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Old 06-08-2022, 06:30 AM   #141
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Boners, probably
Or to see what's cooking for dinner.
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:11 AM   #142
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:33 AM   #143
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Songs of Surrender - New album discussion - 6

Shake it shake it salami.
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Old 06-08-2022, 09:07 AM   #144
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I’m still haunted by the U2 spyware on my iPhone

https://www.washingtonpost.com/magaz...are-my-iphone/

People are still writing about the itunes thing almost 8 years later.
The irony that this article is labeled as a "perspective."
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Old 06-08-2022, 11:33 AM   #145
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Ehhhhh I don't know about that.

If your judging relevance merely by whether or not they reach the peaks of JT, Achtung Baby or the two early 2000s albums? Then yes, they'll never achieve that again.

But without the embarrassment of the iTunes release? Who knows. Depends on what would have taken its place.

It's easy to forget that just a few months earlier Invisible was downloaded from itunes 3 million times (for free).

So a) the switch from YOU MUST DOWNLOAD IT YOURSELF to WE'RE JUST PUTTING IT IN YOUR LIBRARY was clearly a conscious decision that both U2 and Apple HAD to be aware of, and b) the appetite for new U2 was still fairly sizable as early as February or that same year.
It will be interesting to see if we get any behind the scenes type of info on the Apple decision in the U2 biopic.

Also, you're right. U2 still had/has retail strength. Obviously touring wise, but SOE was in the top 5 best selling albums worldwide in 2017. And the top selling rock album.

As I've said before, one main reason U2 will never reach JT, AB, All That success again, is that rock has been dying a slow death for the last 20 years.

Just for some perspective. Coldplay has been a huge seller, probably the biggest selling rock band, album wise in the last 10-15 years.

So if we look at their trajectory,

2013 - Ghost Stories - first week US sales - 383k
2015 - Head Full - 195k
2019 - “Everyday Life” sold just 48,000 including streaming. Pure sales were a shockingly low 36,000.
In its second week, the album dropped 70% and sold just 15,000 copies. Pure sales were just 9,288.
2021 - Spheres of Shit - First week total of 57,000 equivalent album units, 37,000 of which were traditional album sales.

compared to SOE-
2017 - “Songs of Experience,” U2’s 14th studio album and its eighth to top the chart, sold 180,000 copies and was streamed 6.5 million times, for a total of 186,000 units

Other rock bands that are still putting out new music that are well known, to compare first week sales

Weezer - 2017 - 17,000 2019 - 39,000 2021 - 23,000
Death Cab - 2015 - 56,000 2018 - 27,000
Chili Peppers - 2016 - 118,000 2022 - 95,000
Foo Fighters - 2017 - 127,000 2021 - 70,000
Green Day - 2016 - 90,000 2020 - 48,000
Pearl Jam - 2013 - 166,000 2020 - 63,000
The Killers - 2017 - 50,000 2020 - 37,000 2021 - 25,000

So this is where rock is. You see the trajectory. U2 is still at the top of the heap some 42 years in, for both album sales and touring.
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Old 06-08-2022, 12:07 PM   #146
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Idk if I’m being lazy not reading, but I don’t know how anyone can talk about sales over time through the streaming revolution and compare it to artists at different points in their late stage career.
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Old 06-08-2022, 12:09 PM   #147
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Album releases used to be events way back when. I don’t think we will ever have another “Thriller” moment. The idea that an album, band, genre or whatever, being a cultural phenomenon again seems behind us. Maybe it’s just my age, or how I listen to music now, as much as I look forward to new releases by artists I like I find myself listening to the new albums a few times and then kind of moving on.
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Old 06-08-2022, 02:42 PM   #148
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There are still artists and albums that are cultural phenomenons. It's just that they usually don't mean much to middle aged people. Same as it ever was.
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Old 06-08-2022, 02:45 PM   #149
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Didn't U2 bundle SOE with concert tickets, thereby artificially inflating its sales? I know this is common practice, but I don't think it should count towards sales because the consumer isn't choosing to buy the album - it's being given to them. That practice also acknowledges that concertgoers may not be interested enough in new material to seek it out. It's sad and desperate. And the bands are juking the stats.
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Old 06-08-2022, 03:32 PM   #150
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Yeah. We’ll never know how much the last two albums actually would have sold, because both situations were compromised by release method.

On the flipside, those Coldplay numbers are pretty damning, especially for the supposed heirs to the throne. Their most recent one getting eclipsed by the Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, and Green Day? Oof.
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Old 06-08-2022, 03:51 PM   #151
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Album releases used to be events way back when. I don’t think we will ever have another “Thriller” moment.

Adele’s “21” was the last mainstream album that had a long run on the strength of its songs.

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Didn't U2 bundle SOE with concert tickets, thereby artificially inflating its sales?

Yeah, we don’t talk about that here….
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Old 06-08-2022, 05:10 PM   #152
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Didn't U2 bundle SOE with concert tickets, thereby artificially inflating its sales? I know this is common practice, but I don't think it should count towards sales because the consumer isn't choosing to buy the album - it's being given to them. That practice also acknowledges that concertgoers may not be interested enough in new material to seek it out. It's sad and desperate. And the bands are juking the stats.
I've still got like 5 unopened SOE CDs if you need a few.
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Old 06-08-2022, 05:20 PM   #153
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We don't talk about the album being attached to album sales because it's a fairly common practice these days. So while it may be a cheap way of inflating your numbers, it's a cheap thing that many acts are doing.

Album sales are also largely irrelevant. Another reason why it's not discussed.

Spamming a billion iTunes accounts, not so common.

Such a dumb thing, too. If they just repeated the same method they used for Invisible it would have accomplished everything they wanted it to.
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Old 06-08-2022, 05:40 PM   #154
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We don't talk about the album being attached to album sales because it's a fairly common practice these days.

That isn’t what I meant…

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Old 06-08-2022, 05:58 PM   #155
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CD players hardly are available in new cars anymore as it is. Luckily I still have one and enjoy it but primarily people bought CDs to be played in cars. If that’s not available anymore either it’s no wonder physical album sales will continue to drop.
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Old 06-08-2022, 10:37 PM   #156
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Yeah, this is why I just put first week sales. And yes other artists do the ticket with album thing. I know the Chili Peppers did a limited version of this with certain vinyl retailers.

And you guys are right. physical sales are fairly meaningless now. But I think the bigger issue here is the way streaming numbers are calculated. 1500 streams to equal ONE album. How many albums have you listened to all the songs about 150 to 200 times? So SOE got 6.5 million streams in the first week. Netting them a whopping 4500 equivalent album sales.

An artist needs to 1.5 billion streams to hit platinum. How that makes any sense when artists would hit diamond status after a couple years. I'd say those days are done under this crazy math.

I guess I put those numbers up to say two things. 1. U2 is as strong or stronger than any other well known longtime rock band. and 2. It shows the continuing decline of rock sales/streams in general. I think we often think of this just as U2 losing relevancy, but it isn't just them, it's the genre overall.
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Old 06-09-2022, 05:46 AM   #157
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A lot of big acts these days seem to be going for the best selling vinyl and setting records in that realm. I saw a graphic for the new RHCP album that must have had 25 different vinyl color variants, with exclusivity tied to various retailers. There were also stories of Adele’s album overwhelming and backing up pressing plants due to the number of records her label was having made for the release.

The chart dominance/milestone relevance for big rock and pop acts seems to be (at least partially) situated around - for now - vinyl. I Imagine if the cassette resurgence transcends the indie realm, maybe that’ll be next. Just pointing this out for sake of conversation. The vinyl resurgence and major artist’s piggybacking on it - and subsequently fucking up a major revenue stream for smaller artists - is a different convo.

It’s been said before, but I wish U2 could somehow be happy with (typically) being the biggest live act on the planet. Hopefully they don’t care about record sales anymore, but dinosaurs gonna dinosaur. So far, their vinyl offerings have been generally very good, if frustratingly scarce. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if we get an over the top amount of variants for SOS.
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Old 06-09-2022, 07:05 AM   #158
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I can't wait for Songs of Surrender omicron
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Old 06-09-2022, 08:10 AM   #159
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Old 06-09-2022, 08:24 AM   #160
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