Saturday, June 15, 2024

All Hail Barbra: Streisand’s “Encore” Debuts at Number 1, Trounces Hot “Contemporary” Acts like Britney Spears By 60,000 Copies


Surprise! Barbra Streisand has pulled it off again. Her odd “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway” album debuts at number 1 this week, beating Britney Spears, Florida Georgia Line, and Frank Ocean by a mile or two.

Streisand’s real triumph here is that her numbers were entirely from sales, not streaming. She sold 150,000 CDs and digital downloads. Her streaming numbers were minimal.

In real sales, Florida Georgia Line sold 129,000, Britney came in around 91,000, and Ocean dropped 81% from last week with just 44,000 in digital sales (he has no CD).

More music: Sting releases new single “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You”

But even when you add in streaming, Streisand is number 1. Streaming for the three other acts didn’t surpass her. And that’s quite an achievement.

Streisand was hovering around number 3 by last Saturday night. But her appearance on CBS Sunday Morning probably put her over the top. And her Tonight Show bit with Jimmy Fallon was a huge boost.

As I wrote the other day, Ocean totally screwed himself up by not having a CD, and by limiting himself to AppleMusic and iTunes. Plus he has no single, which is the key for a contemporary act. We don’t expect to hear Streisand on Z100, but Ocean has to splash in that group.

As for Barbra, she had only track available on Spotify, featuring Hugh Jackman. If you try to find the whole album on Spotify there’s a re-direct to buy the CD elsewhere. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that before. Good move on the part of Sony.

And yes, it is an odd album. There’s a lot of patter, and some of the participants can’t sing. But the main commercial is very strong– it’s Barbra singing Marvin Hamlisch’s “At the Ballet” with Daisy Ridley (from “Star Wars”) doing harmony. Ridley amplifies Streisand, they’re a good match, and those 10 seconds make you want the album. Bravo Marty Erlichman.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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