Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pop: Backstreet Boys Land First Number 1 Album in 18 Years, All CD and Downloads, No Streaming, 236K Copies


Backstreet Boys, middle aged men who used to be a boy band, are back on top of the charts.

Their “DNA” album is their first in 18 years to hit number 1 on the charts.

A little more than I predicted earlier in the week, “DNA” sold 236,000 copies. They were almost CDs and paid downloads, and very little streaming. Their older audience wanted it that way.

But their older audience also didn’t actually buy those CDs and downloads. “DNA” came with concert tickets. Backstreet Boys are a nostalgia act now, and they’re wisely cashing in on good feelings from fans who loved them in the 90s. The albums were part of the price of the ticket. The RIAA counts those as sales.

Next week when the ticket bundle is gone, “DNA” will sink at least 80% or maybe drop out of the top 50 altogether. There’s nothing to support it on the charts, no hit single. The days of “I Want It That Way” are over.

Curiously, the Boys didn’t turn to their old songwriters for tracks on the new album. The result is good vocals applied to not very compelling songs. And the Boys don’t have any publishing credits on the songs, so they’re not going to get that revenue.

Without the “DNA” sales, overall sales of music would have been pretty skimpy this week. An album by rapper Future, whose insistence on using his own music instead of Curtis Mayfield’s destroyed the “Superfly” remake last year, sold 57,000 copies– mostly via streaming.

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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