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Old 04.30.2017, 10:56 AM   #36
Severian
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So I was just reading the Pitchfork review of In on the Kill Taker and read that the album "sold around 200,000 copies in its first week alone."

This didn't seem quite right to me. The album barely cracked the Billboard top 200. Have music sales changed so drastically that what would be an easy#1 album today would have peaked at #186 in 1993? Really? Were THAT many people really buying music? This just didn't seem right.

So I looked into it, and according to Wikipedia the album sold 186,000 in its first week, so yes, that's "around 200,000." Wiki also said the album eventually sold 1 million copies.

Wait... what.

Fugazi has a platinum record? And it's not even their highest charting record?

This seemed fishy too. I remember when Pearl Jam's Vs sold 980,000 in its first week and broke records. That was also in 1993. Maybe it's just the statistics nerd in me, but it seems unrealistic that difference between the absolute highest first-week album sales of all time (circa 1993) and an album by an independent post-hardcore band that barely cracked the charts was was only about 800,000 copies. Meaning Kill Taker sold about 20 percent of what Vs sold, and the difference was, essentially night and day... record-breaking and barely-there, all contained in the space betwee aspace that is ~200,000 less than the sales of the record-breaker. That would mean that the between-album variance in the top 100 would, theoretically, be almost non-existent.

Also... fucking Fugazi had one, possibly more, platinum albums? Really? That can't be said for Sonic Youth. The Velvet Underground & Nico only went platinum something like 35 years after its release. What's the deal here?

I've tried looking for RIAA certification databases, but I can't seem to find any searchable ones. I've tried the Billboard website, but they don't seem to be putting gold/platinum/diamond indicators next to their archived charts anymore.

I'm confused and curious. Anyone want to weigh in?

Am I just forgetting how unrecognizably different the music industry was in 1993? In on the Kill Taker would be have been one of the biggest selling rock albums of the year had it been released in 2016. I mean, seriously, what the fuck?
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