Soundscan Surprises, Week Ending 10/13

Back-catalog sales numbers of note from Nielsen SoundScan.

The definition of “back catalog” is: “at least 18 months old, have fallen below №100 on the Billboard 200 and do not have an active single on our radio.”

Garth Brooks! Remember that guy? Old-record-buyers sure do. He’s releasing a new album on November 25th, which is also my dad’s birthday. I will not be getting him a Garth Brooks album. Interesting question, actually: do people gift each other individual albums anymore? You used to be able to buy someone a CD or a tape or a vinyl record, and while you theoretically still can, you’d have to make sure that person had all the right equipment to play it. These days we just give each other iTunes gift cards, right? I doubt you even make playlists anymore.

Metallica is still going really really strong, with five out of twenty-five of the top back-catalog positions. The weekly sales, in order: Metallica (5,136 copies), Master of Puppets (2,597 copies), Ride the Lightning (2,476 copies), And Justice for All (2,496 copies), and Kill ’em All (1,930 copies). Celine Dion’s holiday album has crept into view, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller is up higher than usual—Halloween boost, methinks?

A couple of Bob Dylan records made it onto the charts, but not terribly high up, after news last week that he would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. You’d think that sales would be higher for news of that magnitude, but everyone who’s gonna buy Dylan already owns it, so, not a lot of needle movement there. Elvis has two Christmas albums on the charts. I really can’t tell how many of them there are in total, but that seems like a a lot of White Christmases. Hinder is an American rock band from Oklahoma that I’d never heard of. They’ve rotated through three lead singers, one of whom auditioned for The Voice a few weeks ago and got all four judges to turn around (the clip is worth clicking through for Miley Cyrus’s braids alone).

5. BROOKS*GARTH ULTIMATE HITS 4,635 copies

37. JACKSON*MICHAEL THRILLER 1,747 copies

83. HINDER WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS 1,313 copies

86. DYLAN*BOB THE ESSENTIAL (2014 REVISED) 1,307 copies

96. DION*CELINE THESE ARE SPECIAL TIMES 1,245 copies

171. PRESLEY*ELVIS CANM­ELVIS PRESLEY­ITS CHRISTM 971 copies

179. PRESLEY*ELVIS MERRY CHRISTMAS LOVE ELVIS 951 copies

194. DYLAN*BOB GREATEST HITS 920 copies

(Previously.)