“Wow, that’s awesome!” some of you are probably thinking. “What records is she breaking? Probably all of them, huh? She’s probably already won all of next year’s Grammys, and all the MTV music awards and probably those country music awards too, just because! Plus I reckon all twelve songs on the album are going to be in movies this year, and so she’ll probably get twelve Oscar nominations too! At least twelve, more if she finally does a sequel to Swept Away!”
Aww, no, baby birds. That’s not it at all, but you hold on tight to that optimism, all right?
No, what actually happened is that Madonna‘s newest album, MDMA, broke a record for having the biggest drop in sales for its second week. That means that lots of people bought the album when it was released, realized how shitty it was, and then spread the word:
Madonna’s new CD MDNA has crashed and burned, leaving a record-setting failure in its wake.
With numbers still being finalized, it appears that the Material Girl has become immaterial to listeners, evidenced by an 88 percent crash from week one to week two of sales.
The CD sold 359,000 copies when it debuted at the top of the Billboard charts and has now plummeted to 46,000 copies.
And here’s a I-wish-I-hadn’t-said-this quote from her manager, Guy Oseary, issued when things were going well: “People are really digging it,” he claimed about MDNA. “We feel good about the album. It’s her 12th album and the same story she had 30 years ago. That’s an amazing accomplishment.”
Perhaps he should have read some of the reviews, which painted Madonna as out of touch and tired. Said the LA Times: “MDNA more than anything sounds like an album made by someone who’s lost touch with the desires of today’s popular music… the Madonna of today has lost the art of surprise.”
But there’s good news! It looks like that remarkable 88% drop in sales might not be correct after all. The bad news? That’s because Madonna’s album probably didn’t sell all that well in the first place:
Why the steep drop-off?
According to Forbes, the reason is because the “Get Into the Groove” singer and her record label, Interscope, decided to bundle the disc with tickets to her upcoming concert tour—which Billboard includes in its count and which is a nice little loophole allowing an artist to artificially bump up the numbers.
But once her shows sold out and there were no more tickets to buy, MDNA suffered a sharp decline, which means that had she not used the promotional trick, runner-up Lionel Richie would likely have taken the No. 1 spot with his new country duets album, Tuskegee.