Guys, this is huge—album sales are no longer down 15 percent this year. They’re down 14 percent! (Track sales are still down 13 percent.) I have no idea why this miniscule uptick happened. It must be a glitch, because record sales on the charts this week are so unimpressive that the Number 10 album, a debut EP by the Vamps, sold just 20,000.
INSPIRATIONAL LYRIC OF THE YEAR—”EVERY INCH OF YOU IS PERFECT”: I should have known Antonio “LA” Reid, the veteran big-spending music mogul who heads Epic Records, had something to do with one of the biggest out-of-nowhere hits of 2014. Meghan Trainor, 20, tried at first to pitch “All About That Bass,” a love-my-body, doo-wop-ish song about “all the right junk in all the right places,” to other artists, but Reid heard her sing it while playing the ukulele and signed her to a record deal. After coming out in mid-June, the song has racked up 14.2 million YouTube views and 9.5 million Spotify streams — and displaced heavy hitters such as Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea on its way to Number One on Digital Songs, selling 197,000.
ON THE PLUS SIDE, SPOON’S THEY WANT MY SOUL HIT NUMBER FOUR: Welcome to a week where the best-selling album — the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack — is a collection of classic-rock retreads from the Sixties and Seventies, including Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit In the Sky,” Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song),” the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and so on. The Awesome Mix Vol. 1 album sold 109,000 copies and hit Number One in a slow week in which NOW 51 is Number Two with 94,000 and Tom Petty’s Hypnotic Eye drops 74 percent in sales from Number One to Number Six, with 34,000 copies. Oddly, an “official” version of the Guardians album is not on Spotify, perhaps because Amazon is offering a $10 deal, but Hollywood Records has assembled its own homemade-playlist version on the streaming service.
SONG I’M ROOTING FOR: “Girl in a Country Song,” by Maddie and Tae, is a sly mainstream-country song that appears to be full of the usual bikini references and ogling wolf-whistles — only it has the twist of tearing down the prominent sexist clichés in today’s country hits. “Being a girl in a country song — how in the world did it go so wrong?” the duo sing. Will it catch onto the pop charts? Early signs point to “maybe.” Since it came out in late July, the track has 4.3 million YouTube views and 991,000 Spotify streams; it made its debut on BigChampagne’s most recent Ultimate Chart, which measures Internet criteria and often predicts future hits, at Number 61.