Earlier today, I was talking to co-workers aboutPink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, in a sort of roundabout way.
We started Billboard‘s charts. In particular, the small difference between the Billboard Top 200 Albums and the Billboard Comprehensive Albums charts. The Top 200 albums is designed to show new trends in music, so if an album more than two years old falls off the chart, and then gets renewed popularity, it is not counted on the Top 200 Albums. For this week, the differences consist of:
- ABBA-Gold is on the Comprehensive Albums charts, probably there due to the release of movie Mama Mia!
- Amy Whinehouse is there because everyone loves to watch a trainwreck.
- Journey’s Greatest Hits is probably there because they also have a new album out. (It isn’t, but wouldn’t it be funny if this album was charting higher than the the new album? That a new album release reminded the fans of the much better music they did decades before?)
- Bob Marley-Legend I have a theory about that I’ll get back to later.
- Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight. I have no idea. Its a pretty recent album, so I don’t know what they did wrong to make it fall of Top 200 chart.
- Guns and Roses-Greatest hits is probably there because of the latest leaked tracks of
Duke Nukem ForeverChinese Democracy and the news that surrounded it. (In the last month, I heard a news piece on NPR about the album, of all places.)
As I pointed out, it isn’t just the age of the work that keeps it off the Top 200 chart. It has to be both older and fail to main a certain consistent level of popularity. The obvious example of this is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It stayed on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart for 736 weeks and then on the Top Pop Catalog Albums for another more than 1500. Don’t get me wrong, its a great album, but a track record like that is practically unheard of.
Then it suddenly occured to me how that album sold as well as it did. I think that most of the sales came from people who already had the album, but forgot.