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

MTV Unplugged

Album – Certification – Date – Soundscan – Unsold units – Gap
MTV Unplugged – 3xP (1,5M) – 03/11/1993 –  1,700,000 – 100,000 – 0
MTV Unplugged – 4xP (2M) – 12/13/1994 –  2,100,000 – Irrelevant – 0

As it appears on this listing, MTV Unplugged can’t have sold that many copies at Columbia House as it was under 2,5 million total sales by the end of 1994.  This may not come as a surprise as this EP was sold almost at the same price as full length albums and was counted as one full album on registering offers. Still, even accounting for 10% Club sales – well short of the 20%+ of its two predecessors, this adds some 200,000 units.

Some kind of mini greatest hits, the package was a great catalog seller until the release of #1’s.  At 2,8 million Soundscan sales today the album is over 3 million units shipped overall to date.

The specific format of this album explains why it was never updated as it may not come out among Sony albums lists to be audited.

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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