While total solar eclipse fever enveloped the U.S. on Monday, music fans were also busy buying eclipse-themed music in big numbers.
According to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music, sales of Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon increased by more than 160 percent on Monday (versus sales a day earlier). Further, Bonnie Tyler’s former Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit from 1983, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” climbed more than 390 percent in sales on Monday (versus Sunday).
On Monday, The Dark Side of the Moon — which hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 1973 — sold a little more than 1,000 copies across all retailers in the U.S., according to early sales reports. While that number may not sound substantial, the album typically sells only a couple hundred copies per day. As for “Total,” its sales ballooned on Monday to more than 18,000 downloads sold — up from about 4,000 on Sunday, and 2,000 on Saturday. Typically, “Total” sells a couple hundred downloads per day when we’re not in the throes of solar eclipse-mania.
In addition, The Dark Side of the Moon spent much of Monday lodged at the top of the U.S. iTunes Store’s top album ranking, while “Total” was No. 1 for most of the day on the top songs tally (displacing Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber). On Tuesday, at 1 p.m. PT, The Dark Side of the Moon was still among the top five on the albums list, while “Total” was still iTunes’ top song.
How will the eclipse-related sales impact the chart fortunes of The Dark Side of the Moon and “Total” on Billboard’s charts? The Dark Side of the Moon re-entered the Billboard 200 albums chart dated Sept. 2 (reflecting the sales and streaming tracking week ending Aug. 17) at No. 173. It’s likely that the album will jump up the list dated Sept. 9, following its eclipse-related activity in the week ending Aug. 24. (The Dark Side of the Moon continues to hold the record as the album with the most weeks on the chart: 932 total. As for “Total,” it will be harder for the song to return to the Hot 100, where it led the list for four weeks in 1983. Unless its momentum from Monday is sustained through the rest of the week, it’s unlikely the track will return to the chart (where older titles are eligible to re-enter if ranking in the top 50 and up in multiple metrics).