The record industry is in a free fall. Maroon 5 could not be better known right now or more in the demographic that buys music. Yet their newest album, “V,” is a bust. It sold 168,000 copies in its first week and fell about 51% to 78,500 copies in its second. No wonder Adam Levine doesn’t depend on record sales for income. He’s diversified into about ten different areas including TV and movies.
And we know the U2 story. They sent their album for free to half- a billion people. Only about 200,000 of them wanted it– and it was free. Some actually complained about getting a free album! Apple has had to add a Remove U2 button to iTunes. Where is the logic? It’s free! Take it, already. It’s good.
Roughly 30 new albums will be released in the next two weeks to make the Grammy deadline of September 30th. Most of them will be ignored by the Grammys, but let’s not rain on their parade.
The biggest titles are from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, and Annie Lennox. Prince is releasing two albums. And there are several big names from country including Kenny Chesney and Blake Shelton.
Something has to stick. This week follows many successive weeks of lowest sales ever. The number 50 scanned album is only selling about 2,000 copies. That’s a third of what that number used to be, and that was in dark days. These are darker days.
“All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor is a find from L.A. Reid and Epic Records. A little Cyndi Lauper, a little Bette Midler and very tuneful, the record harkens back to something that sounds organic and artistic. If only there were more of that in music.
PS The news about Robin Thicke is most disheartening of all. He turns out to be a total fraud, a low point and the worst example of what the music industry has become.