Charts: Reissue Mania - Will "Purple Rain" Rule?

The end might be in sight for the long run at No. 1 of the "Frozen" soundtrack. While the Disney juggernaut remains locked in the top spot on the Billboard 200 for the 12th nonconsecutive week - and will likely hold for a 13th next issue (so say industry forecasters) - a 14th frame isn't a sure thing.

"Frozen" will possibly be denied a 14th week at No. 1 thanks to Hunter Hayes' "Storyline" or the "Now 50" compilation - both due May 6. Sources project the former to sell 100,000 in its first week, while the latter could do 80,000 to 100,000. Will "Frozen"'s weekly sales have thawed to less than 100,000 by that point? Time will tell. But, in the most recent tracking week - ending April 27 - "Frozen" sold 115,000 (down 56 percent from its weekly high of 259,000 a week ago).

"Frozen" is now one of just 14 soundtracks to have spent at least a dozen weeks at No. 1. That list includes such mega-selling sets as the Whitney Houston-led "Bodyguard" (20 weeks in 1992 and 1993), "Dirty Dancing" (18 weeks, 1987 to 1988), "Titanic" (16 weeks in 1998) and Prince & The Revolution's "Purple Rain" (24 weeks, 1984 to 1985).

"Purple Rain" has been in the news lately, thanks to Prince's recent surprise reunion with Warner Bros., the label that released the blockbuster soundtrack. On April 18, it was announced that Prince had returned to the label and had taken ownership of his Warner Bros. catalog. And, as part of the deal, "Purple Rain" would receive a deluxe remastered reissue this year, in time for its 30th anniversary. "Purple Rain" has sold 13 million copies in the United States, according to the RIAA, making it not just Prince's best-selling album, but the third-largest-selling soundtrack.

"Purple Rain" - like the rest of Prince's catalog - has been essentially untouched since its initial release. Certainly, strained relations between Warner and Prince likely made any sort of conversation about a catalog overhaul a nonstarter. Now, with the Purple One and Warner back together, the path has been cleared for what could be a well-received reissue of "Purple Rain."

Deluxe reissues of classic albums aren't always guaranteed to generate sizzling sales figures. However, "Purple Rain" has all the hallmarks of a winner. First, it's a hits-filled album that continues to sell strongly: With 2.9 million sold since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, it's Prince's best seller in the SoundScan era. Second, Prince's so-called vault of unreleased music is known to be expansive, so there should be no shortage of bonus material that could be included on the reissue. And third, one imagines that Prince himself will be actively involved with the promotion of the set. (We're already picturing a "Purple Rain" anniversary concert on TV, complete with a Revolution reunion. Think of the possibilities!)

But what kind of sales figures will "Purple Rain" post? Hard to say, but if done right, the album's redux could approach the success of Michael Jackson's 25th-anniversary "Thriller" relaunch in 2008. The set - dubbed "Thriller 25" - is arguably one of the most successful reissues in recent years. In 2008 alone, the album - both its original release and deluxe version - sold a combined 712,000.


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