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Posted by The Storm on October 30, 1999 at 03:05:31:
In Reply to: Re: Curb the insults and get YOUR facts straight, "Big Vic" posted by Sir Stonesalot on October 29, 1999 at 18:33:47:
First, RIAA, Soundscan, and Billboard are much too US-centered. For example, you don't get certified gold or platinum for sales abroad.
Second, this document is just too meticulously constructed to be made up. It's clear that Jens Backlund (whether man or woman) put a lot of painstaking effort into gathering the figures, and in general the report has a feel of authenticity about it.
Finally, all this dovetails and triangulates with numerous other data sources concerning especially the more recent albums, like that VL went double platinum in 5 months (2 million sold IN THE US ALONE by 12/21/94) and "Stripped" went platinum (1 million sold in the US alone) on 2/6/96. Meanwhile, although *originally* it was reported that B2B went platinum in November 1997, it's now not even listed in the RIAA database as even having ever gone gold (just 500,000 copies sold in the US). Apparently, with all the hype that surrounded B2B's release, Virgin shipped a million copies starting 30 September 1997, but then got more than 500,000 shipped back. Good. The fans rightly rejected it. And needless to say, "No Security" isn't listed has having gone gold, either. So it seems that, combined, "B2B" and "No Security" couldn't even muster a million sales (or 500,000 each) in the US, while VL and Stripped mustered at least 3 million in just the US within the first few months of their releases.
Elsewhere I had heard that, worldwide--especially in Europe, where they like that computerized kraftwerk krap--B2B did sell well, helping worldwide sales eventually climb to 3 million (even as VL's worldwide sales exceeded 8 million). Meanwhile, I distinctly remember reading somewhere that "Stripped" outsold B2B worldwide 3.5 million to 3 million, and the magazine presented it as a miracle because it's so rare for a live album to outsell a new set of studio releases.
So I believe Jens' figures: They're consistent with other figures. And even if they
aren't exact, it's patently clear that combined sales of VL and Stripped were triple those
of B2B and No Security, which just goes to show what a disastrous commercial wreck the
Stones have made of themselves by trying to follow the trends. It backfired. Badly. And it
hurt them personally, I'll bet, and that's probably why they're lying low this year and
apparently next and we aren't going to get a CD of outtakes. They're either regrouping and
rethinking, planning solo albums, or planning to quit. People will, as usual, say (yawn)
"but sales doesn't equal quality." To Mick, though, they do, and if the Stones
are crashing and burning sales-wise, he sure isn't going to be motivated to go back into
the studio and start screaming with Keith again. Thank God, at least, the tours were so
successful: Those, at least, should serve as a motivation. And surely they wouldn't tour
again without a new release. Let's hope so.