Jeff Lynne's Beard:
I agree, Randy. The chart positions of the album don't lie!
They might not lie but they can certainly distort the view on how successful the album has been. For example......if New had gone straight to #1 in the charts everyone would have been over the moon for Paul. But then, again as an example, if it was revealed that the #2 album had sold 147 copies that week, and that the #3 album had sold 138 copies etc etc and that Paul's album had in fact sold 150 copies to make it to #1. would we then still be over the moon for Paul? Or would we be lamenting the fact that New had only sold a miserable 150 copies, despite getting to #1? In other words, chart positions are only useful in comparing relative sales figures between albums and that the position itself is no guide as to how commercially successful the album has been.
If it had only sold 147 copies, then you may have a point, but it didn't so... Physical sales of albums have nosedived. Artists now have to have a different measure of what makes an album a success. I'd have preferred Paul, for example, to have sold more albums than the most successful new release that week, Pearl Jam's "Lightning Bolt", but they sold more than 100,000 copies than "New". Fans have to accept that Pearl Jam (and many other artists who can't hold a candle to Paul, creatively) are just more popular these days than Macca. I think Pearl Jam's album is really very good, but it's not as good as "New". I disagree with the original premise of this thread as well. Nearly every Paul McCartney fan I know has been eagerly awaiting a new "proper" studio album. Other albums are almost like supporting features, whereas a new, self-penned album really is the main feature for us. I doubt if "saturation" of the market with Paul McCartney albums is the reason for "poor sales", if, indeed, these sales are, comparatively or realistically poor. In today's music industry, I don't think they are.