Monday, June 24, 2024

Harry Styles Is Number 1, Somehow, Despite the Facts: Not Much Streaming, Indifferent Sales, Bad Songs


The music industry wants what it wants. It really wants One Direction’s Harry Styles to be a hit. And so he is: his self titled album finished it debut week at number 1. Hitsdailydouble says it sold 240,000 copies including streaming, downloads, and CDs. Billboard is going to say something similar.

It’s kind of a Columbo mystery, though. “Harry Styles” was number 1 on iTunes from last Friday though Tuesday. Then it dropped like a rock. None of its singles except “Sign of the Times” made the iTunes top 100. Unlike other recent hit albums that spawned multiple download singles on the charts, “Harry Styles”: produced nothing.

On the hitsdailydouble Song Revenue chart, “Sign of the Times” finished 17th this week, up from 26. It made $78,403 total from streams and downloads. It was Styles’ only song in the top 50. On the Streaming chart, “Sign” is number 21. “Sweet Creature,” an abomination, is number 50. They are not smash hits.

So? What? I like Harry Styles. He’s very engaging. So what if one song, “Ever Since New York,” rips off Badfinger, if another–“Two Ghosts”– recalls the Allman Brothers’ “Melissa”? Harry’s a nice guy! He’s cute, he wears a pink suit! Leave him alone! So what if none of the numbers make sense? He’s number 1. That’s all we need to know.

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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