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Thursday, January 20, 2011

CAKE debuts with lowest No. 1 record sales of all-time

With CAKE being one of my favorite bands of all-time, it was bittersweet to see on Wednesday, their sixth-studio album - Showroom of Compassion - debuted at No. 1 on the billboard charts.

It was their first No. 1 record to debut at No. 1 in their 20-year history. The problem, it was the lowest selling album in the history of record sales to land at No. 1.

CAKE’s latest album, their first in seven years, sold just 44,000 records and is a painful reminder that the record industry is in complete disarray.

Don’t believe me? Go to your local Best Buy, Target or Walmart to see how much they’ve downsized their CD stock.

I used to go to Best Buy weekly for years and look through their enormous CD selection. Now when I step foot in there, I can hardly find the CD section, let alone the CD I actually want.

Call me old fashioned, but I still support my favorite bands/artists by buying their CDs.

Three quick things about CAKE having the lowest selling No. 1 record of all-time:

1.) This record will keep breaking, like on a weekly basis, as the record industry continues its downswing.

2.) The first quarter of every year sees its lowest record sales. It’s right after the holidays and record labels normally save their bigger releases for summer or just before the holidays to drive sales boosts.

3.) Despite being the lowest selling No. 1 record of all-time, selling 44,000 copies is still impressive for a band like CAKE for three reasons. One, Showroom of Compassion was independently released, meaning, they didn’t have a major record label to pay for promotions, shipping, music videos, etc. Two, It’s their first release in seven years. Half the country probably had forgotten the band still existed. And lastly, CAKE was never a big selling band in the first place.

So I really hope after 20 years, CAKE doesn’t become known as the “band with the lowest No. 1 selling record album of all-time.”

To put things in perspective of how things have fallen in the past five years. In 2008, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III sold a million records. In one week. 

That’s 956,000 more records sold in one week than what CAKE just sold.

In 2006, Brand New’s The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me sold 61,000 copies in one week...and that debuted at No. 31 on the billboard charts. That's 17,000 more than what CAKE just sold and landed 31 slots behind No. 1.

People just aren’t buying CDs anymore.

So the whole “CAKE has the no. 1 lowest selling album of all-time” shouldn’t be a reflection on the band whatsoever. It’s not their fault that the record industry is in shambles.

By Nick Carrabine


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