Area 51: Decemberists, Fiasco, TV on the Radio see sales bumps

Landing on several critical kudos lists helped a number of albums as they closed out the year.

While Idolator.com’s Jackin’ Pop Critics Poll and the Village Voice’s Pazz and Jop Poll have yet to weigh in, there were enough significant “best ofs” in the final two weeks of 2006 to generate some heat at retail for acclaimed discs.

Obviously critical hosannas don’t sell that many discs, but records by TV on the Radio and Lupe Fiasco weren’t really feeling the love anywhere else.

For this comparison, the albums chosen are in the current top 200 and appear in the year-end lists of Rolling Stone, Pitchforkmedia.com, stereogum.com and the amazon.com editors. And despite all the thumbs up, the Knife, Hold Steady and Destroyer were unable to crack the top 200.

The Decemberists “Crane Wife” (Rolling Stone No. 23, Stereogum 5, Pitchfork 41, Amazon 3) was clearly the biggest beneficiary, selling 26,000 in the final two weeks of 2006. Cume is now 134,000.

TV on the Radio’s “Return to Cookie Mountain” (RS 4, S 2, P 2, A 17) and “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor” (RS 16, P 32) were second in line, selling 21,000 copies each from Dec. 18-31. Fiasco’s cume is now 255,000; “Cookie Mountain” is at 99,000.

The biggest seller among the critically hailed was My Chemical Romance’s “The Black Parade” (RS 20), which sold 156,000 in the final fortnight of ’06, bringing its cume to 764,000. But among albums that appeared on at least two lists, it was Bob Dylan’s “Modern Times” (RS 1, A 2, S 28) that came out the winner. Disc, obviously a hot gift item as well, sold 76,000 copies to bring up its cume to 843,000.

Other listmakers include Gnarls Barkley “St. Elsewhere” (S 17, A 4) selling 44,000; Beck’s “Information” (RS 24, A 15) selling 35,000; “Hell Hath No Fury” from Clipse (RS 7, S 27, P 7) selling 26,000; and Raconteurs’ “Broken Boy Soldiers” (RS 28, A 37) moving 23,000.

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