Although Susan Boyle announced the Nov. 9 release of her second album "The Gift" only three days ago, the set has already shot to No. 1 on Amazon's Bestsellers chart based on pre-order sales. The singer's sophomore effort reached the top spot on Wednesday (Sept. 22) in its second day as a pre-order, officially kicking off what Amazon director of music Craig Pape describes as "the season of Susan" for the online retailer.
"It's pretty significantly No. 1," says Pape, who would not reveal specific sales figures but says that the volume of pre-orders has exceeded his expectations. "The Gift" has leapfrogged fourth-quarter efforts by Taylor Swift, Eric Clapton and Neil Young on the Bestsellers tally, with only pre-orders of Bob Dylan's "The Witmark Demos" coming close to Boyle's sales, according to Pape.
"It's a relative ranking, and a lot of it depends on the release schedule and what else is in the market," says Pape. "But looking at this list, you can see that it's a pretty strong slate of releases, so it's a non-trivial position to take the top slot during this release period."
Boyle is no stranger to Amazon's Bestsellers chart: her 2009 debut "I Dreamed a Dream" broke records as Amazon Music's largest CD pre-order ever before it moved 3.8 million U.S. copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It is still unclear whether or not "The Gift" will rival the pre-order figures of "Dream," as "the pre-order window for this record is shorter from the last," says Pape.
Set for release on SYCO/Columbia Records, "The Gift" will include Boyle's take on Christmas classics "O Holy Night" and "The First Noel" as well as performances of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The album is displayed at the top of Amazon Music's main page with a link to the pre-order as well as a Susan Boyle artist page. Apple's iTunes store also prominently features "The Gift," and the album currently sits at No. 2 on Barnes & Noble's music bestsellers list.
"I personally expect to see it in that top slot for quite a while," says Pape. "Through street date and beyond, through Christmas, sales should stay very strong."