Posts from the Why nobody buys your stuff Category

The only thing I’m going to say about this is to ask that we please remember that an intern at NPR is hardly a typical music consumer.


I deleted this post because, in retrospect, it could easily be construed as an attack on Eleanor Careless, which was unfair.

My intent was for it to serve as a caution to PR/marketing professionals who might consider promoting their artist by denigrating the rest of the field. It was not intended as a warning to journalists that a band of angry pedants awaits anybody who tries to write something nice about a violinist. That doesn’t do anybody any good at all, and “older guy shouts down young woman for voicing an opinion on the Internet” is, I think we can all agree, not a great look, regardless of the motivation.

Of course we need to be able to talk about what is and isn’t true, but being enthusiastically rude about it is a rhetorical device best saved for the people who are really asking for it.

If you find yourself looking for freely available data on music and entertainment sales and popularity, I recommend:

BPI Awards Search – Look up gold and platinum albums/singles in the UK.

RIAA Database – Look up gold and platinum albums in the US

IFPI – Publishes data on global recorded music sales

Nielsen Soundscan – Publishes a useful annual and mid-year report on US record sales

Billboard – US charts based on a mixture of sales and airplay

OCC – UK charts

Grammy Winners Search – Look up an artist or album to see what they’ve won

Wikipedia’s top-selling lists are a good starting point, because they reference a large number of sources for reliable sales data.

Box Office Mojo – US cinema box office receipts – Broadway receipts

“This devoted band called itself the Eldorado Exploring Expedition, and I believe they were sworn to secrecy. Their talk, however, was the talk of sordid buccaneers: it was reckless without hardihood, greedy without audacity, and cruel without courage; there was not an atom of foresight or of serious intention in the whole batch of them, and they did not seem aware these things are wanted for the work of the world. To tear treasure out of the bowels of the land was their desire, with no more moral purpose at the back of it than there is in burglars breaking into a safe. Who paid the expenses of the noble enterprise I don’t know; but the uncle of our manager was leader of that lot.”

– Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

* Well, not all of them, obviously.

Drew McManus asked me to write something for his “Take A Friend To Orchestra Month” – a project where a bunch of guests write about – you guessed it – taking friends to concerts. Far be it from me to belabour my own awesomeness, but I’m rather pleased with the result. There’s even a Podunk Symphony Orchestra video in one of the footnotes, entitled “I think I heard it say ‘Moo.'”

You can read (and watch) the whole thing here.