Year To Date Sales


"Jump Back: The Best of the Rolling Stones 1971-1993"
Rolling Stones
321,265 copies

Whew, has anybody even HEARD of this record?  Remember when you used to know every album, every HITS album (yes, the very first one was "High Tide And Green Grass", I played "Last Time" a ZILLION times!)  Now they repackage this shit again and again and again.  Never mind the Who, you’d be stunned how many ZEPPELIN compilations there are.  I’d say this is not a bad number for a year.  But, they can’t LIVE on this, that’s why they’re on the road.  As for their NEW album, "A Bigger Bang", that sold 390,741.  Supposedly the best album in twenty five years.  Guess that didn’t mean much.


"Greatest Hits"
328,542 copies

Don’t stop, believin’!

If only the major labels held on to that feeling.  Everything they’re purveying now ain’t gonna sell TWO copies fifteen to twenty years from today, never mind almost half a million.

I won’t say Journey sucks, but they WERE responsible for Nirvana.  People who LOVED meaningful music REBELLED against this stuff.  Then again, there are millions of people all over this land who LOVE this music.

Personally, I like "Lights".  And "Wheel In The Sky".  So sue me.

If this band ever toured again with Steve Perry, they wouldn’t only sell out arenas, they might be able to do STADIUMS!


Death Cab For Cutie
351,698 copies

Wow, I thought they’d be closer to a MILLION!  What with all that hype/press.  What with their shift to a major label.

And here we have the fallacy in action.  Death Cab shifts to a major.  Which supposedly can do so much better than an indie.

BUT, Victory, a complete indie, distributing through RED, sold 476,052 copies of Hawthorne Heights’ "Silence In Black and White" (# 126).  Granted, it’s not the same kind of music.  But it appears that the passion of Tony Brummel and his team mean more than the imprimatur of the major label.  Maybe that’s all you get, an imprimatur, a facade, behind which there’s…nothing.


"All That I Am"
360,964 copies

What if you took a legendary rocker and sold him like this week’s guest on "Oprah".  After a few years, would anybody CARE?

Oh, sure, Carlos wouldn’t have sold this number with a new record by the OLD Santana band, but was it worth the hit to his credibility?

Okay, you don’t buy that.  You think he’s doing bigger road business.

Well, let’s turn the table.  After all that investment by Clive Davis, after all that micromanaging, they couldn’t even go GOLD??

That oldster with stunting paradigm is dead.  The only place anybody cares is "The Today Show".  There IS no mainstream.  It’s all niche.


"Definitive Collection"
Stevie Wonder

380,988 copies

Okay.  Should Sylvia Rhone lose her job?

This is a greatest hits album.  Stevie Wonder’s NEW release, "A Time To Love", didn’t even make the Top 200.

Stevie Wonder sold on HITS!  You can’t make a Stevie Wonder track a hit today.  There’s no FORMAT FOR IT!

Stevie ain’t gonna go on Top Forty.  Unless, maybe, he works with 50 Cent.  And, no hot adult format sells tonnage.  Either the new album should have been delivered for under $100,000, or Stevie should be on an indie label.  What’s UP with these major labels?  They think they can still sell tonnage of heritage acts?  Oh, they can sell tonnage of GREATEST HITS ALBUMS, but to sell a quantity of new records, you’ve got to have airplay.  There’s no airplay, other than a bit of niche.  Admit it majors.  Let all the old acts LEAVE!


"Greatest Hits"
Bob Seger
397,353 copies

I heard "Horizontal Bop" on XM today.  It was positively AWFUL!

Bob Seger cut some good tracks in his day.  "Beautiful Loser", "Turn The Page", and "Night Moves", of course.  But he was ALWAYS a secondary artist.  He hasn’t cut anything in EONS!  He doesn’t tour.  He has NO profile.  Yet he still sells almost half a million records a year.  Don’t call it a comeback.  Say that nobody gives a shit about today’s music.  It ain’t got the same soul, they all want old time rock and roll.


"Dark Side Of The Moon"
Pink Floyd


402,954 copies

Let us never forget the abortion that was MTV’s coverage of Live 8.  Thirty plus years later, Pink Floyd sells and sells.  But no, people want to hear the inane ravings of talking heads they won’t remember the NAMES of in five minutes.  And, we won’t remember Maroon 5 either.  One of the new bands MTV DID cover.  Because they’re kiss-asses playing the game, cutting poppy SONGS that can be utilized to sell ads/products.  Clive Davis has it all wrong.  It ain’t about songs, it ain’t about verse, chorus, verse.  Make no mistake, it’s about MUSIC, about BELIEF!  The reason we still care about the old stuff is it was REVOLUTIONARY!  It BROKE the mold.  Indies are still breaking the mold today.  The majors are preciously guarding the mold, fearful if it’s broken they’ll have no roadmap.


"Stop All The World Now"
Howie Day

Am I HALLUCINATING?  I thought this was a stiff signing.  This guy sold more than DEATH CAB?  Never mind Gavin McGraw (378,893), Amerie (373,578) and Twista (341,571)?

There was no hit here, right?

And FUCK, this record came out over TWO YEARS AGO!

SOMEBODY’S doing something RIGHT HERE!


Dane Cook
Comedy Central
413,313 copies

The power of television.

This guy just ain’t that funny.

He’s about as relevant as Glenn Super.  Who was FUNNIER!  (Oops, just found out that Glenn Super died.  Of prostate cancer.  I feel bad for him.  Don’t like to see somebody cut down before his time.  But I never got the memo that this dude who opened a million rock shows back when passed away, because we’d already FORGOTTEN HIM!)


"Hopes and Fears"

Who’d a thunk?

Sure, they were on SNL, but they weren’t good.

Bottom line, this act resonates with fans.  AND, nobody does a better job than Interscope.


"Frances The Mute"
Mars Volta
433,241 copies

You don’t need a hit to sell a lot of records.

This band’s music verges on unlistenable.  But, the energy at the show is PALPABLE!  I’d trade ANY Clive Davis band for the Mars Volta.


Sheryl Crow
513,253 copies

Shit, even a STIFF Sheryl Crow album goes gold?

Then again, she played Thanksgiving at Texas Stadium.  And for the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Plaza.  It must be tough to be Sheryl.  You can never relax.  You’re always worried you’re going to be irrelevant.  You feel you must stay in the public eye.

Is this a quality life?

I don’t think so.


"Chapter V"
Atlantic Group
577,632 copies

You can enter the chart at number one, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to win the marathon.

Bottom line…

Great ballads, shitty rockers, untogether live, WHO CARES??


"Never Gone"
Backstreet Boys
672,610 copies

I guess they never were.

True, it’s a far cry from their heyday.  But they outsold Alicia Keys’ overhyped "Unplugged" album (495,007).


"Getting Away With Murder"
Papa Roach
672,669 copies

Shit, THEY ARE!  This band SUCKS!

But they can still sell records.  This album came out in the summer of 2004.

Universal is in a completely different LEAGUE from the other three major label groups.


"Mind, Body & Soul"
Joss Stone
710,307 copies

Depends how you spin it.

Not a bad total.  But with the Gap ad and all the appearances and all the press she only sold THIS?

The material sucked.

She doesn’t write.

Sings well.  Is sexy.

But that’s not enough.  Nobody BELIEVES in her.

The next record’s gonna be tough.


730,727 copies

Turns out going back to work with the Dust Brothers was a good move.

Still, not as major an artist as the machine would have you believe.


"How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
765,907 copies

Just put out retread music.

Sure, this album came out in 2004.  But in late NOVEMBER!

Despite the iPod.  Despite the tour.  Despite Bono being "Time"’s "Man Of The Year", NOBODY cares other than hard core fans.  SHIT, the band was outsold by NINE INCH NAILS (#56, 794,053), whose album didn’t come out till May and who had no hit single and a FRACTION of the hype.

That’s what it is with U2, hype.

Oh, best touring rock band extant.

I’ll let the Gen X’ers line up to buy the expensive merch.  I’m not looking to go to the show to relive my youth, I’m not dead yet.  Then again, when I see one of the oldsters I call it what it is…NOSTALGIA!


"Greatest Hits"
Guns N’ Roses
866,883 copies

"Paradise City" was the last great extended rock track.  The bookend to "Stairway To Heaven" and "Free Bird".  With just as much excitement and energy.

GN’R played like they meant it.  And lived that way too.

Axl might now be a joke, but one of the great things about music is it’s fixed forever.  "Appetite For Destruction" is one of the great debuts of all time.  You only had to hear it once to get hooked.  THAT was rock and roll, and it didn’t start in the sixties, or the seventies, but in the late eighties.  There’s hope.  If people would just stop worrying about MAKING IT and start playing from their HEART!


"It’s Time"
Michael Buble
1,036,947 copies

In an era when everybody’s consolidating, when bigger is better, lone man Bruce Allen shows us how it’s really done.

What do BTO and Bryan Adams and Michael Buble have in common?  NOTHING!!  (Never mind Martina McBride!)

Michael Buble is the right man for the right time.  A singer for people not paying attention, with oatmeal inside instead of bones.  But give Bruce credit for recognizing the need in the market and delivering it.

Not that it’s Bruce only.  You’ve got to give Whalley and Diarmuid and the rest of the Warner team credit.  An INCREDIBLE story.


"Seventeen Days"
Three Doors Down
1,160,725 copies

And rock is dead.  BULLSHIT!

This is a third rate act.

But there’s a market of beer-swilling blue collar workers salivating for this sound.

You can either play to the press or the customer.

AND, unlike the hip-hop acts, people want to see Three Doors Down LIVE!


"Demon Days"

And we had to listen ad infinitum to EMI telling us how this band (along with Coldplay, of course) saved their bottom line.

If 1.2 million can make or break your year, either you’ve got a much smaller business than you’re letting on, or you’re cooking the books.


"Stand Up"
Dave Matthews Band

I thought this album verged on unlistenable.  For a DMB album, anyway.

Listen to "Before These Crowded Streets".  "The Dreaming Tree" is superb, it touches you.  This album is a departure from that sound, a move towards the center that would have been rejected if the DMB didn’t have such HARD CORE FANS!

It’s not about the show, it’s about the MUSIC!

The DMB ain’t about watching, it’s about PARTICIPATING, BEING THERE!

It’s the biggest live act on the road in the U.S. other than the dinosaurs.  Go see them, you’ll become a believer.

And those who already believe support the band.  By buying substandard stuff like "Stand Up".


"Hot Fuss"

Trendy if you ask me.  But I don’t begrudge them their sales.

There’s a huge jump between 20 and 11.  20 is Toby Keith at 1,306,901.

Bottom line.  We’re seeing the division of the marketplace as we sit here.  Between the big timers and the niche.  The number of big timers is shrinking.  The money is in the niche, in the long tail.

MEANWHILE, in this stretch from 11-20 is Jack Johnson, at #13, with 1,617,363.  Jack’s the DEFINITION of a minor artist.  But this surfing, movie-making good timer has caught the soul of his audience.  THIS is what the business is about (just ask Jimmy Buffett.)


All the acts you’d think are there.

Maybe you’d be surprised by Rascal Flatts, but up from there it’s Kanye, the Game, Gwen, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Green Day, Mariah and 50 Cent.

Gwen’s not for the ages.  Incredible save by Interscope of a stiff album.  But I doubt they can do it again.  It’s the end of an era.

The Black Eyed Peas are a novelty act.

Kelly Clarkson is fuckable.  The girl next door.  With the TRUE song of the year (screw Mariah Carey).

The Game ain’t forever.  I wouldn’t put my IRA in Kanye.

So that leaves us with Coldplay, Green Day and 50 Cent (who cares about Rascal Flatts, even if they last they’re an irrelevant sideshow.)

50 Cent already died trying.  With his movie.  Kids all over America went to see shitty Elvis Presley movies.  I guess Fitty’s fan base just ain’t as rabid as the business, or Jimmy Iovine, thinks it is.


I just wish they were better.  And Chris Martin didn’t marry Gwyneth.  She’s so smug.  It undercuts the band’s credibility.

For a band that takes itself so seriously (and DON’T tell me about their sense of humor, that’s nonexistent in the music) they completely lack edge.  God, Randy Newman’s "Sail Away" has more edge than "X&Y".  If this is the great white hope, if Coldplay is the savior of rock and roll, count me out.

Which leaves us with Green Day.

Rascal Flatts sold 2,048,003 albums.  At number ten.

50 Cent sold 4,767,844 at number one.  Mariah did over four too, but nobody else even did three.

But Green Day ALMOST did.  They racked up 2,970,559 sales this year.  Of an album that came out LAST year.

U2 doesn’t deserve the accolades, Green Day does.

Green Day is old itself.  But Green Day didn’t remake "Dookie", they did something new, and different.

I’d be interested in Bono trying to save the world if only his music were a little better.  Oh, U2 did some great shit in the past.  The DISTANT past.

Don’t tell me to cut the Irish band a break.  I believe in absolutes.  I don’t believe in cutting art a break.  If you lower the standards you get the kind of tripe being sold by the majors today.

U2 needed to be the biggest band in the world.

Trent Reznor was interested in satiating himself, then his fans.  He put out his material for remix in GarageBand.  He was an artist.  The U2 boys have now become entertainers.  Frank Sinatra with more lights.

But Green Day.  They sold their message with their MUSIC!

And that’s why America loves them.  The WORLD loves them.

And the hooks.

Billie Joe is scrumptious. You could eat him with one big bite.

Tre Cool is who the guys in Blink-182 want to be.

And, Mike Dirnt is Bill Wyman.  The guy lucky enough to be in a band with two extreme extroverts, the one you wonder what goes on inside of.

THIS is a rock band.  Where you know every member.  Where you have your favorite.  Where you BELIEVE!

It ain’t very far from the roots.  It’s three chords and a beat.

They should just cancel the Grammys and air a Green Day concert.

Sure, a lot of the usual viewers would HATE it, but that’s the way it used to be.  Music used to provoke a reaction.  Before Rod Stewart started singing standards and service charges cost more than a ticket used to.

Music will survive.  Even if the major labels go out of business.  Even if P2P is unstopped and never monetized.  Because music is something made from the heart.  Not a financial exercise, but INSPIRATION!

There’s very little inspiration in the sausages being sold by the mainstream purveyors today.  If you think these acts are stars you probably believe Paris Hilton has talent.

EVERYBODY knows that Paris Hilton has no talent.  They pay attention in the same way you slow down to see a car wreck on the opposite side of the freeway.

That’s too much of today’s music.  Momentary spectacle.

Whereas we used to like to camp out.  Attach ourselves to the band.  Not miss an album or a tour.  For YEARS!  We NEEDED to be there.

There’s more excitement in Google than there is in most of today’s best selling records.

Then again, although it’s the work of some of the world’s greatest minds, Google ain’t music.

When done right, music touches your soul.

It hasn’t been done right for a very long time.

But it’s about to be done right again.

It’s only just beginning.  The craphouse of the twenty first century is about to collapse under its own weight.  You’ll be hearing about new bands again.  Not via terrestrial radio, or MTV, but via your friends.  The musicians are taking back the music from the executives and the people are taking back the spreading of the word from the media.

It’s a very exciting time.  Five years from now, most of the new acts on this chart will be history.

But Pink Floyd will surive.  And AC/DC.  And Queen.  Because, like the Apple Pan, they’re quality forever (  It’s not about the booths, the atmosphere.  It’s not about being the cheapest.  It’s about being the best at a fair price.  Delivering quality for EVERYBODY!

Music should be cheaper.  Ticket prices should be cheaper.

They will be.  Because they have to be.

Today’s system is collapsing under its own weight.

The dark ages are not upon us.  No, it’s a dream.  A return of power to the people, who MAKE the acts successful.

It’s a bottom up business.  Think about what the fan wants, not what the exec wants, what the media outlet wants, what the bank wants.  If you deliver what the fan wants, he’ll give you ALL his money.

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