Now That’s What I Call A Major Flop

down is the new up

5 Sonny & Cher Mama Was a Rock and Roll Singer, Papa Used to Write All Her Songs (1973): -92,5%

At least, the 1972 reunion of Sonny & Cher was successful. All I Ever Need Is You moved a decent 1,57 million EAS. The follow up Mama Was… shot down this vibe instantly though. The album peaked at #132 in the US. Its lone single never went higher than #77 inside the Hot 100. Both records had no impact abroad. The era combine for a mere 118,000 EAS up to date.

4 Bee Gees Living Eyes (1981): -93,1%

After 1978, media backlashed strongly everything coming off the Disco era. Naturally, the Bee Gees were impacted too. In less than 4 years, they went from releasing the most successful album of all-time up to that point to peak at #41 in the US and #73 in the UK with a fresh new album, Living Eyes. As the title of the article states, now that’s what I call a major flop! Saturday Night Fever moved a stunning 66,13 million EAS. Spirit Having Flown from 1979 continued to surf on that wave at 18,24 million. Then Living Eyes ended its way at… 1,26 million. Luckily for the band, all their subsequent releases until their final 2001 effort sold at least that number.

3 Cher Living Proof (2001): -93,1%

Cher records a 9th entry on this list. The highest of them had to be Living Proof: the highest she climbed, the deepest she then dropped. Even the era of Believe, worth a massive 19,24 million EAS, hasn’t been able to bring her a following. Living Proof, one more album that had plenty of its initial shipments returned, sold less than 7% of that number. That equals to 1,32 million units. Facts don’t lie. Indeed, while everyone know Believe, who can tell the name of a single from Living Proof?

2 Barbra Streisand What About Today? (1969): -93,3%

The tradition of Streisand with successful soundtracks started with Funny Girl in 1968, an album that lasted more than 2 years inside the BB200. It is responsible for 6,24 million EAS to date. Since her breakthrough in 1963, the vocalist became a specialist in Adult Contemporary albums. Her covers of past classics were highly popular and her Broadway-related records did well. Unlike these records, What About Today? was a pop record, her first. Unlike them too, it wasn’t successful. At all. In total, it moved 445,000 EAS, nearly 15 times less than its predecessor released 11 months earlier.

1 Fleetwood Mac Time (1995): -94,5%

You can’t cheat the consumer. Time was credited to the band Fleetwood Mac. For the general public though, an album without Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks isn’t a Fleetwood Mac album. Globally and across all formats, it sold a disgraceful 161,000 EAS. Ironically, its predecessor Behind The Mask was already a huge flop. In two albums only, the band saw its sales divided by 131, from over 21 million to that atrocious figure of 161,000.

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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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