Ask Billboard

Keith answers readers' questions on Radiohead, "Legally Blonde: The Musical," Dashboard Confessional and more!


Hi Keith,

Radiohead's new album, "In Rainbows," was released without a record label. It was available as a digital download from their Web site. Will it be eligible to debut on The Billboard 200? The physical limited edition, also available for pre-order on their Web site, will be out in December. Will that be able to chart too?


Hi Darrin,

Radiohead did not report their sales to Nielsen SoundScan, our sister company that collects all of the sales information for Billboard's charts. Had Radiohead reported these sales, then "In Rainbows" would have been able to chart on our Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Digital Albums charts. Since "In Rainbows" is exclusively available through Radiohead's Web site, it was never eligible for The Billboard 200 or any of our other charts, only the Comprehensive Albums chart and the Top Digital Albums chart.

The same rules will apply to the physical edition whenever it eventually is released.


Hello Keith,

After MTV aired the Broadway musical "Legally Blonde: The Musical," the show's original cast recording reached the top ten of the iTunes album chart. Can you tell me how many copies the album sold this week compared to last? How many copies has it sold overall?


Mark Blankenship

Hi Mark,

Funny you should ask, since I also happen to manage our Top Cast Albums chart.

MTV aired "Legally Blonde: The Musical" on Saturday, October 13. For the week ending Sunday, October 14, the cast recording of the musical shot up 179%, going from about 1,000 units to over 3,000. And that was with only one full day left in SoundScan's tracking week, too.

I suspect that we'll see another increase for the album next week, after a full week's worth of MTV's impact is felt on the album.

So far, the cast recording of "Legally Blonde" has sold 38,000 since it was released on July 17.


Hi Keith,

Since Dashboard Confessional just released a new album, "The Shade of Poison Trees" (which doesn't seem to have done as well as the last two), could you tell me how many copies of each album they've sold?

I was also reading about Queens of the Stone Age and how they want to release a new album soon. How have their albums been doing? I'm sure "Songs for the Deaf" has been the only successful one.


Duey Blain

Hi Duey,

I'm not sure if Dashboard Confessional or its record label expected that the new album would sell as well as its previous releases. It seemed to be a purposely under-the-radar album that was recorded quite quickly this past summer.

Anyhow, it debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 with 48,000. It slipped to No. 50 in its second week, shifting 17,000.

Dashboard's last two albums, "Dusk and Summer" and "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar," have sold 512,000 and 901,000 in the U.S., respectively, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Here's a quick rundown of Dashboard's previous albums:

"MTV Unplugged V 2.0" (2002; 316,000)
"The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most" (2001; 599,000)
"The Swiss Army Romance" (2000; 338,000)

Queens of the Stone Age haven't been doing all that well either, when it comes to album sales. Its 2007 album "Era Vulgaris" has shifted 136,000 while 2005's "Lullabies to Paralyze" has sold 352,000. Its 2002 album "Songs for the Deaf" has moved 997,000 while its 2000 album, "Rated R," has done 224,000. Its self-titled debut, released in 1998, has sold 89,000.


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