Now That’s What I Call A Major Flop

catastrophic failure

10 Kelly Clarkson My December (2007): -88%

I already pointed out the violence of My December‘s hardcore flop. I can tell you more: out of the 333 albums issued during the digital era that we studied at, since 2003 to date, Clarkson‘s My December registers the sharpest collapse of all. It sold 1,88 million EAS while its predecessor Breakaway did 15,72 million. The drop is all the more drastic since digital years tend to limit falls for several reasons – more on that on an upcoming stand-alone article.

9 Cher Stars (1975): -90,6%

The never ending ups and downs of Cher conclude on one more victim. This time it’s Stars, the 1975 follow up of both Half-Breed and Dark Lady. The magnitude of this flop is especially surprising since the two aforementioned albums had sold 1,5-1,7 million EAS each. That was the first time the artist had shown some consistency since the start of her career. On its side, Stars sold a mere 159,000 units. It’s also the album which sent her into a very dark period which lasted for more than a decade. Additionally, it’s the first album we met that sold less than 10% of its immediate predecessor.

8 Sonny & Cher The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher (1966): -90,6%

Well, the positive side is that to register so many massive drops, Cher had to enjoy various huge increases too. The Wondrous World of Sonny & Cher is the sophomore effort of the duo. It was issued just after Look At Us and its huge single I Got You Babe. It failed to record the same success. Although it got 3 Top 20 singles in the US, the album on its own sold very poorly and its songs got forgotten quickly. All told, it stands on 681,000 EAS against 7,24 million for Look At Us.

7 Spice Girls Forever (2000): -91,1%

One more disastrous reunion attempt. After the Backstreet Boys, Cranberries and Jacksons, it’s the turn of the Spice Girls. The unreal hype that accompanied the group during their immaculate run in mid-90s had completely faded away by 2000. Many blamed the absence of Geri Halliwell, but in all fairness it’s not like she was a composer / songwriter. Their success was a massive buzz, the kind of hysteria linked to a generation, which ultimately doesn’t last. Even if retailers were cautious with this release for these reasons, it still failed to sell its initial shipments. Forever stands on 1,47 million EAS nowadays, a ridiculous showing in comparison to the 29,73 million of Spice and the 16,52 million of Spiceworld.

6 Barbra Streisand ButterFly (1974): -91,2%

We often hear that personal and professional life shouldn’t be mixed. In 1974, Streisand‘s US #1 soundtrack The Way We Were sold strongly. Up to now, it fueled 14,77 million EAS. That same year, the diva entrusted the production of her new album ButterFly to her boyfriend, the movie producer Jon Peters. The album included a weird mix of covers from the likes Bob Marley and David Bowie. It failed to produce a hit and missed the Top 10 inside the BB200. It sold just shy of 1,3 million overall units. Furthermore, the artist herself considers it as her worst album to date.

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James Hall

From a statistical data standpoint this article has merit. Although many factors can be attributed to low sales.
I think it would be interesting to compare high selling “junk” to low selling artistic achievement(s).


Whoa, Paul Simon’s career was definitely not “mostly done” by 1997, the albums Surprise (2006) and So Beautiful or So What (2011) are both incredible

Simon B.

AC/DC’s For Those About to Rock should have sold many more copies. The problem was not that it “missed to produce enough iconic tracks by their standards” but that in the US, the band’s label released the five-year-old Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap just months before the new album, its second with new singer Brian Johnson, was supposed to come out. Dirty Deeds went on to sell massive numbers, robbing momentum from the superb For Those About to Rock, and causing the band to suffer from overexposure by the time it came out. Dirty Deeds is a great album, but… Read more »


If an CSPC analysis for ‘Grease 2’ soundtrack would be done, I have no doubt that album would have take the first place on this list. Consider the possible difference between ‘Grease 1’ soundtrack – 52 216 000 milion CSPC – and big flop named ‘Grease 2’ sounftrack.


How much did it sell?


Some more candidates for this Flop – list:

The Rolling Stones: ‘Tattoo You* 16.24 million units ——–>’Undercover’ 3.93 million.

Bon Jovi: ‘Crush’ 12.13 million units ——–>’Bounce’ 3.15 nillion.


Looked through Rod Stewart CSPC numbers, and noticed several strong candidates for this list. For example ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ had registered 30,37 million sales. Album after that *Never A Dull Moment* produced ‘only’ 5.64 million.

Or, ‘Blondes Have More Fun’ 15.22 million, compared to the following album ‘Foolish Behaviour’ just 3.68 million units.

And, last but not least, ‘Vagabound Heart’ produced 11. 28 million units. But, next album ‘A Spanner In the Works’ flops hard, just only 1.98 million units!

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