Album sales are down 14 percent and track sales are down 13 percent but who cares because FIVE MORE DAYS UNTIL TAYLOR SWIFT!
A MONTH OF SPUTTERING COUNTRY BLOCKBUSTERS: The good news for Florida Georgia Line is the country duo’s first-ever Number One album — Anything Goes sold 197,000 copies in its first week and beat Jason Aldean‘s Old Boots, New Dirt (which sold 91,000, a drop of 67 percent); Bob Seger‘s first album in eight years, Ride Out (which made its debut with 59,000); You + Me’s debut Rose Ave. (50,000); and Barbra Streisand’s surprisingly resilient Partners (which dropped from Number Three to Number Five, slipping 18 percent in sales to 40,000). The bad news is, according to a source at a major label, Anything Goes sold about 100,000 fewer copies than record execs expected.
IT’S HARD TO COMPETE WITH FREE: Finally, after releasing Songs of Innocence last month as a free iTunes download, U2‘s latest album arrived last week as a CD and vinyl LP including bonus track “Lucifer’s Hands” and acoustic versions of many of Innocence‘s tracks. Given that 26 million people already listened to the album for free, Innocence sold a relatively modest 28,000 copies in its first saleable week to debut at Number Nine. Presumably realizing that this could add to some of the band’s recent PR problems, U2’s manager Guy Oseary released a statement noting, “We’re heading for Top 10 all over the world with Songs Of Innocence in our sixth week after release, which is a great result.”
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK: Thanks to a barrage of TV appearances, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week, Sam Smith is willing himself back to the top of the charts — In the Lonely Hour, which could be a strong holiday-gift-type album for those seeking the next Frank Sinatra, rose 53 percent in sales, racking up 57,000 copies and jumping from Number 10 to Number Six. Plus, his latest single “I’m Not the Only One” sold 73,000, an increase of 24 percent, rising from Number 13 to Number Nine.