Billboard Conspiracy… Something’s Not Adding Up




RollingStone.com has an interesting new update about the Eagles album drama. Remember how "Eden" was supposed to be sold in Wal-mart EXCLUSIVELY? Well RS is claiming that it was sold in other widely known stores too: "...we heard whispers that people were finding the new 'exclusive' album at small mom-and-pop record stores and, remarkably, big chains like Virgin Megastore. We investigated these claims and discovered that the CDs are indeed being sold outside of Wal-Mart."

The CD at Virgin was a whopping $24.99! RS continues to say "when we asked one clerk why the album was so expensive at Virgin, and whether the discs might be imports, he whispered into the phone that he “thinks they were hard to get.”

Want to know what he means by "hard to get?" "A small record store in Nebraska told us they were re-selling discs that were purchased at Wal-Mart," continues RS.

Basically this means that some albums were counted TWICE. If one store is doing this, who says hundreds of others aren't! Soundscan says they tried to weed out all double sales, but how accurate are they?

And straight from NYtimes.com: “This seems like a big ego play to me,” said Don Van Cleave, a merchant in Birmingham, Ala., who oversees the Coalition of Independent Music Stores representing more than two dozen independent merchants. “Somebody went through some arm-twisting or negotiations, at least, to have themselves reflected on the industry chart.”

It's not about the Eagles outselling her. It's about CHANGING the rules 11 hours before the chart is released. Billboard themselves called her #1. If those were the rules going into the week then fine, but that was not the case. Mayfield said “We were not pressured. I did not get one phone call from Irving Azoff about this,” Mayfield said, referring to the Eagles’ talent manager, “and I did not get one phone call from Wal-Mart.” Then it looks to me as if this was your personal preference!

Billboard has lost a lot of respect and credibility in my eyes. They need to make this right. Thoughts?