Alas, and understandably, I have no direct access to Whistle Down the Wind sales data. But I have some indirect measures! For example, charts!
A lot of these charts are strange, unclear, partial, or wildly fluctuating. Worse, getting stable URLs is hard. So, there be some screenshots. I expect more chart data to emerge next week.
First we have Official Charts (so official!) which seems to be UK based. Whistle place 30th!
Then, a wildly fluctuating iTunes folk chart. Generally, we see the following rank order:he Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (because of Three Billboards), then Whistle Down the Wind (the single), then The President Sang Amazing Grace. As of 13:04 UK time, the ranks are 40, 41(!), and 91. (I didn’t capture it formally, but I believe the highest “President” got was in the 60s.) No other tracks from the album appear on this list.
(Just to show the flux, at 13:44 the ranks are 49, 54, and not on the list.)
Whistle debuts at 8 on the GfK Entertainment Charts of Germany!
Amazon has a million lists updated hourly. But here’s a few as of 13:50, March 9th, 2018:
- US, Digital Music, Folk, Albums #1 (pretty stable)
- US, CDs & Vinyl, Folk, Albums #14 (some jitter)
- US, CDs & Vinyl, Folk, Contemporary Folk, Albums #2 (was #1 moments before)
- #378 in CDs & Vinyl (I believe it was in the top 100 at some point)
The whole album can be streamed on YouTube, so I’ve gathered some view stats. Note that this includes my obsessive checking 🙂 and is otherwise uncertain (people don’t watch the whole thing, bots, etc.) but it’s still interesting:
|Whole Album||Mar 2, 2018||7,634||Gone|
|Whistle Down the Wind||Mar 2, 2018||609||1,621||2,390|
|Be of Good Heart||Mar 2, 2018||860||1,757||2,206|
|Another World||Mar 2, 2018||275||675||886|
|Civil War||Mar 2, 2018||360||688||871|
|The Things That We Are Made Of||Mar 2, 2018||358||837||1,123|
|The President Sang Amazing Grace||Mar 2, 2018||3,564||6,084||8,088|
|Silver Blade||Mar 2, 2018||352||775||994|
|Last Leaf||Mar 2, 2018||265||653||823|
|The Great Correction||Mar 2, 2018||238||565||727|
|I Wish the Wars Were All Over||Mar 2, 2018||326||706||936|
|The President Sang Amazing Grace (Live)||Jan 16, 2017||11,594||12,554||12,841|
|Joan Baez en carte blanche : “The president sang amazing grace”||Feb 28, 2018||Didn’t Track||4,721||5,027|
|Le live : Joan Baez chante “Last Leaf” – C Ă Vous – 20/02/2018||Feb 28, 2018||Didn’t Track||11,921||12,471|
|Joan Baez en live – Last leaf||Feb 20, 2018||Didn’t Track||4,418||4,598|
|Small Brown Birds Album Version||Jan 27, 2017||5,423||5,656||5,723|
As you can see, out of the album versions, “President” is running way ahead of anything else. Almost all the views of the Zoe versions have happened in the past 2 weeks. What I find interesting is how well the live versions on French TV are doing. I have no explanation.
Subtle, Relative Indicators
Both Apple and Amazon have small indicators of track popularity in the track list. Apple puts stars next to popular (by streaming? by deadline?):
Only “Whistle” and “President” have starts (on this screen, on others only “Whistle” does) which is consistent with the chart above. Indeed, just checking now, “President” slid off the list and lost its star 🙂
Amazon’s, I’m given to understand, indicates streamings:
I think it’s fair to say that both Baez’s album and Zoe’s song on that album are “critically acclaimed”. Reviews are, overall, very positive, even effusive.
I have no idea what to make of the numbers. They are clearly far beyond anything Zoe achieves. I mean, if we had anything like this it’d be incredible. OTOH, Baez’s “Nasty Man” video (released April 2017) has 291,979 views with ≈3,300 likes:
We aren’t seeing those numbers nor is there a trend that way, afaict. “President” is largely outperforming the other tracks except, sometimes, the title track, which is cool. OTOH, all the other artists are better established and their songs, unlike “President”, don’t have an obvious content hook. (Don’t get me wrong…I think it’s a lovely song, but clearly a lot of people like it for the Obama halo and some only know of it for that reason.)
It’s early days and early in the tour. In the US, at least, you get a free copy of the disc with your ticket…I don’t know what that does to other sales. I think there’s room for thing to grow, possibly by a lot. Albums aren’t always like movies, I suspect, esp in this day and age. But I don’t know! So, I’ll be obsessing a bit longer 🙂