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

MTV Unplugged

Album – Certification – Date – Soundscan – Unsold units – Gap
MTV Unplugged – 3xP (1,5M) – 03/11/1993 –  1,700,000 – 100,000 – 0
MTV Unplugged – 4xP (2M) – 12/13/1994 –  2,100,000 – Irrelevant – 0

As it appears on this listing, MTV Unplugged can’t have sold that many copies at Columbia House as it was under 2,5 million total sales by the end of 1994.  This may not come as a surprise as this EP was sold almost at the same price as full length albums and was counted as one full album on registering offers. Still, even accounting for 10% Club sales – well short of the 20%+ of its two predecessors, this adds some 200,000 units.

Some kind of mini greatest hits, the package was a great catalog seller until the release of #1’s.  At 2,8 million Soundscan sales today the album is over 3 million units shipped overall to date.

The specific format of this album explains why it was never updated as it may not come out among Sony albums lists to be audited.

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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 😉