Lady Gaga’s “Chromatica” didn’t have an easy launch. After a six week postponement, the album had a slow start saleswise.
Then came George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. Suddenly all attention was turned away from pop music and other frivolities to more serious problems.
On Wednesday, “Chromatica” met another problem: the release of “RTJ4” by Run the Jewels. The rap duo vaulted to number 1 on iTunes, overtaking Gaga. And this episode had a weird curve ball: the album is free on RTJ’s website, and for sale on iTunes. Why would anyone pay for it? But enough did that it jumped over “Chromatica.”
Still, in the end, Gaga sold roughly 275,000 albums. More than two thirds were CDs and paid downloads– 204,000. The total all together is 295,000 since release.
The “Chromatica” sales are strong, even if they’re nowhere near Taylor Swift or Adele numbers. Lady Gaga was going to make her money on the road with a big tour but that’s not going to happen until next year. That might be a good thing. Pent up demand to see her should sell out stadiums.
Aside from RTJ, “Chromatica” has no competition coming up this week. Friday’s releases are pretty meh, although Norah Jones could be a surprise with her “Pick Me Up off the Floor.” You never know.
One little twist to this story: The Gaga-Ariana Grande duet, “Rain on Me,” is still in the iTunes top 5. But “Sour Candy,” which should be a big hit, is floundering a little. The surprise is that “Shallow,” Lady Gaga’s Oscar winning hit with Bradley Cooper, has jumped back into the top 20. You’d think everyone who wanted that song had it in every form possible. But a great record never dies.