There's a neat interview with Gord Downie in today's Globe & Mail. At the conclusion of the interview, Brad Wheeler notes the declining sales of Hip albums. Here are the sales statistics.
- The Tragically Hip (1987) 350,000
- Up To Here (1989) 1,250,000
- Road Apples (1991) 935,000
- Fully Completely (1992) 1,035,000
- Day for Night (1994) 780,000
- Trouble At The Henhouse (1996) 575,000
- Live Between Us (1997) 375,000
- Phantom Power (1998) 405,000
- Music @ Work (2000) 210,000
- In Violet Light (2002) 130,000
- In Between Evolution (2004) 101,000
These numbers speak volumes. New Hip albums don't sell particularly well. I'm shocked the excellent In Between Evolution only moved 101,000 units. 50 Cent can cough up that number in a good hour. Some will blame illegal downloading. I blame Music @ Work.
1998's Phantom Power was fantastic. "Bobcaygeon", "Fireworks", "Poets" and "Something On" instantly became classics and staples of their live shows. 2000's follow up "Music @ Work" wasn't up to snuff. The lead track was poppy and fun, but there wasn't much after that. "Lake Fever" was sweet, but only the diehards seem to appreciate it and even the diehards lack love for this disc as a whole. Phantom Power sold 405,000 units whereas Music @ Work sold just about half that amount. The next two releases, both outstanding in my humble opinion, sold even less.
Of course, there's rarely a correlation between quality and sales totals. This is not an exception. In Between Evolution may have stalled at 101,000, but if The Hip want to book a week of concerts at the ACC, you can bet they'll sell every seat.
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