199. Owl City "All Things Bright And Beautiful"
Sales this week: 2,133
Percentage change: +15
Weeks on: 12
Remember that hit a couple of years back. It was… The name eludes me…
Of course it was "Fireflies".
Just because you have a hit once, that does not mean you’ve got a career. I’ll argue the slower the development, the longer lasting the career.
If only this guy had cut another hit single. Then again, if you’re trying for them, it’s so hard to get one, unless you work with the usual suspects in "Turbo Pop", that’s what they’re calling today’s Top Forty music, great moniker, don’t you think?
In order to keep on, you must have fans.
Based on this number, all sales were front-loaded. There was expectation. But then when it went unfulfilled, when the helium drained from the balloon, everybody moved on. It’s much harder to make it again once you’ve hit and deflated.
I’ve got no problem with this sales number. If this artist is happy, I am too.
But if you think he and his label didn’t expect a ton more sales, you’re dreaming.
197. Avril Lavigne "Goodbye Lullaby"
Sales this week: 2,150
Percentage change: +8
Weeks on: 26
Was she just a teen queen or was she killed by overexposure?
If you play the hit game, you die when you have no hits. That’s what happened to Avril.
Where does she go from here?
She could do a Britney, subjugating her identity to the sound of today, in order to have hits to sustain the juggernaut, but Britney’s tour is a disappointment.
If you think Justin Bieber is different, you’re being paid by him.
186. Tedeschi Trucks Band "Revelator"
Sales this week: 2,221
Percentage change: -32
Weeks on: 14
This is why you’re on Spotify, this is why you give your music away for free. This is a cult act. A not so small cult, but a cult nonetheless. They’ve got hard core fans, who support them, but outside the tribe most people are clueless, they’ve got no idea who they are. So the key is to make sure your music is available, just in case someone is inspired to listen to it.
Yes, Tedeschi Trucks is more of a live act, you hope people go to the gig, that’s where they’re converted. But you want to make the barrier to entry as low as possible. You don’t want to worry about getting paid today, but being paid tomorrow.
185. Ry Cooder "Pull Up Some Dust & Sit Down"
Sales this week: 2,245
Percentage change: -45
Weeks on: 2
He burned us out. Too many eh concept albums.
The Web is built for Ry. He needs to do all his experimenting and playing online. Have a site where he gives guitar lessons and features roots artists, he needs to do an event on StageIt.
Ry’s trying to sell by employing straight media. There’s a disconnect between him and his audience. He needs to regain the trust of his audience.
And I’m a big fan, I can sing every note of "Into The Purple Valley".
But even I didn’t check this out.
In the old days I might have bought it and played it because I did, but in an era of overflowing music, I’ve got too much that demands my attention, you can only listen to one record at one time.
184. Fitz And The Tantrums "Pickin’ Up The Pieces"
Sales this week: 2,247
Percentage change: +19
Weeks on: 1
This is the problem with having mainstream music on an indie label. They’re fighting one by one whereas you’re best off selling this from the top down.
Fitz And The Tantrums need to be playing Monday Night Football, getting into the public consciousness. Their music is too close to the center for hipsters, yet it’s being sold as hipster music.
In a different era, this would be on Top Forty, but it’s not Turbo Pop.
This is music you dance to and have a good time with.
Fitz And The Tantrums should have played the Kardashian wedding, been on that TV show. Everybody loves this music, they’ve just got to hear it.
171. Eddie Vedder "Ukulele Songs"
Sales this week: 2,339
Percentage change: -5
Weeks on: 15
Despite the plethora of hype, Eddie Vedder is niche.
I’d posit that the album would have sold just as many if there were no media campaign.
If you’re niche, you need to know your fans’ e-mail addresses, social media is key. You’ve got to be able to make them aware of your new music and gigs. They’ll buy it, they’ve just got to know about it.
Vedder/Pearl Jam fans are active. They found this. Are your fans this engaged?
127. Civil Wars "Barton Hollow"
Sales this week: 3,269
Percentage change: -10
Weeks on: 32
I liked the sound more than the material, but you’ve got to credit the team that broke this.
Imagine if the songs were better, this could be ubiquitous, that’s what Mumford & Sons taught us.
Turns out that what people want isn’t only the radio niches, not only Turbo Pop, people want music that penetrates their senses slowly, like a medication patch, not only that which is an assault.
We’re ready for you if you’re good.
Marketing is less important than quality.
117. Jeff Bridges
Sales this week: 3,573
Percentage change: -32
Weeks on: 4
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
104. Ronnie Dunn
Sales this week: 3,773
Percentage change: -10
Weeks on: 14
Never underestimate the power of brand names.
You think everybody knows you, but you’re almost starting over when you begin a solo career.
101. Kid Rock "Born Free"
Sales this week: 3,847
Percentage change: +3
Weeks on: 43
Is he gonna go on iTunes now that his hero, Bob Seger, has taken the plunge?
This is a great cume, but this album’s still one hit away from ubiquity, his concert ticket sales have suffered.
You can’t take yourself out of the game and expect to be on everybody’s mind.
Howard Stern is better than ever, but now that he’s on satellite, he’s an outsider on the verge of irrelevancy, he used to define the debate, now he’s barely in it.
Think of all that free advertising you get on iTunes. People see your name on the chart, you’ve got a presence, don’t deny yourself this, especially in an era where track sales are fading and streaming is taking over.
Yes, MOG and Rdio are going to free models. They’re tying in with Facebook. The juggernaut has begun. Blow out tracks at a cheaper price, while people still want them, if you refuse to license to streaming services, you’re only hurting yourself.
Streaming is about eradicating piracy, which it does, something lawsuits never achieved.
Don’t focus on measly payouts, think about everybody paying, think about the future, think about making the new system work to your advantage.
This is like the vide game publishers decrying the iPhone/iPad. The games are free! Or cheap! And they’re not that good!
We can argue about it all day long, but they’re what the people want. The action is at Zynga, not Electronic Arts.
Did you want P2P trading to last forever?
The sun is setting on piracy, it’s not worth it, ten percent of the people will always steal, but the rest would rather stream.
Don’t use your old mind-set to try and triumph in the future.
75. Train "Save Me San Francisco"
Sales this week: 5,335
Percentage change: -4
Weeks on: 98
The power of a hit. That’s what moves album sales by everybody but the most credible acts.
The difference is Train’s got a few now. "Meet Virginia", "Drops Of Jupiter", "Calling All Angels", "Hey, Soul Sister" and "Marry Me".
This means the band will be able to work forever.
But they’ve got very few hard core fans, the tracks trump the identity of the band.
Best piece of gossip I ever heard about Train? Pat Monahan was suggested as a replacement for Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin. The idea was dismissed out of hand, but it’s a brilliant one, one Jimmy Page should still act on.
Pat Monahan can sing those Zeppelin tunes, he’s got the pipes, he does them in the Train show. And he can write.
It’s a natural.
Think outside of the box if you want to get ahead.
And if Pat Monahan ever did tour with Page, then Train would be seen as credible and embraced by a whole new audience.
56. Glen Campbell "Ghost On The Canvas"
Sales this week: 7,384
Percentage change: -48
Weeks on: 2
There’s amazing buzz on this album on the inside, it’s GOOD!
Check out "Ghost On The Canvas"
The hype was done all wrong. It focused on the unfortunate Alzheimer’s instead of the music.
Marketers think it’s still the old days, about getting the story to the press, making people aware. But where are they gonna hear this music? We all know about Jeff Bridges’s album, but where are we gonna be exposed to the actual music?
That’s the advantage of Spotify.
But know you must lead with the music first.
43. Lindsey Buckingham "Seeds We Sow"
Sales this week: 8,857
Lindsey says he’s open to an outside producer for Fleetwood Mac.
He needs an outside producer for his solo albums.
The material is just not…I’d say it’s not good enough, let’s just say it’s far from mainstream. And his voice has lost something.
But he’s an incredible guitar player.
So do an instrumental album.
Separate the wheat from the chaff. We learned this lesson with Ryan Adams. He released so much mediocre material, he’s almost starting over.
This is not a failure because it’s indie, it’s a failure because of the music.