A week after fans learned that The Tragically Hip's 52-year-old frontman Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer, Canadian sales of the Canadian rock band's album catalog grew from 340 copies sold in the previous week to 5,200 in the week ending May 26 -- a jump of more than 1,300 percent -- according to Nielsen Music.
All their albums posted percentage increases over 1,000 percent over the previous week. The 2005 two-disc best of compilation, Yer Favourites, whose tracks were selected online by 150,000 fans, re-entered the Billboard Canadian Albums chart at No. 6 with 4,500 consumption units (album units + digital tracks divided by 10 + audio on-demand streams, divided by 1500) and hit No. 1 on the top Catalog albums chart with 2,500 album sales. Three other Hip albums re-entered in the top 200: 1992's Fully Completely at No. 90, 1991's Road Apples at No. 137 and 1989's Up To Here at No. 165.
Sales of digital tracks from the Hip's catalog jumped from 1,400 to over 15,000, including eight among the top 200 selling digital songs overall: "Bobycaygeon," No. 85; "New Orleans Is Sinking," No. 103; "Wheat Kings," No.104; "Ahead By A Century," No. 116; "38 Years Old," No.158; "Blow At High Dough," No. 161; "In A World Possessed…," No.173; and "Courage," No. 178.
On-Demand streams grew from over 400,000 last week to well over two million. Total airplay at radio jumped 28 percent over the previous week.
In the U.S., the Hip sold 1,000 albums in the week ending May 26 -- up 901 percent. Total on-demand audio and video streams rose 386 percent to 501,000.
The day after the band went public with Downie's grave health condition, Live Nation announced what is expected to be their final national tour, July 22 to Aug. 20, booked by The Feldman Agency. This week four new shows were added "due to overwhelming demand." The public sale is June 3.
The Hip's new studio album, Man Machine Poem, which was produced by Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew and the Stills' Dave Hamelin prior to Downie's diagnosis in December 2015, comes out June 17 on Universal Music Canada.