Ask Billboard

Keith answers readers' questions on the Eagles, George Strait, Yahoo! Jukebox and more!


Hi Keith,

I am a fan of your column, I read it every week and have been a subscriber to the magazine for over 25 years! That being said, I have never written.

I understand that "exclusive albums" can only chart on the Comprehensive Albums chart. That brings me to question the Eagles' latest album, which will be sold at Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and the Eagles Web site.

With Wal-Mart and Sam's Club being so huge in the marketplace for selling music, (unlike Starbucks) will the rules be lifted on the Billboard 200 for this title to chart?

Thank You,

Richard Zak
West Suffield, Conn.

Hi Richard,

That's great that you have subscribed to Billboard for so long. Thank you for being a devoted reader!

We have had a longstanding rule that if an album or single is not generally available to retailers, then it cannot chart on most of our charts. The Eagles album will only be able to chart on our Top Comprehensive Albums chart, and only if its sales are reported to SoundScan by the sellers you mention. (Sometimes, sellers decline to release the sales figures of exclusive titles to SoundScan.)


Hi Keith,

I can imagine country legend George Strait must have one of the best-selling catalogs in the U.S. A quick search of your archives reveals over 2,800 weeks on the Top Country Albums chart and 2,707 weeks on the Top Country Catalog Albums chart! Very impressive!

Could you please do a SoundScan breakdown of his albums? I expect the "Pure Country" soundtrack and his hits compilations taking up a major part of the lot.

Thank you very much!

With regards,

Thomas Christiansen
Copenhagen, Denmark

Hi Thomas,

You guessed it, George Strait's soundtrack to his film "Pure Country" is his biggest selling album since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. The 1992 album has sold 4.7 million in the U.S. His second-best seller is 2004's "50 Number Ones," which has moved 3 million. All told, he's had 15 albums sell a million or more since 1991. Of those 15, six of them are greatest hits packages.

Speaking of hits, Strait is about to release his latest collection, "22 More Hits," on Nov. 13. It will be his eighth greatest hits album to hit Top Country Albums.


Hi Keith,

I log on to the Yahoo Music Jukebox every Tuesday and download several of the week's new albums. They are included in my $14.99 monthly subscription fee. Now, I can't burn these songs to CDs, but I do have several compatible mp3 players that I can use to listen to my music at the gym, in the car, etc.

Here's the question: do my subscription downloads count as an "album sale" when the Billboard charts come out each week?


Bob Denton

Hi Bob,

Unless you are purchasing an album or a song, it is not counted towards our sales charts.

So, since you aren't actually buying this music -- you're basically renting it – then, no, the albums you download don't count towards our sales charts.