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Garth Brooks’ “Ultimate Collection” Was Week’s Best-Selling Album, Omitted From Billboard Due To Gaga Rule

Garth Brooks [ABC]

Sunday afternoon, Billboard named A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Got It From Here” the #1 album on its Billboard 200 (consumption) and Top Album Sales (pure sales) charts.

While A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Got It From Here” was indeed the November 11-17 tracking week’s most consumed album, BuzzAngle argues that it was not the top performer from a pure sales standpoint.

That honor instead belongs to Garth Brooks’ “The Ultimate Collection.” The box set, which is exclusive to Target, generated what BuzzAngle reports as 134,034 pure US sales this past week. BuzzAngle credits the ATCQ album with just under 111,000 sales (Billboard says it sold just under 112,000).

So why is “The Ultimate Collection” not #1 on Billboard Top Album Sales?

It was deemed ineligible due to its price point.

The ten-disc set is available for $29.99, which comes out to just under $3 per CD. In order to qualify for Billboard’s charts, the price of the album (or average disc price in a box set) must be at least $3.49 during the first four weeks of release.

Known by music insiders as the “Gaga rule,” the requirement was instituted after Amazon priced Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” at $0.99 during its first week of release. The promotion spurred 440,000 sales in two days — and a sense that the album’s opening week sales figure (reported at over 1.1 million) was unfairly inflated.

What makes this situation dicier is the gross price point. Is asking someone to pay $30 for a 10-disc box set truly the same as asking someone to pay only $3 for an album? Billboard’s contention is that it is, but what is your take?

— Garth Brooks is not completely absent from this week’s chart. “Christmas Together,” his holiday collaboration with wife Trisha Yearwood, starts at #6 on Top Album Sales with what BB reports as 21K sales.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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