daughtry above.
What do I know?
A little birdie told me that the Live Nation deal starts right away, with the band’s Road Runner sales thrown into the pot.
123. Judas Priest "Nostradamus"
Sales this week: 5,685
Percentage change: -30%
There’s actually decent buzz on this album.
But it should have come out via Wal-Mart, not conventional retailers.
If you’re a has-been band, DON’T sign with a major label, THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH YOU!
Sony did even less for Steve Winwood than Mike Luba and his team of independents did. You want to believe major labels can deliver you what they once did, that massive airplay…but those days are THROUGH!
130. Ting Tings "We Started Nothing"
Sales this week: 5,063
Percentage change: -20%
What an apropos title!
An iPod commercial does not guarantee success.
This makes Feist look like a musical giant.
142. Raconteurs "Consolers Of The Lonely"
Sales this week: 4,584
Percentage change: -8%
A lot of buzz, very little interest. See Beck above.
Time for Meg to get intensive therapy and for Jack to get back together with her and work as the White Stripes once again.
It’s almost impossible to start over with a brand new name. Especially without a giant, instant hit.
145. Albert Hammond, Jr. "Como Te Llama?"
Sales this week: 4,530
That’s what they’re going to be asking EVERY member of the Strokes soon…WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
155. MGMT "Oracular Spectacular"
Sales this week: 4,258
Percentage change: +2%
If this is the impact of all that buzz, all that hipster squawk, I want no part of it…and obviously no one else does either!
Turns out people would rather listen to Coldplay. Get over it.