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

Music Box

Album – Certification – Date – Soundscan – Unsold units – Gap
Music Box – 4xP – 12/15/1993 –  2,900,000 – 1,200,000 – 0
Music Box – 5xP – 01/19/1994 –  3,600,000 – 800,000 – 600,000

Music Box – 8xP – 01/19/1995 –  6,050,000 – 150,000 – 1,800,000
Music Box –
 9xP – 01/29/1996 –  6,500,000 – Irrelevant – 2,500,000
Music Box –
 10xP – 11/05/1997 –  6,850,000 – Irrelevant – 3,150,000

Analysing Music Box in details, we can once again notice the rules change jump as it went from 4 to 5xP in January despite very few shipments happening at this period, even for a #1 album. The album was available on Clubs from the very end of 1993, obviously moving copies there at a fast pace. Until the release of #1’s, it never stopped. Reminding the album sold 735,000 units at BMG Music Club, this lets a massive 2,5 million copies for Columbia House.

An additional 450,000 units have been sold since at Soundscan end. There is no doubt the album gained a few more sales at Clubs. How much? Please refer to Daydream below.

As a reminder, Merry Christmas wasn’t available at Clubs. Up to 4,3 million when certified to 5xPlatinum, there is still a 700,000 units gap. The specific nature of the album impacted the accuracy of its Soundscan tally – we will see every limits of Soundscan tracking system on an upcoming Understanding article.

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I noticed that – against the analysis that you give in this article – that both Mariah’s “Merry Christmas” and “Rainbow” actually were available through the Columbia House music club. They even had regular catalog numbers: Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas (Columbia) – 112789 Available as of 1995: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/82467713/ As of 2001: https://archive.org/details/universityofmemp2001unse –> page 142 Mariah Carey – Rainbow (Columbia) 324608 Available as of October 2000: https://newspaperarchive.com/madison-wisconsin-state-journal-oct-22-2000-p-857/ As of 2001: https://archive.org/details/universityofmemp2001unse –> page 137 “Rainbow” is even presented with a picture, which sets it apart from less popular albums. How does that go together with your claim that both… Read more »


hello i dont really understand whats the unsold units?


Hey MJD, can you post a breakdown for Ariana Grande sales, please?

P.S.: I loved the new site <3


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 !!!


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!


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.


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!


Thank you! I guess the 4,…. numbers were a typo! Of course we’re talking about the 3,…. -range 😉


This is so well explained. Must have taken a lot of time too. Seriously, thank you!


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 😉