NothingFails wrote: MJDangerous wrote:
NothingFails wrote:I wouldn't necessarily say the album market is dead as much as there are no "it" artists right now. In the 80's, we had MJ, Madonna, Prince, Springsteen, U2, Guns N Roses and others, in the 90's we had Garth, Nirvana, Mariah, Pearl Jam, Shania, Alanis and a few others, a few years back we had Britney, Eminem, N'Sync and Usher.... right now there really isn't one superstar that dominates like the others did in their peak.
Really ?! Eminem in 3 years has outsold Pearl Jam in 15! Just like he outsold Shania & Alanis, if he is not a superstar that dominates like the others I don't know what he is. Look, you speak about Guns N' Roses as icons of the 80's, but check numbers, their album Appetite For Destruction sold LESS in his promotion campaign time than Green Day's American Idiot for example!
Opinions about old sales are very often misleading by catalog sales. Last week someone was talking me how huge sales were in the 70's and early 80's taking as examples Dark Side Of The Moon and Thriller. Thriller is an unique case, none other album has perform as this album, it was released in a DEAD market, Dark Side sold less in his first 2 years than Back To Bedlam!
To do such comparaisons, you have to 'cut' catalog sales to see if really sales were bigger before and the fact is that they weren't. Now, all albums successful in both Europe and USA sold over 10m worldwide, this was not necessarly true even in the 80's.
I listed Eminem as a superstar/icon of the early 00's, which in fact he was. He's "retired" now and his last studio album didn't quite dominate the way his earlier albums did, that and the retirement (tho I doubt he'll retire any longer than Celine did) is why I won't consider him a current icon.
I dunno what Appetite was where you live, but I was in grade school in 1988-1989 when that album was big, and I must say it was massive. You frankly weren't cool if you didn't own a copy of that album and GNR were probably the most talked about artist on school-grounds I knew of since Michael Jackson during Thriller. Appetite is one of the biggest selling debut albums of all time and has continued to sell incredibly well (almost 5 million in the Soundscan age), just look at the chart run of the album, it was bigger than Green Day's American Idiot was. Appetite is definately a defining 80's album.
Pearl Jam weren't "it" for all of the 90's (I didn't say they ruled the whole decade, I was just using them as an example of a band that at one point were the "it" superstar act, which they were in 92-93) but Ten was incredibly successful and Vs. set first-week records at the time it came out. Pearl Jam walked away from MTV when their second album hit and they ended up losing much of their audience with each successive album until a few years ago when I think they've reached a typical "all PJ fans buy this" level that they've stayed at the past few albums, but don't forget just how phenomenally popular they were at the height of the grunge movement, they were outselling Nirvana.
I still stand by my opinion that right now we don't have any "it" superstars in the music biz like we have had in years gone by. Justin and Beyonce are the closest we have.
I think you are very spot on your opinion, at least in the USA there are no "it" artists... Nobody who causes a commotion like the past icons you have mentioned. Such thing doesn´t happen in the UK, for example, where the physical albums market is more vibrant then EVER, which proves downloads aren´t really to be blamed. Downloads exist in UK just like in the USA, as far as I am concern.
Guns´n´roses were really an "it" band... because even tough they have all the airplay, mtv support, and huge sales, they actually WERE good, and they make up for their popularity, I mean, they could be as arrogant as Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, but they were acutally making MUSIC which was groundbreaking. We don´t have ones like these anymore... Beyonce and Justin are not such mass apealing, they are satured and they only appeal to a specific public. To have a copy of a Beyonce or Justin record is not a requirement to be cool these days... In fact, many people who buy these artists hide it or even pretend is for a little sister.
So clearly the main factor to blame on the decline of the US market is the lack of interesting music... In UK, which is a country with much smaller population, there are many artists selling from 1 to 3 million copies of an album, which is equivalent to sell 4 to 12 million in USA. The market is vibrant like the USA market was in the late 90´s. They still produced stuff, Amy Winehouse, Snow Patrol, Artic Monkeys, etc... It´s still and interesting market to watch. It´s no like the USA were the next star is undoubtly going to be another effy r´n´b diva or a pimp rapper.