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

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

I) Columbia House Availability

Considering the ferocious debates between fans of all divas, it had to be expected to see Mariah Carey heavily bashed for having two Diamond albums, representing more than 10 million albums sold in the US, nowhere near 10 million registered sales as per Soundscan automatic system.

Those albums are 1993 set Music Box and 1995 effort Daydream, both certified 10xPlatinum and both under 8 million units scanned. They do appear inside BMG list, at 7-800,000 units each, but their Soundscan plus BMG sales are still respectively 2 million and 1,5 million short of 10 million.

Below is the list of her albums up to 1997, comparing certifications to Soundscan sales on a no brainer way, without caring about dates or whatever:

Album – Certified Units – Scanned Sales
Mariah Carey
– 9.000.000 – 4,890,200 (Soundscan started in April 1991)
Emotions – 4.000.000 – 3,597,200
MTV Unplugged – 2.000.000 – 2,775,700
Music Box – 10.000.000 – 7,282,500
Merry Christmas – 5.000.000 – 5,401,768
Daydream – 10.000.000 – 7,662,600

If we ignore MTV Unplugged which hasn’t been certified since forever, all albums scanned clearly less copies than their certified units, all except Merry Christmas. Why? Of course, we need to consider possible Columbia House sales. Where they available at that avenue? Below is the list of Mariah Carey albums listed at Columbia House catalog in 1997.

137786 : $16.98 : MARIAH CAREY : DAYDREAM
407510 : $16.98 : MARIAH CAREY : MARIAH CAREY
428029 : $14.98 : MARIAH CAREY : EMOTIONS
441790 : $12.98 : MARIAH CAREY : MTV UNPLUGGED
465435 : $16.98 : MARIAH CAREY : MUSIC BOX

Merry Christmas is very exactly the album that wasn’t available at Columbia. Coincidence? Of course not!

You can check here, each world will led you to a Columbia House ad clearly giving relevant space to Mariah Carey early albums. Their 1992 TV Commercial also featured her.

Still doubting? She also featured their 1993 TV Commercial.

What about her following albums?

Butterfly – 5.000.000 – 3,812,900
#1‘s – 5.000.000 – 3,831,000
Rainbow – 3.000.000 – 2,971,950

Just like for previous list, only one album scanned enough to justify its certification, this time Rainbow. After some researches, I can confirm both 1997 Butterfly and 1998 #1’s were not only available put also pictured on their listings. On the other side and unsurprisingly giving its certification, Rainbow wasn’t available at Columbia House. Then both Glitter and Greatest Hits were issued by Virgin, a label that broke their contract with Columbia House in 1995. The 2002 album Charmbracelet wasn’t available either.

All told, there is seven albums which were available, all very well exposed – Mariah Carey, Emotions, MTV Unplugged, Music Box, Daydream, Butterfly and #1’s.

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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 😉