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.

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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 😉