Bob Marley and the Wailers’ greatest hits compilation Legend is one of the best-selling albums of all time. Since its release in 1984, the reggae great’s best of collection has sold over 11 million copies in the U.S. and has spent nearly 300 weeks on the Billboard 200. Legend is even one of the few greatest hits collections to appear on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. Yet, for all its accolades and achievements, Legend has never appeared in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart… until this week. Thanks to a deal with Google Play where digital copies of Legend are on sale for 99 cents, Marley is on pace to finish in the top 10 for the first time since 1976, Billboard reports.
Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan usually haven’t counted sales tallied by digital music retailers’ massive price reductions or giveaways, like when Google Play allowed people to download Katy Perry’s Prism for free. After Lady Gaga offered Born This Way as a $1 download in the Amazon Marketplace in an attempt to sell a million copies in its first week of release, Billboard and Nielsen put rules in place to disqualify that type of sales manipulation from the charts. However, Google Play’s Legend pricing skirts those bylaws thanks to the album being a 30-year-old “catalog” release. Between the loophole and album sales in general plummeting to historic lows, the road was paved for Legend‘s top 10 finish.
Billboard writes that Legend is on pace to sell 24,000 copies this week, up from the usual 3,000-5,000 units it moves on a weekly basis. In 1984, Legend debuted on the Billboard 200 at Number 54. The collection peaked at Number 18 in 2012, and now two years later, Marley’s greatest hits disc is primed to finally reach the top 10, giving the Rastafarian his first top 10 album since 1976’s Rastaman Vibration. Maroon 5’s V and Jeezy’s Seen It All: The Autobiography are slated to finish Number One and Two respectively on next week’s Billboard 200.