Last week Sydney hip hop trio Bliss N Eso were popping the cork on delivering the highest selling debut by Australian artist this year with their triumphant new record Circus In The Sky debuting at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart, selling in excess of 20,000 copies in its first week of sales.
While their second week of sales sees Bliss N Eso continuing to sell strongly, they’ve been bumped from the #1 ARIA position by the official release of Jay-Z’s latest record, but both hip hop luminaries have been pipped to the post by a reality television singer.
Magna Carta Holy Grail, the twelfth studio album from Jay-Z, may have prompted the RIAA to change its Gold and Platinum certification rules in light of the 1 million copies purchased by Samsung in a $20 million deal, but the Nirvana-referencing, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce-featuring blockbuster album wasn’t enough to match the commercial pull of The Voice winner Harrison Craig.
The 18-year-old Melbourne singer has topped the ARIA Albums Chart with his album More Than A Dream, which is the second time The Voice winner has bumped a rap mogul from the top spot – as TheMusic points out – doing the same to Kanye West’s Yeezus just one week after the ARIA body had controversially miscalculated his sales as falling behind an Aussie compilation of country music.
Jay-Z in fact beats Harrison Craig and all other contenders to the #1 spot over in the Digital Albums Chart, though he claims second place in the overall Albums Chart. Still, the results prove that even though Magna Carta Holy Grail leaked online ahead of its official July 9th release date, angering smartphone users already disgruntled with the not-so-smooth Samsung app launch, it did little to hurt album sales. It’ll likely do little to hurt Jay-Z’s net worth either, with a line from Magna Carta… calling out rappers who lie about how much money they’re worth before Forbes went and proved just how accurate Hova’s jibes were. “It’s disappointing… I was really keen to try and have all top five albums.” – Josh Pyke
Meanwhile, Josh Pyke is lamenting the #7 sales debut on the ARIA Charts of his latest album The Beginning And The End Of Everything after a “distribution error” scuppered the Sydney singer-songwriter’s four album run of Top 5 albums.
Pyke took to Facebook last week, apologising to his fans for his fourth studio album not being available in stores on the day of release, “needless to say, I’m more disappointed than anyone,” noted the 35-year-old musician.
Speaking to The Music Network, Pyke further explains the botched shipping error of physical copies by major retailer JB HiFi that harmed his first week sales figures.
“It’s like your worst nightmare as an artist. Basically there was a distribution error, without going into the details they just screwed up,” says Pyke. “To cut a long story short, JB Hi-Fi had back-ordered my back catalogue, and they were going to ship the new one with the back catalogue, but because back catalogue stuff is not a priority release there was just a bit of a mix-up with the administration of it, and so the new release was mixed up in the back-order stuff and it didn’t get prioritised.”
The shipping bungle also spoils Pyke’s run of Top 5 positions on the ARIA Charts, his 2007 debut Memories & Dust arrived at #4, while 2008 follow-up Chimeny’s Afire bettered it at #3. 2011’s Only Sparrows achieved similar success, with a #4 position.
“It’s disappointing,” says the Sydney troubadour of his latest album’s #7 showing. “I try to make myself not care about chart positions and stuff like that, but I think, you know, I was really keen to try and have all top five albums.”
“Especially when I love the album,” he says of The Beginning And The End Of Everything. “I think it’s my best work, all the lead up, all the promo we did for it and then it’s just a little hiccup. But that’s life: you’ve still got to roll with the punches, and I still love the record – and my core fanbase who were hanging out to get the record, they were really patient and supportive of the mistake and still got it. It’s not the end of the world.”