Chris, Ciara, Kris and 17 other acts that made record execs cry in '09
OK, first the good news: Album sales in 2009 didn't drop quite so sharply as they did in 2008. Now the bad news: Even with the Beatles and Michael Jackson setting new records for catalog sales, and Susan Boyle getting a copy of "I Dreamed a Dream" into the hands of every AARP member in the country, U.S. album sales still fell by 13 percent this year. Sales are now back to around mid-'90s levels—and if you remember Marcy Playground and the "Macarena," we don't need to tell you how dismal the mid-'90s were.
As always, some albums hastened the music industry's seemingly inevitable demise more than others. Call them disappointments, duds, bombs, stiffs or, as old record biz chart-watchers liked to say, "Number 200 with an anchor." They're the biggest flops of 2009, as determined by Metromix's highly unscientific crunching of Billboard/Soundscan sales figures. Some went platinum (i.e. shipped—and usually sold—over a million copies); some went belly-up after just a few thousand sales. But all fell short of expectations, making them the poster children for another bad year for the music business.—Andy Hermann, Metromix