Weekly Music Sales Report: 20 June 2012

There are lots of changes in the Top Ten of the Canadian album charts this week, pushing sales up 18% over last week’s sad showing.  The Canadian industry is still pacing 3% ahead of last year.  Physical CD sales are down 8% over 2011 while digital album sales are up 31%.  Digital track sales are at +27%.

Rush gets a #1 debut with Clockwork Angels, selling an impressive 20,000 units.  Believe it or not, this is the first Rush album to debut at #1 since SoundScan came to Canada in 1995.  It’s also their best first-week total ever, besting Snakes and Arrows (2007) by 2,000 copies.

Major props to Metric for achieving a #2 debut with Synthetica (16,000).  Keep in mind that Metric is now totally self-contained and is 100% DIY, from recording to radio promotion.  Some 63% of Metric’s sales came from digital sales.  About 75% of Rush’s sales were physical. Interesting, no?

Quebec artist Local Locass’ first album in eight years,  Quebec Est Mort Vive Le Quebec, debuts at #4 with 9,500 units sold.  You’ll find Ed Sheeran’s debut full length album + enters at #5 (8,000) while Usher enters at #7, selling 6,000 units of  Looking 4 Myself. 

Note that Canadian artists debut 1-2 on the charts this week.  That hasn’t  happened since June 2010 when Drake and Sarah McLachlan did the same thing.

it’s also interesting to see that Neil Young’s Americana moved into the #3 spot selling 12,000 copies, which is up 232% from last week.  This means that positions 1-4 are all from Canadian acts.  When was the last time that happened?

The Rock of Ages soundtrack was lifted 21-10, selling 112% more since the movie’s opening last Friday.

The #1 digital track belongs to Flo Rida.  “Whistle” is at the top for the second straight week, moving about 26,000 paid downloads.  

With four new entries in the top five, overall album sales are up 10% over last week, but down 8% over the same week last year. Year-to-date album sales remain down 3% over the same period in 2011. Physical CD sales are up 11% over last week, down 16% over the same week last year and down 12% year-to-date over 2011. Digital album sales are up 9% over last week, up 8% over the same week last year and up 14% year-to-date over 2011. Digital track sales are flat over last week, up 1% over the same week last year and up 6% year-to-date over 2011. Track-equivalent album sales are up 7.1% over last week and down 0.3% year-to-date over 2011.

On the US side of the things, Rush was denied a #1 debut by Usher’s Looking 4 Myself.  It sold 128,000 copies while Clockwork Angels moved a respectable 103,000 units.  Still, Rush hasn’t done this well since Counterparts entered the charts at #2 back in 1993.

Punching Bag from Josh Turner ended up at #4 with 45,000 copies while Ed Sheeran can be found at #5 with 42,000 units sold. Triple F Life, the sophomore album from Waka Flocka Flame, entred at #10 with 33,000 units sold.

And Metric?  A solid #12 with 27,000 copies.  Again, very impressive for a totally DIY crew.

“Call Me Maybe” from Carly Rae Jepson just won’t go away.  It’s the #1 digital song in the US for the fifth straight week, selling 292,000 downloads.

All figures courtesy Nielsen SoundScan.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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.

One thought on “Weekly Music Sales Report: 20 June 2012

  • June 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I do agree that it appears Neil Young hasn't sold out or whatever but aren't his tickets outrageously cheap. But if that's because he doesn't use sponsorship than I guess that's cool.


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