During the first week of September this appreciation for authentic Reggae music was remarkably displayed, when Bob Marley earned his highest chart position ever with his 1984 greatest hits album Legend selling 41,000 copies.
Typically, when an artist releases a record, with the proper publicity and a decent enough fan base, the record will make it into the top 10 of the iTunes Chart. This is always nice to see, but what has become noticeable to us, is that every time the chart is checked, the infamous disc Legend – The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers is always on the top of the list. Legend, even after all these years, is the benchmark for Reggae record sales, if a new release surpasses the Marley mix, it has probably done well.
Recently remastered a second time for its 30th anniversary, as well as remixed in 2013, thirty years after its compilation the original Legend still out-sells most records in the genre, today! Initially released three years after Bob Marley’s death, on May 8, 1984, Legend is the momentous collection of tracks that represents the remarkable recording career of Reggae music’s most iconic figureheads. The world’s best-selling Reggae album, Legend is an essential part of every Reggae collection with songs on that epitomize the Marley sound.
Containing Marley’s most beloved hits, Legend maintains in constant demand. Certified multi-platinum, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, the album has sold over 15 million copies in the United States, a total that tracks sales before 1991. Legend recurrently sells an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 copies per week, and has sold approximately 11.6 million copies in the US since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began counting. After 30 years on the market, with constant sales, Legend has accumulated substantial sales of 3,264,877 copies in the UK to-date. A number which labels Legend as one of the highest sold albums ever.
With all this data, it is easy to see that the album sells well at an average retail price of about $9.00. Now make the collection easily available at $0.99 and watch the sales graph skyrocket!
For the week ending on September 7th, that is exactly what the US Google Play store did when the digital outlet made the deluxe 29 song edition of Legend the “99¢ Album of the Week.”
This boosted sales 1,166% percent, the album sold a reported 41,000 copies (38,000 sold off Google Play) during the promotion, jumping from its current ranking of 100 to No. 5. This tagged Legend as the “Greatest Gainer” for the week ending on September 20th on the Billboard 200, the chart displaying each week’s top-selling albums across all genres – All of this ranked by sales data as compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.
Since the 1984 debut of this album, it hasn’t been in the Music Week chart’s Top 10 since spending its first 12 weeks at number one, and the next eight weeks falling down the Top 10. After this promotion, the album jumped from No.49 to No.7 on the chart, with sales rising a whopping 537.50% to 8,574 copies sold
According to a statement from Billboard, sources familiar with Universal Music Group, who distributes the record, report that the Google Play store chooses the albums for its promotions, and had discounted Legend “on their own.” This digital outlet frequently discounts albums, but few sales have compared to the numbers that Legend has sold during the week. Interestingly enough, Billboard has also reported that while Google Play wouldn’t share its exact numbers, label sources have stated that the digital outlet is paying Universal Music Group the “full cost” for the album, estimated to be $7.00 a copy.
For an article announcing the news, Google Play’s head of global music partner management, Gwen Shen, told Billboard “We love to celebrate artists like Bob Marley, whose music is timeless and beloved,” continuing with “Our hope is that this promotion… will introduce his music to the next generation of fans and continue his legacy.”
For more about Bob Marley, his music and legacy, check out the information below.