Wait! Bowie Has the Number One Album in Canada After All!

Tallying album sales in real time can be a tough thing, especially when you’re not sure if all the data is coming in. Nielsen SoundScan Canada first thought that David Bowie’s nearly-posthumus Blackstar album sold 16,000 copies in its first week, good for second spot on the charts which closed at midnight last Thursday. But hang on. What’s this?

Another look at the numbers using some late data found another 8,000 units, giving Blackstar a first week total of about 24,000 copies, about 6,000 more than Adele’s 25. It’s Bowie’s first #1 in Canada in the SoundScan era (i.e. since 1995) and beat the #2 finish achieved by The Next Day back in 2013.

Other Canadian Bowie facts:

  • There are 16 Bowie albums on the Canadian Top 200 Albums chart, including The Best of David Bowie (#3), Ziggy Stardust (#15), Hunky Dory (#41) and Let’s Dance (#50).
  • Looking at the Top 200 Digital Songs chart, there are 19 Bowie songs with “Space Oddity” reaching the highest (#12).
  • If you look at all Bowie material, his total catalogue sold 42,000 albums and over 45,000 tracks, mostly between the time we heard about his death last Monday morning and the close of the weekly charts Thursday night.

Thanks to Nielsen SoundScan for the figures.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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