Do you know anyone who owns Susan Boyle's album? I don't, and I know a lot of people who have shitty music in their collections — everything from record collections that stopped in 1994 to flag-waving country to rootsy singer-songwriters who are liked only because they're rootsy singer-songwriters to obscure metal bands that no one gives a fuck about.
Yet Boyle's debut album, I Dreamed a Dream, has sold more than three million copies. Granted, that's not 'N Sync No Strings Attached numbers, but these days that's a monster hit.
And it's No. 1 again this week on Billboard's album chart. That makes it six straight weeks that it's held the top spot. That too is something you don't see much of anymore.
Still, I don't know a single person who has Boyle's album. I have an older friend who got swept up in Boyle fever last year when YouTube clips made the homely Scottish singer a star. He went apeshit over her voice. But he doesn't even have her album.
So who's buying it? My mom doesn't have it. Some guy I saw at a party over the holidays whose wife listens to a lot of crap music doesn't have it. And as far as I know, nobody on my block or in my office owns the record (or at least they're not admitting it).
And how are these for stats? Boyle is the first artist ever to debut and spend six consecutive weeks at the top of the album chart, and I Dreamed a Dream is the bestselling debut by a woman — at least since SoundScan starting tabulating these things.
This is how we enter a new decade: with the music industry still in the crapper (with no signs of saving), buoyed mainly by a 49-year-old frumpy woman who looks like one of the Monty Python guys in drag and sounds like that old lady in church who sings a little louder than everyone else because someone in her family once told her she had a beautiful voice. And she's singing shitty show tunes and desecrating Rolling Stones songs to boot.
And with no big releases on the horizon for the next several weeks, Boyle's reign at the top will probably last deep into blizzard season. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like my dream at all. —Michael Gallucci