Understanding: Music Clubs #2 – The Eagles, Mariah Carey


Album – Certification – Date – Soundscan – Unsold units – Gap
#1’s – 3xP – 02/10/1999 –  2,150,000 – 1,800,000 – 300,000
#1’s – 4xP – 02/23/2000 –  2,950,000 – 100,000 – 950,000

#1’s – 5xP – 01/24/2003 –  3,300,000 – Irrelevant – 1,700,000

Put together three facts – #1’s was the artist only album continuously available on both main Clubs, it sold 1 million units at BMG Music Club, Columbia House had dropped below BMG by that time – and you get a realistic estimate for Columbia sales anywhere from 500,000 units to 800,000 units. This is very exactly the result we find out while studying RIAA certifications. The album moved more than half a million copies since this last award, Club sales though were already dying by 2003.


The last Mariah Carey album available on Clubs is Rainbow at BMG alone. Released in late 1999, it was certified 3xPlatinum just after one month, never being updated since. The album moved 2,1 million copies as per Soundscan in 1999, which were complete sales as it was still not sent on Clubs by then. When made available, it sold 443,000 unis on BMG. By now, the album is up to nearly 3 million Soundscan sales, an estimated overall shipment close to 3,5 million, explaining logically why it was not certified anew in later years.

10 thoughts on “Understanding: Music Clubs #2 – The Eagles, Mariah Carey”

  1. Thank you so much MJ! You really invested a lot of your time for Mariah and cleared up all the stupid discussion concerning her “fake diamond albums”!

    I hope to see her overall CSPC article very soon! It’s about time 😉

  2. I have one further remark: I totally agree with you on all your estimations, but i find Rainbow’s shipment of 3,5 million a tad bit too low. Isn’t it reasonable to estimate 3,6-3,7 million considering the inaccuracy of SoundScan and further shipments?

    I would be very grateful if you’d have a word on this remark!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hello Luminator!

      As you can see there is slightly more than 4,4 million units confirmed. As the album is dead now, hardly stocked anywhere, nearly all copies shipped have either been sold – and track on its Soundscan tally – or returned. Also, in 1999 Soundscan was way more reliable than in the first half of the 90s.

      This being said, nobody – except owning all Sony bills related to the album – can know the to date net shipment number with less than a 2% margin. Considering known information and the lack of later certs to refine non-Soundscan sales I decided to stick with a round up figure of verified data but I would definitely consider a 4,6 million estimate fully acceptable. From 4,7 million, e.g. an addition of nearly 300,000 units, I would start to rate the estimate as an optimistic one. Higher would be a wished figure rather than a reasoned one!

  3. Fantastic job, as usual. I would like to see how high “Merry Christmas” can get if Sony requests an audit for it + streaming inclusion… it could easily get 7 platinum.

    I also wonder if Eagles’ “Greatest hits” can keep up the competition with “Thriller”… it seems unlikely now that streaming is a factor.

  4. Hi dear MJD !!!

    congratulations for the beautiful articles for Music Clubs 1 and 2. This weekend do you will realize CSPC analysis of some singer or groups ?
    I hope you realize CSPC analysis of The Beatles !!!

    1. Hi Anthony!

      There is two classic male acts CSPC studies in the making, plus two relatively recent bands which will be treated next. As we are nearing Christmas, I’ll try to drop such an article for every major act releasing a new album. I’m already collecting various information about The Beatles at the same time, as soon as I have a free week spot I’ll post their article!

      1. Sting is about to release a new album, let’s hope he – along with his band, The Police – are among those who will be treated next!

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