Toby Keith Sets Billboard Record: Lowest Selling #1 Debut

Katy Perry - Teenage DreamOthers have scored lower-selling #1’s, but not in their debut week. 71,000 is the “smallest debut at No. 1 since SoundScan began powering the chart in May of 1991.” Congrats, Toby! Oh, and FUTK.

Also noteworthy is Katy Perry’s jump back into the Top 10. This follows the Amazon MP3’s daily deal of $3.99. When I saw that, I wondered on Twitter: “Will she sell as much as Vampire Weekend?” Not quite. Even with cheapo pricing at Target and Best Buy last week, Teenage Dream only moved 32,000 copies. Billboard 200:

1. Toby Keith – “Bullets in the Gun” – 71,000 (debut)

2. Kenny Chesney – “Hemingway’s Whiskey” – 65,000 (down 64%)

3. Bruno Mars – “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” – 55,000 (debut)

4. Eminem – “Recovery” – 52,000 (down 12%)

5. Zac Brown Band – “You Get What You Give” – 43,000 (down 39%)

6. Waka Flocka Flame – “Flockaveli” – 37,000 (debut)

7. Linkin Park – “A Thousand Suns” – 37,000 (down 12%)

8. Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream” – 32,000 (up 17%)

9. Trey Songz – “Passion, Pain & Pleasure” – 32,000 (down 24%)

10. Selena Gomez & the Scene – “A Year Without Rain” – 27,000 (down 31%)

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Oct. 10) totaled 4.89 million units

• Digital track sales this past week totaled 19.60 million downloads

7 thoughts on “Toby Keith Sets Billboard Record: Lowest Selling #1 Debut”

  1. No one can convince me otherwise; music as a valid art form looks like it’s dying a very painful death. As much as there’s a certain serves-you-right quality to seeing the major labels perish slowly, the unintended consequence is that the entire viability of being a professional musician seems to be dwindling away with it as well. Very pessimistic.

  2. Murph I get your point here. But music as a valid COMMERCIAL artform is dying a painful death in the old school conventional definition of success – not the art of music itself.

    On the other hand – what do you mean? ‘Bullets in the Gun’ is such a witty classy title from a legendary country artist.

  3. The record business might be dying, but music as an art form is as great as ever. Regardless, it certainly is a very bad/weird time for mainstream album sales. Giant groups of people just aren’t buying the same albums at the same time anymore (except for Enimem, Susan Boyle, and Taylor Swift).

    Not that he’s an infallible source about everything, ha ha, but Steve Albini recently talked to GQ and said:

    This is a terrific time to be in a band. Every band has access to the entire world by default. I know quite a few bands that have been able to establish themselves internationally based on nothing other their web presence. It’s an incredible tool. It’s also revived the careers of a lot of bands that came before the Internet era and never had enough penetration to find their natural audience. But because the music survived, some people were interested in disseminating it for no other reason than because they like it. People put stuff on YouTube or torrent clients or whatever, not because they’re going to make money off of it, which is the only reason the mainstream industry would do something, but because they think it’s good. It’s a like a worldwide mix tape. An awful lot of bands that had no audience in their first incarnation were able to revive their careers and have a second lap. It’s so exceedingly rare that somebody gets more than one bite at an apple like that. I think it’s fantastic.

    Maybe a little simplistic. But I like it. And I like how well labels like Merge and Matador and Sub Pop seem to be doing despite the insanely steep downslide in overall album sales.

  4. I don’t understand why so many people think that the volume of CD Long Format sales and Music itself are somehow one and the same. The music industry created the LP, then the CD specifically to sell product. What I’m more worried about is the fact that the Music industry is turning the intertubes into a toll road to their shitty product.

  5. I’m w/DJ Murph on this one.

    Here’s my obvious, simplistic, generalized take on the matter: people don’t want to pay for music, no matter how much they may love an album or song. If anything, they prefer to see an artist live. But what percentage of artists in your CD and or MP3 collection have you actually seen perform?

    Even artists that aren’t materialistic need funds to keep their music-making afloat: instruments ain’t free; recording ain’t free. And even if you can record on the cheap how many artists are a self-contained musician/engineer/producer unit? So unless you write, play, AND record, mix and master on your own, you gotta pay for someone to perform those tasks. (Not every dentist knows how to make novocaine.) So, that money’s gotta come from somewhere.

    And Albini is not speaking realistically, for the most part, regarding the internet; sounds more like the hitting the lottery. Especially when it comes to up-and-coming and/or unknown artists. But we’ve already covered that here on GloNo…

    Regarding sales, it appears the casual music buyer no longer exists. In other words, the person who a decade ago owned 25-50 CDs or less has no current equivalent. And the vast majority of people who used to buy CDs now download their music for free. (Classical, jazz, and world music fans, excepted. Boomers, too: why else would Paul Simon be offered a lucrative major label recording contract with this ghastly state of affairs otherwise ruling the landscape?) So, do the math…

    I see minstrels looming in the distance. Maybe.

    And if you hate hearing your favorite songs used to plug diapers, photocopiers, or soup, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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