Answers to readers' questions about Nick Drake, No Doubt, Bush and more!
DRAKE ON THE MIND
About three years ago a friend introduced me to the music of Nick Drake and I thought it was amazing. A few days later I went to a record store and bought all three of Nick's studio records.
Nick Drake is now one of my favorite songwriters and recording artist. I was wondering how many CDs has Nick sold according SoundScan?
New York, NY
Hi David, I think a lot of people first became aware of Nick Drake's music through the use of his "Pink Moon" song in a Volkswagen commercial in 2000. That was back when the use of relatively obscure music in TV commercials was a novel idea, unlike now, where an entire industry is seemingly built around the concept.
Though Drake died in 1974, his career experienced a posthumous renaissance after the VW commercial. He has sold 907,000 albums since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991 and in fact, only 12% of that figure was sold before 2000. It's amazing what a TV commercial can do.
WIFE V. HUSBAND
I have a question for you about the couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. Whose band has sold more albums? No Doubt or Bush? I am thinking it is No Doubt, but I know Bush had one huge album.
Can you please tell me how many albums each band has sold? Also, how many albums have "Love.Angel.Music.Baby." and "The Sweet Escape" sold? Is there any word on what the follow up single to "Wind It Up" will be? Thanks so much! Ryan Gibson Toronto, Ontario, Canada
So far, No Doubt's catalog of albums have sold 15.2 million copies in the U.S., while Bush has sold 10.7 million according to Nielsen SoundScan. No Doubt's biggest seller is "Tragic Kingdom" (8.1 million) while Bush's best is "Sixteen Stone" (5.9 million).
Fun facts: Both bands were signed to the same label in the U.S. -- Trauma (which went through Interscope Records). Also, Bush's "Razorblade Suitcase" album debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in 1996 but was booted out of the top spot by No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" two weeks later. Nothing like a friendly chart rivalry to help along a future relationship.
So far, Stefani's "Love.Angel.Music.Baby." has sold 3.8 million while "The Sweet Escape" has shifted 392,000. The next single from the latter album is the title track, which debuted last week (chart dated Dec. 30) on The Bilboard Hot 100 at No. 93.
THE DIVA DANCE
I am confused about one thing. Over the past 20 years, Madonna and Janet Jackson have been two of the most successful artists (either male or female) of all time. I am a huge fan of both artists. Many fans, including me, are always asking which diva is the true Queen of Pop music since they both have a broad catalogue of hits. By numbers only, which artists have had the most top 10 hits on the Billboard charts? I'd really like to know so I can put this confusion to rest.
Thanks, Derek Gibson
You realize answering this question will do nothing be upset someone and cause argument and high drama, right? It's hard to compare "divas," because each diva defender wants their diva to come out on top.
If we are only looking at the number of top 10 hits on The Billboard Hot 100 (you didn't specify which chart you wanted to know about in your question), then Madonna has more. She's got 36 top 10 singles, which ties her with Elvis Presley as the artist with the most in history. Her most recent top 10 was "Hung Up," which went to No. 7. Jackson is no slouch in the top 10 department either, as she has 27 top 10 hits. Jackson's was recent was "Someone To Call My Lover," which went to No. 3.
That said, I'm sure there are fans eager to stack up Janet Vs. Madonna on the dance chart, or, in terms of tour grosses, or albums sales or -- you get the idea.