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


Album – Certification – Date – Soundscan – Unsold units – Gap
Emotions – 2xP – 11/26/1991 –  900,000 – 1,500,000 – 0
Emotions – 3xP – 02/14/1992 –  1,950,000 – 1,100,000 – 0
Emotions –
 4xP – 09/27/1994 –  3,300,000 – Irrelevant – 700,000

When releasing a follow up to an 11 weeks #1 album that was still at the top a few months earlier, both Sony and retailers weren’t expecting it to debut at a low #4 position that would go on to remain its peak position. The result of this initial disappointment is very visible with RIAA certifications running well ahead of its Soundscan sales during the first months. Emotions had some legs though, ending with very respectable sales. Just like Mariah Carey, the album was recertified when Club sales were ultimately factored in. In theory, it could have been anywhere from 4 to 5 million units sold. With a gap of already 700,000 units yet, more than half of Mariah Carey, the album was most likely just ahead of its certification level.

Since, catalog sales have been terrible at 300,000 units in more than two decades and a mere 1,000 yearly sales during the last few years. Selling roughly 40% of Mariah Carey catalog sales, assuming a similar Clubs pattern to that album since its last certification concludes on 100,000 additional sales.

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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 😉