Sia has scored her first ever #1 album as her latest LP, 1000 Forms of Fear, sees the Adelaide-bred singer-songwriter debuting at the top position on the Australian and US charts.
The 38-year-old musician and hit-writer to the stars‘ new album (released via Monkey Puzzle through RCA Records in the States and Inertia in Australia), led by the charge of breakout single ‘Chandelier, debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart this week and has today debuted at #1 on the US Billboard Top 200 Chart, besting her previous peak positions of #26 (for 2008’s Some People Have Real Problems) and #37 (for 2010’s We Are Born).
Not only did Sia pip the Frozen soundtrack, the best selling album of 2014 so far, to the #1 post, but she also joins an exclusive club of Aussie artists who’ve hit #1 in the US, including INXS, Savage Garden, Gotye, INXS, Men At Work, Olivia Netwon John, and most recently Iggy Azalea.
But Sia’s achievement is marred by some rather statistics. Though she shifted 52,000 copies of 1000 Forms of Fear in the first week of its US release, according to Billboard, it’s the lowest sales figure for a #1 album in nearly two years and arrives during the lowest album sales week in US Chart history.
The week’s overall album sales of 4.05 million units is lowest number since SoundScan began tracking sales data in 1991, continuing the worrying downward trend of poor album sales in the first half of 2014.
To elaborate, this week’s figure of 4.05 million is down 5% compared to last week’s 4.25 million. Additionally it’s a drop of 19% compared to the same sales week this time last year, while year-to-date album sales are currently logged at 129.19 million, down a significant 15% compared to the same total at this point in 2013 (at 151.83 million units); all the more depressing when you consider that 2013’s album sales marked an all-time low.
Despite the poor sales context in which she’s scored her first #1 over in the US, Sia’s 1000 Forms Of Fear is still showing strong sales the world over, peaking at #1 on the iTunes Album Chart in 47 countries (including the US, UK, and parts of Europe), while the record currently sits at #11 on the UK Official Albums Chart.
Meanwhile, accompanying single ‘Chandelier’ is similarly doing gangbusters – peaking at #1 on the iTunes Single Chart in over 31 countries, and currently at #9 on the UK Singles rankings and in the Top 5 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
“Thank you so much for making my album number 1!” wrote the Adelaide native in a post to her nearly 1.1 million followers on Facebook. “I can’t believe this experiment worked,” she added, referring to the unconventional marketing approach to 1000 Forms Of Fear – Sia electing not to show her face in photo shoots or videos, and keeping her face hidden during live televised performances of ‘Chandelier’.
Instead she recreated the triple platinum single’s music video for her appearances on US network shows The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Late Night With Seth Myers (with a little help from Girls‘Lena Dunham)