How many did you buy?!?

Nickelback’s ‘Reasons’ joins rare 6M sales club
The members of Nickelback are music’s latest 6-million-seller men. But the way things are going, there may not be many more.
The Canadian rockers’ All the Right Reasons album, which was released in October 2005, crossed the 6 million sales mark last week. It’s the only album released that year or since to reach that level; only one album from 2004 and two from 2003 have hit 6 million. Just 15 new albums released since 2000 have sold more than Nickelback, most from the early years when album sales were far healthier.
Nickelback’s success might be a throwback to the past, and the way the band has accomplished its feat ó gradually but steadily, with more than 100 consecutive weeks in the top 30 of Billboard’s album chart ó seems pretty old-fashioned as well. Singer Chad Kroeger and company don’t dominate the tabloids, occupy a lot of magazine covers or give away their albums online.
Instead, all the right reasons for the album’s success include:
ï Relentless touring. The band is seldom off the road, having toured to support the album through much of 2006 and 2007.
ï Radio appeal. Reasons has enough variety to appeal to adult-contemporary stations (with more pop-oriented material such as Photograph) and rock formats (with heavier tunes such as Side of a Bullet). Five songs from the album have appeared on Nielsen BDS’ multi-format national radio airplay chart, all reaching No. 25 or higher.
ï A sound for the times. Nickelback’s classic formula of rock rhythms with catchy choruses and guttural vocals defines what a lot of casual music fans think of as rock ‘n’ roll. The recipe works so well that American Idol’s Chris Daughtry has scored three big hits with Nickelback sound-alikes.
ï Talent. Give it up for the band. Despite barbs from critics who say they’re crass and rock fanatics who say they’re too pop, Nickelback has a knack for songs that stick in your head and probably have more depth than they get credit for.
Prime example: current hit Rockstar, a celebration of wannabe rock-lifestyle excess that works as a savage satire: “We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat”; “get washed-up singers writing all my songs”; “I’m gonna sing those songs that offend the censors/Gonna pop my pills from a Pez dispenser” ó the one-liners keep coming.
Although the 6-million-seller is an endangered species, there should be at least three more joining the ranks in the near future.
-American Idol Carrie Underwood’s 2005 debut, Some Hearts, has sold 5.95 million. It’s still selling around 10,000 a week, so it should hit the mark by the end of November.
-The Dixie Chicks’ Home has sold 5.94 million since 2002 but is not currently on Billboard’s top 200 catalog chart, meaning its sales have slowed to fewer than 1,500 copies a week. So it may take a year or more to pass 6 million. Had Natalie Maines opted to talk about the weather instead of President Bush, it probably would have been a different story.
-Another American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, is at 5.86 million with 2004 sophomore album Breakaway. It’s selling nearly 4,000 copies a week and may get a boost from her current tour, so 6 million by mid-2008 is not out of the question.
All sales figures courtesy Nielsen SoundScan