When someone from the general public gets into a website regarding music charts and sales, the first thing that will strike them is how wrong every claim they’ve been reading in mainstream news is. As the general description of my blog is One step closer to being accurate, I feel the need to turn down some tenacious fanciful sales claims, which is why I’m introducing this new master series, Destroying Myths.
More often than not fake claims are attributed to major labels, which believe it or not, rarely make totally fake comments. Instead, their marketing teams naturally publish news aiming to promote their artists and, while doing so often describe the reality in a very favorable way, ideally creating confusion among uneducated readers. A song that reached #1 on a very minor Billboard chart will suddenly become a “US #1 hit”, “10 million records” in a label publication will become “10 million albums” in most press and so on. If you add to that shipment against retail sales confusion as well as strict figures against track / album equivalents, the result is a huge mess.
Still, every time a label makes an official statement about record sales, it will have to pay the related artist royalties accordingly. Thus, unlike what most people will tend to believe, they truly do not want to inflate sales figures. This is why they will try to create confusion but never drop numbers out of nowhere. The fake claim will instead come from someone who’s legally responsible for label rights, such as the artist themselves or their management team. This being said, the biggest source of fake claims is still the poor interpretation by Media and readers that go on publishing bad quality second hand news.
There are many, many fake claims that came out over the years. Today I’ll be focusing on one of the most fiercely defended by die hard fans, the fake 10 million selling albums. An extensive list of major artists to have 7-9 million selling albums that are constantly reported as a 10-million album. In fact, it sounds so much better! Wishful thinking is often the enemy of fans and the reality much more unpleasant. At least as I’ll be posting a whole bunch of inflated albums, I hope you won’t believe I’m hating 🙂
Time to return some accuracy proceedings, let’s go!