This year has been the year of the Christmas Country albums. Country music fans have been spoilt for choice. There have been holiday releases from a large number of our favourites who have all put their stamp on the classics, or in some cases recorded their own Christmas songs. As we approach the big day and the final week’s sales figures are available, it’s interesting to see who won the informal contest for Christmas Country Album of 2016.
US website Roughstock have kindly posted the latest SoundScan sales figures. Neilsen SoundScan is a sales tracking system covering the US and Canada that is used by Billboard who then compile their charts. It’s also the go-to sales data for the recording industry, labels, managers and promoters so we can be sure that these figures are accurate.
It probably won’t be too much of a surprise to hear that Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s ‘Christmas Together’ album came out on top. The total sales figures for this album are a little tricky to work out because it was sold individually and also as part of a two album bundle with Garth’s ‘Gunslinger’ album.
Individually it shipped 145,000 copies. The bundle has sold another 58,000. Brett Eldredge’s ‘Glow’ album sold 77,000 copies and finished second in our informal list but you can see Garth and Trisha’s dominance. Third in our list was Chris Young’s ‘It Must Be Christmas’ with 61,000, followed by Jimmy Buffett who sold 56,000 copies of ‘Tis The Season (Xmas).
Rascal Flatts sold 51,000 copies of ‘Greatest Gift Of All’, Jennifer Nettles sold 43,000 copies of ‘To Celebrate Christmas’ and Kacey Musgraves sold 41,000 of ‘A Very Kacey Christmas’
Home Free made an appearance in the list with ‘Full Of (Even More) Cheer’ which was essentially a re-issue but still sold 31,000 copies. And Loretta Lynn shipped 21,000 copies of ‘White Christmas Blue’.
The sales figures are relatively healthy but don’t compare to the days of old when the only way of acquiring music was to go down to your local record store and purchase a copy.
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton released ‘Once Upon A Christmas’ in 1984. It still sells very well and it has sold 975,000 copies to date, However if you want big numbers, how about Alan Jackson who has sold 1.3 million copies of ‘Honky Tonk Christmas’ or Burl Ives with 1.3 million copies of ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’.
Guess who has the biggest Christmas album in country music? The honour goes to Martina McBride who released ‘White Christmas’ in 1998 and is currently amassing 1.8 million sales and counting.
Not bad eh? Merry Christmas!