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Remember when Robin Thicke was the toast of the town? His catchy, borderline offensive song “Blurred Lines” was everywhere, and his relationship with wife Paula Patton had all the makings of power couple status. Well, one year later, his relationship has imploded and his album sales are somehow even worse.
Hard figures for his new LP, Paula, are starting to trickle in, and while they’re not particularly good in the United States, they’re downright horrible in other countries. The effort sold 24,000 copies in the United States during its first week, which was less than 25% of what Blurred Lines moved. In the United Kingdom, that figure plummeted to just 530, and according to an Australian news site, the figure Down Under was “less than 55”.
How is it possible for album sales to be that vague in this day and age? Well, Australia only reports sales for the top 500 albums each week. Number 500 was a Blondie compilation record that sold 54 copies. So, that would mean Paula is somewhere below that, or tied with that. Maybe that means 54. Maybe it means 6. You’re free to believe whatever figure you would like, provided your guess is not 55 or higher.
So, what the hell happened? How could someone sell more than 750,000 worldwide copies of one album and then fail to chart in a major market during its first week the next year? Well, it’s likely a combination of bad personal life publicity and a serious lack of a single. The effort “Get Her Back” was deemed creepy by a lot of listeners, and it failed to really get a foothold in any major markets. That, in conjunction, with all the rumors of him being not particularly likeable in real life may have created a perfect storm.
Expect album sales to continue to move in the wrong direction.