In a year when everyone you know visited “the torrent shop” and 3600 units snared top spot on the weekly ARIA album charts (the lowest selling #1 in ARIA history), it’s fair to say album/single sales don’t quite capture the zeitgeist like they used to. As we said last year: “it’s increasingly difficult for people to divorce the notion of “downloads” from “free” and for those who procure their music legally, there’s an unwillingness to pay for whole albums when the singles they like will suffice.” Welcome to the internet!
And yet, despite the rise of illegal downloads, album leaks and all free everything, the ARIA’s yearly list of highest selling albums/singles still offers a handy portrait of the public’s 2010 listening habits. Especially since they chart music we were willing to purchase with legal tender instead of internet bandwidth. Peer into the zeitgeist as we dissect the top selling albums and singles of 2010.
I WANNA BE POP…ULAR – POP MUSIC REIGNS SUPREME
Pop music lived up to its name last year (as it does in any year that begins with a number) and provided the majority of album and single sales in 2010. Eminem and Rhianna’s “Love The Way You Lie” was last year’s highest selling single while Usher and will.i.am’s “OMG” came in at number two followed by Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”, Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” and Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg’s “California Gurls”. Both Rihanna and Katy Perry would feature in the top ten again with “Only Girl In The World” and “Teenage Dream” respectively.
Depressing fact: The name David Guetta appears in the singles list four times.
Now to album sales where despite a November 12 release date, Pink’s Greatest Hits became last year’s highest selling LP. This fact, like global warming, is both understandable and scary. With further proof that album buyers skew older, Susan Boyle claimed second and fifth spots with I Dreamed A Dream and The Gift while Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits claimed number four and Michael Buble’s Crazy Love, number nine. Learning? If you want to sell loads of albums in Australia, release an adult contemporary greatest hits or be Pink.
Other depressing facts: Glee nabbed five spots in the top 100 albums list.
KING OF THE MILL – TRIPLE J STILL MAKES AND BREAKS NON-POP MUSIC SALES
As Australia’s premiere youth broadcaster and one of Australia’s biggest youth media brands full stop, support from Triple J is a scarily accurate barometer for sales success. Among non-pop bands that write their own songs and play their own instruments, Mumford and Sons’ Sigh No More (which spawned 2009’s hottest 100 winner) and Florence + The Machine’s Lungs (which spawned more hottest 100 entries than any other artist that year) were 2010’s top selling international albums. Both were released in 2009.
But sales success is more than just a reflection of the most popular acts among Triple J’s listenership, bands the station champions in a critical capacity sell remarkably well too. Locally, seven out of ten J Award nominees placed among the thirty highest selling Australian albums (Birds of Tokyo’s Birds Of Tokyo, Bliss N Eso’s Running On Air, Sia’s We Are Born, Tame Impala’s InnerSpeaker, Washington’s I Believe You Liar, Angus & Julia Stone’s Down The Way and Parkway Drive’s Deep Blue).
DANCING ON MY OWN – CLEAR THE DANCE FLOOR
2010 was a terrible year for dance music…album sales. It was a terrible year for dance music album sales. In ’08 The Presets spent more time in the ARIA singles charts than any Aussie act before them. The track was “My People” and it hovered in the ARIA top one hundred for one and a half years. The album it was taken from, Apocalypso, would then become the second highest selling Australian album of that year behind a little known band called AC/DC. That same year Sneaky Soundsystem boasted two entries with Sneaky Soundsystem (#32) and 2 (#18) while Cut Copy’s In Ghost Colours came in at #31. The year after Empire Of The Sun’s Walking On A Dream became the third highest selling Australian album of the year and included the 8th (“Walking on A Dream”) and 13th (“We Are The People”) highest selling Australian singles of that year. Apocalypso stayed in the charts at number 11.
In 2010 the only local dance album (we’ll classify Sia as pop) to crack the top 100 across all albums (both international and local) was Pendulum’s Immersion. Dance did get its own back in the top singles however – 2010’s highest selling Australian single was Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP’s ungodly/ubiquitous earworm “We No Speak Americano”. The track’s official video has over 16 million Youtube views, an earlier stream of the track has over 37 million.
LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING YOU
Armed with the endurance of Steve Moneghetti on meth, The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition” was the fifth highest selling local single of ’10. In 2009 it was the 34th highest selling Australian single. It was originally released in 2008. At this rate it will drop out of the ARIA singles chart sometime in 2030.
Check out the highest selling artists below. See the full list here.
Top Selling International Singles
1) Eminem Feat. Rihanna – “Love The Way You Lie”
2) Usher Feat. will.i.am – “OMG”
3) Taio Cruz – “Dynamite”
4) Train – “Hey, Soul Sister”
5) Katy Perry Feat. Snoop Dogg “California Gurls”
6) Owl City – “Fireflies”
7) Rihanna – “Only Girl In The World”
8) Bruno Mars – “Just The Way You Are”
9) Katy Perry – “Teenage Dream”
10) Usher Feat. Pitbull – “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love”
Top Selling Australia Singles
34) Yolanda Be Cool & DCup – “We No Speak Americano”
42) Guy Sebastian Feat. Eve – “Who’s That Girl”
56) The Temper Trap – “Sweet Disposition”
60) Stan Walker – “Black Box”
67) Zoe Badwi – “Freefallin’”
69) Angus & Julia Stone – “Big Jet Plane”
73) Jessica Mauboy Feat. Ludacris – “Saturday Night”
78) Short Stack – “Planets”
80) Vanessa Amorosi Feat. Seany B – “Mr Mysterious”
87) Little Red – “Rock It”
90) Guy Sebastian Feat. Jordin Sparks – “Art Of Love”
92) Amy Meredith – “Lying”
Top Selling International Albums
1) P!nk – Greatest Hits…So Far
2) Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream
3) Eminem – Recover
4) Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi Greatest Hits
5) Susan Boyle – The Gift
6) Lady Gaga – The Fame Monster
8) Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
9) Michael Buble – Crazy Love
10) Katy Perry – Teenage Dream
11) Ke$ha – Animal
12) Justin Bieber – My Worlds
13) Florence + The Machine – Between Two Lungs
Top Selling Australian Albums
7) Angus & Julia Stone – Down The Way
19) Altiyan Childs – Altiyan Childs
20) The John Butler Trio – April Uprising
24) Birds Of Tokyo – Birds Of Tokyo
27) Guy Sebastian – Twenty Ten
28) The Temper Trap – Conditions
32) Powderfinger – Golden Rule
37) Bliss N Eso – Running On Air
43) Washington – I Believe You Liar
44) AC/DC – Iron Man 2
49) Pendulum – Immersion
54) Various – He Will Have His Way – The Songs of Tim & Neil Finn
55) Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite
56) Hamish & Andy – Celebrating 50 Glorious Years
60) John Farnham – Jack
62) Sia – We Are Born
66) Keith Urban – Get Closer
68) Kasey Chambers – Little Bird
70) Vanessa Amorosi – Hazardous
74) Mark Vincent – Compass
75) The McClymonts – Wrapped Up Good
79) Jimmy Barnes – Rage and Ruin
83) Human Nature – Vegas Songs From Sin City
88) Short Stack – This Is Bat Country
89) Mark Vincent – The Great Tenor Songbook
90) Lisa Mitchell – Wonder
95) Little Red – Midnight Remember
96) Sarah Blasko – As Day Follows Night
97) Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
100) Parkway Drive – Deep Blue