Hate ‘Blurred Lines’ hit-maker Robin Thicke? Well, you’re not alone – in fact, you’re in a very vast majority indeed.
The first week sales for Thicke’s new album are in, and they’re very likely to be the worst in recent music history. His newest effort Paula is a concept record written for and named after the ex-wife the singer is trying to win back after his Pharrell Williams-aided hit swiftly made him RnB’s biggest poster boy for misogyny since Chris Brown.
But nobody’s buying Thicke’s sympathetic appeal. Quite literally.
Over in the UK, Paula shifted a very dismal 530 copies during its first week, scraping in at #200 on the Official UK Albums Chart. To quote our Trash Can column guru, “to demonstrate how dePaularable that is by comparison” last year’s Blurred Lines album debuted at #1 in the UK after selling 25,000 copies. “That’s a 98 per cent sales drop.”
But things are even worse Down Under, where Paula has shifted less than 10% of the UK’s dismal sales (congratulations everyone, we’ve beaten the poms once again).
That’s right, 53 copies. Let that sink in.
In fact, it could be even less than that as Thicke didn’t even make the cut into the ARIA Album Charts Top 500. As News Corp details, Blondie’s new compilation album lands at #500 with 54 copies sold, which means that less than 50 Australians actually bought Paula in its first week of release. (Let the witch-hunt begin!)
To again offer some perspective, the 37-year-old singer’s Blurred Lines LP debuted at #4 on the ARIA Albums Chart this time last year.
UPDATE 11/7: The Music Network is now contradicting News Corp‘s initial claim that Thicke’s Paula had shifted less than 53 copies, saying it had spoken to an ARIA spokesperson who claims that owing to the album ‘s late release last week (Friday 7th July) the official sales figures won’t be calculated until 7pm Saturday 12th July, and even then, doesn’t release official sales figures to the public.
But no need to dismay, that simply means we can now place bets on how few copies of Paula are really going to be sold. The fact of the matter is, the album has severely under-performed over in the UK and in Canada, where Exclaim! is reporting the album has shifted less than 550 copies.
Paula‘s only saving sales grace has been over in Thicke’s native US, where kinder fans have bought up 24,000 copies of the record in its first week, placing it at #9 on the Billboard chart. But it’s still a flop in comparison compared to the previous album’s 117,000 first-week sales.
The canary in the coal mine for Paula‘s disastrous album sales could already be seen in the spectacular failure to promote Thicke’s seventh album in the #AskThicke Twitter campaign.
Online fans were invited to offer the much-derided singer questions about his new release. Bad idea. Instead a parade of increasingly witty trolls took the opportunity to savage Thicke, accusing him of misogyny, promoting rape, and taking digs at his break-up with ex-wife Paula Patton.
Here’s a selection of the most creatively cruel #AskThicke posts from people that didn’t buy Paula.
— Julia Wilson (@Unirregardless) July 1, 2014
#AskThicke I feel a bit mean using this hastag to bash you, but I know you want it…
— Rebecca Miller (@beckyyym91) July 1, 2014