With the year drawing to a close, music-industry monitor SoundScan has announced that the High School Musical 2 soundtrack (featuring Rolling Stone cover star Zac Efron) has passed Daughtry’s Daughtry to become the highest-selling album of the year. The amount of albums HSM2 sold: 2.3 million copies. That figure means the album is poised to walk away with a more dubious honor: the record for lowest number of copies sold by the year’s best-selling album since SoundScan started keeping track of these stats in 1991. The previous Worst-Best mark was 2006’s High School Musical soundtrack, which sold 3.7 million copies, more than a million more than its sequel.
To put things in perspective, a decade ago, Shania Twain’s Come on Over set the record for most albums sold in one year with 15.4 million copies. Disney could make four High School Musicals (as they very well may do, since HSM3 is already in the works) plus throw in a Summer School Musical album, and all five combined still probably wouldn’t touch the number of units Twain moved in a single late-Nineties year. Each year since 2004 in fact, the best-selling album’s final tally has steadily declined as the record industry grapples with piracy, digital-single sales that render full-album purchases less necessary and the near-extinction of brick-and-mortar record stores. Had their albums come out earlier in the year, Kanye West, the Eagles and Alicia Keys would have had a solid shot at taking Number One.