January is never a fun time for any of showbiz. Broadway is quiet. The movie box office is recovering from Christmas highs. But nothing is worse than the record business. This past week the top 50 albums sold a total — a total, all together– of 600,000 units. The “Frozen” soundtrack sold a total of 84.5K copies. Beyonce did around 75K.
And then it’s all down hill. The name brands from Christmas are saturated. Both Lady Gaga and Britney Spears had major disasters. Justin Bieber didn’t even bother submitting his album for SoundScan counting.
Six hundred thousand– that’s what a debut album should be doing in its first week at number 1. With three major record conglomerates, that amount isn’t enough to sustain the lunches and the gifts to deejays. Keep in mind that the “Frozen” soundtrack comes from Disney– not even a major label. The bulk of the others come from Universal and Sony. Warner Music is barely in the game.
I don’t want to be a buzzkill. But unless there’s another surprise album coming like Beyonce in the next six weeks, winter is going to be cold and dark. Bruce Springsteen launches this week. And then it’s several weeks without a superstar release. There’s Dierks Bentley on 2/25 and Jennifer Hudson on 3/11. Otherwise, the only other story might be The Beatles box set next week.
Mariah Carey, we are waiting, my dear. Surprise us!