I’ve been following a site called “Stream N Destroy” for a while now and I dig these emails, full of numbers about stream counts, YouTube views and sales for artists in the metal and rock genre. I subscribe to the free tier and of course there is a paid tier which goes even more in depth.
So in the current email, which can be found here, there is a mention of VOLBEAT and how their 2013 album “Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies“ is certified Gold.
And that’s important to note, because he music from artists used to take a while to break through. Black Sabbath didn’t set the world on fire with sales of their 70’s albums.
- “Black Sabbath” released in 1970 was certified Gold a year later in 1971, and then Platinum in 1986.
- “Paranoid” released in 1971 was certified Gold that same year and then Platinum in 1986 and by 1995 it was 4x Platinum.
- “Master Of Reality” released in 1971 was certified Gold that same year and by 2001 it was 2x Platinum.
- “Volume IV” released in 1972 was certified Gold that same year and then in 1986 it was certified Platinum.
- “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” released in 1973 was certified Gold in 1974 and Platinum in 1986.
- “Sabotage” released in 1975 was certified Gold in 1997.
- “Technical Ecstasy” released in 1976 was certified Gold in 1997.
- “Never Say Die” released in 1978 was certified Gold in 1997.
“Ride The Lightning” from Metallica took two years to get a Gold certification while “Kill Em All” took six years to get a Gold certification.
For Volbeat, this is a 7 year case.
And it doesn’t look like they will disappear anytime soon. Their 2012 album, “Beyond Hell, Above Heaven” was certified Gold in 2016, 4 years since its release. Their streaming numbers are high, although Queen takes the trophy this week, with 15.9 million streams of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Not bad for a track released in 1975.
Their current album, is still selling, it’s up to 45,500 sales in the U.S. It’s anaemic compared to the past, but then again, how many of the past artists that had big sales in the 80’s are still around and selling these kind of numbers today. Hell, the 80s artists couldn’t even get these numbers in the 90’s.
Their song “Leviathan” is also in the Billboard charts.
People are still interested in the band.
It’s a longer road than before, but it’s a road still worth taking. You just need to be patient and you will need to have another line of income to pay the bills. For a lot of artists, this was the road, but that will change.
The labels don’t like it because they got used to making a quick buck, especially when MTV turned culture into a monoculture, the labels wanted every release to be an instant pay day.
And when it wasn’t, heads rolled.
Artists would get dropped and A&R department heads would also disappear. Because the labels didn’t want to waste time on artist development. And today, that is even more prevalent.
In relation to the weekly streams, while Queen is on top of the world, “Thunderstruck” from AC/DC is sitting at 11.8 million streams for the week.
And what I took out of it all, is that the big streaming songs (apart from some Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed) are all pre 2006, with “Stairway To Heaven” the oldest track at 1971.
Music lives on for a long time, hence the reason why the labels wanted Copyright terms to last 70 years after the creators death. And that same rule that they wanted is also getting em undone in court cases from the heirs of the artists.
Keep creating because you’ll never know when it’s time for your creation to take over the world.