Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sony Music’s Self-Defeat: New Springsteen Album Finishes in 2nd Place to New Luke Combs, Also from Sony


Bruce Springsteen’s “Letter to You” should have been sent certified by Sony Music’s Columbia label in New York.

In a bitter chart race, “Letter to You” finished 2nd today for the week in its debut. The album sold around 83,000 copies with all but 3,000 CDs and downloads. The remainder was gained from streaming.

But what was number 1? Surely it came from another record company? Alas, no, it was Sony’s Nashville branch. In a deal they made with Nashville’s River House, country artist Luke Combs finished above Bruce with 106,540 copies of his “What You See is What You Get.”

Yes, “What You See is What You Get” is the name of a famous 1973 hit by the Dramatics on Stax Records. But country is famous for lifting titles of pre-existing hits and making them over into a new horse and saddle.

But Ouch! If Sony had just postponed Combs or moved it up a week, Bruce might have been numero uno. But he was undone by his own record company. And it’s the only one he’s ever had. Bruce has been on Columbia Records since 1972. Only Barbra Streisand can say that. I do think that Tony Bennett and Bob Dylan each wandered off and returned. But Bruce has always been there.

“Letter to You” sold in its first week more than Bruce’s last album, “Western Stars,” sold in its first three weeks. There’s nothing like adding the E Street Band that won’t put some pep in your step! Bruce is nevertheless number 1 on the charts this week for this writer. I don’t use combs!


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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