Answers to readers' questions about the Strokes, Gloria Estefan and more.

DIFFERENT STROKES

Can you tell me the sales figures for the three Strokes albums? I haven't noticed a gold certification for "First Impressions of Earth" and was really surprised because it debuted at No. 4 back in January and radio stations are still playing new tracks off of it. Your help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Glenn Nippert,
Alpharetta, GA

Hi Glenn,

The Strokes' "First Impressions of Earth" has not been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (www.riaa.com) yet, likely because it has not shipped 500,000 units to U.S. retailers. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has only sold 271,000 since its release in January.

The band's two previous albums, 2003's "Room On Fire" and 2001's "Is This It" have sold 597,000 and 1.0 million, respectively.



SUPER FURRY TOURS

Hi Keith,

I have a question regarding nostalgia acts that frequently hit the road long after their hits have dried up -- For example, metal-glam rockers Poison or new-wave band Psychedelic Furs. In your opinion, does the constant touring help sell their back catalog more so than groups who rarely or never tour? Perhaps as a comparison, you could list sales information from the Furs with a new-wave band that doesn't tour anymore such as the Talking Heads.

In a related question, Richard Butler of the Furs put out a new solo album back in April. Do you have any sales figures for this album?

Thanks!

Mark Charles
Milwaukee, WI


Hi Mark,

I'm sure Poison fans would counter your argument that the band is only a nostalgia act. But I get your drift.

Certain bands, like Poison, have such a wealth of familiar hits, they can mount successful tours. Also, I'd imagine that Poison's legacy and notoriety loomed much larger than other bands of the late '80s and early '90s. You have to remember, Poison has had 12 Billboard Hot 100 hits. And many of those, like "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," are still familiar to younger radio listeners today. Since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991, Poison has sold 5.3 million albums in America. The bulk of those sales come from "Greatest Hits 1986-1996," which has moved 2 million copies.

A recent tour that comes to mind that smacks of "nostalgia" might be the Blondie/New Cars combo package. It's likely that neither act expected to move many albums. The primary reason they hit the road is to generate income from concert grosses, not from selling albums.

As for your comparison of the Psychedilic Furs vs. Talking Heads... the Furs have sold 653,000 albums in the U.S. since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in early 1991.

Richard's Butler's self-titled 2006 album has sold about 4,000 copies since it debuted earlier this year.

The Talking Heads have moved 2.7 million units of their albums. Again, it's hard to compare these two acts, because Talking Heads arguably has a more storied and critically-lauded legacy. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and generated such famous singles as "Once In A Lifetime" and "Burning Down The House."



WHAT'S ESSENTIAL

Dear Keith,

Does Gloria Estefan have two albums coming out within the next two months titled "The Essential Gloria Estefan" and "The Very Best of Gloria Estefan?" What's the difference between those two albums? Is it true that she's slated to star as Connie Francis in an upcoming movie? Is she planning to release a new English album in the near future? Lastly, how have her albums sold in the United States?

Thank you very much,

Jesper Tan,
Subang Jaya, Malaysia


Hello Jesper,

In the U.S., Gloria Estefan just released two greatest hits compilations on Oct. 3. "The Essential Gloria Estefan" and "Oye Mi Canto: Los Exitos" are both best-of sets, but feature different aspects of Estefan's career.

"Essential" is a two-disc, 37-track set featuring her English-language hits. It boasts nearly all of her Billboard Hot 100 hit singles, including the top 10s "Conga," "Anything For You," "Coming Out Of The Dark," "Turn The Beat Around" and "Music Of My Heart."

"Oye Mi Canto" is a single-disc album that concentrates on Estefan's successful Spanish-language career. It includes her No. 1 Hot Latin Songs "Si Voy A Perderte," "Mi Tierra," "Tu Fotografia," "Hoy" and "Oye," among many others. All told, the album has 18 songs.

On Oct. 10, Estefan also released a children's book titled "Noelle's Treasure Tale." It's a sequel to her 2005 book, "Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog." The new volume comes packaged with a bonus CD single with the song "See With Your Heart."

No word on Estefan's upcoming plans for recording a new album or starring in films. But, since she's out talking up the new book and hits albums, I suspect she'll probably be discussing her future soon enough.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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