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


Album – Certification – Date – Soundscan – Unsold units – Gap
Emotions – 2xP – 11/26/1991 –  900,000 – 1,500,000 – 0
Emotions – 3xP – 02/14/1992 –  1,950,000 – 1,100,000 – 0
Emotions –
 4xP – 09/27/1994 –  3,300,000 – Irrelevant – 700,000

When releasing a follow up to an 11 weeks #1 album that was still at the top a few months earlier, both Sony and retailers weren’t expecting it to debut at a low #4 position that would go on to remain its peak position. The result of this initial disappointment is very visible with RIAA certifications running well ahead of its Soundscan sales during the first months. Emotions had some legs though, ending with very respectable sales. Just like Mariah Carey, the album was recertified when Club sales were ultimately factored in. In theory, it could have been anywhere from 4 to 5 million units sold. With a gap of already 700,000 units yet, more than half of Mariah Carey, the album was most likely just ahead of its certification level.

Since, catalog sales have been terrible at 300,000 units in more than two decades and a mere 1,000 yearly sales during the last few years. Selling roughly 40% of Mariah Carey catalog sales, assuming a similar Clubs pattern to that album since its last certification concludes on 100,000 additional sales.

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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