Johnny Borrell – ‘Borrell 1’
Robin Thicke’s first week sales of ‘Paula’ may have been disastrous but Johnny Borrell’s 2013 debut album wasn’t far behind. Just shy of selling 64 copies more than Thicke, the Razorlight frontman’s record label saw the funny side when they issued a press release saying it was the “5,678th best selling album of the year to date”.
No Doubt – ‘Push And Shove’
Gwen Stefani and co’s first LP in more than a decade failed to significantly dent the charts despite receiving half decent reviews. A guest appearance on The X Factor saw them hit a new low when their second single ‘Looking Hot’ charted at Number 397 in the UK singles chart. “I have to say it’s no fun,” Stefani moaned to the press. “Completely pissed off.”
The View – ‘Which Bitch?’
The Dundonian scamps may have rode the wave of excess for months off the back their Number One 2007 debut album ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’ thanks to their biggest hit to date ‘Same Jeans’. But their booze fuelled follow-up was a major flop by comparison, spending just two weeks in the Top 40. NME labelled the record “commercial suicide” at the time.
The Automatic – ‘This Is A Fix’
When hit single ‘Monster’ crashed into the charts at Number 3 in 2006, The Automatic thought they’d hit the big time. Unfortunately when it took on a life of its own, the track threatened to swallow up the band. To make matters worse keyboardist Alex Pennie walked out within a year. By the time album number two arrived in 2008, no-one took any interest.
Duffy – ‘Endlessly’
The Welsh singer’s debut ‘Rockferry’ shifted over 2 million units in 2008 and spawned a massive Number One hit in ‘Mercy’. Throw in a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album and Albert Hammond Snr on production duties for her second album and you’ve got a match made in heaven right? Wrong. ‘Endlessly’ saw the pint sized singer shed 90% of her audience.
Travis – ‘12 Memories’
Before Coldplay came along, Travis were the nation’s indie darlings even headlining Glastonbury in 2000. But when the Glaswegian outfit took a huge break, Chris Martin came in and stole their crown. This their fourth album was a flop by their standards and one they’ve still never recovered from.
Kaiser Chiefs – ‘The Future Is Medieval’
For album four Kaisers decided to do something a little different and made the album available to purchase on the internet, giving fans a chance to pick the tracklisting. Unfortunately, it slipped under the radar. “The publicity around the ‘choose your own version’ overshadowed the CD so much that no-one knows it’s out,” shrugged bassist Simon Rix.
Glasvegas – ‘Euphoric Heartbreak’
When frontman James Allan went AWOL just days before the 2009 Mercury Music Prize, the signs weren’t good. Then when he exchanged his gloomy James Dean-esque look for an angelic white outfit, everyone thought he’d lost the plot. So did the band’s record label who ditched them after a lowly 30,000 sales.
Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Adore’
After the success of ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’. ‘Adore’ was one of the most anticipated albums of ’98. Conflicts within the band and the departure of Jimmy Chamberlain made life difficult though with frontman Billy Corgan labelling the era as “a band falling apart”. The album fell out of the US charts within weeks.
Guns ‘N’ Roses – ‘The Spaghetti Incident’
This 1993 predominantly covers album spelled the demise of the original line-up and was the last LP before the lengthy wait for ‘Chinese Democracy’. Following the global success of ‘Use Your Illusion I & II’, this record was a flop by comparison.
Klaxons – ‘Surfing The Void’
Success came at a high price for the Klaxons. After they picked up the Mercury Music Prize in 2007 the pressure was on to deliver for album number two. When ‘Surfing The Void’ did eventually surface it received rave reviews with NME awarding the album 8 out of 10. But their fanbase had grown up and record sales plummeted as a result.
MGMT – ‘Congratulations’
This cosmic duo first bounced into orbit in 2007 and ‘Oracular Spectacular’ shifted half a million units alone in the UK thanks to pop bangers like ‘Kids’ and ‘Time To Pretend’. Shunning success, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser ditched their synth pop roots on their second album and shed their huge fanbase as a result.
Embrace – ‘Drawn From Memory’
The McNamara brothers’ second album was expected to do well after the success of their 1998 debut ‘The Good Will Out’. Reviews were respectable but sales were much lower than their debut. Luckily the Yorkshire band relaunched their career three years later thanks to a little help from Chris Martin, who penned their comeback hit ‘Gravity’.
Suede – ‘Head Music’
‘Coming Up’ was a success for Suede during the height of Britpop. Three years later follow-up ‘Head Music’ went straight to Number One in the UK album chart and the band headlined the 1999 V festival. Within weeks though the LP dropped out of the charts. Worse was to follow with ‘A New Morning’ in 2002, the catalyst for the demise of the band first time around.
Cast – ‘Beetroot’
Cast had more hits than you could shake a Britpop compilation at back in the mid-90s. They had the album sales to go with it too with all three of the first three LPs breaking into the Top 10 by the end of the decade. Then the wheels came off in 2001 when their fourth album ‘Beetroot’ charted at a lowly 78.
All Saints – ‘Studio 1’
Coming back after a five-year hiatus is rarely a good thing. And so it proved for the All Saints when they took a second shot at their career only to find they couldn’t even dent the charts in 2006.
Manic Street Preachers – ‘Lifeblood’
The Welsh trio hated this their seventh studio album that much they now refuse to play any songs off it. Regarded as a low point for the Manics, the LP rapidly slipped out of the charts within the space of two weeks.
Moby – ‘Last Night’
The dance pioneer was a global superstar by the time he came down from the success of landmark albums ‘Play’ and ‘18’. ‘Hotel’ kept record sales ticking over but this eighth studio effort bombed by comparison.
Kelly Rowland – ‘Talk A Good Game’
2013 was shaping up to be a promising year for all three former members of Destiny’s Child after their Superbowl appearance. Kelly Rowland bagged herself a spot on The X Factor panel and hoped to rack up a few record sales in the process with fourth LP ‘Talk A Good Game’. Her judging stint did nothing to boost TV ratings though: her album tanked.
Britney Spears – ‘Britney Jean’
Britney’s 2013 LP was a disaster in the UK entering at Number 34 upon its release, her lowest charting position ever. It recorded sales of just 12,959 in its first week. Internationally it bombed too failing to chart anywhere near the top 20 in most countries.
Julian Plenti – ‘Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper’
Unbeknown to most, Interpol frontman Paul Banks decided to go with a pseudonym on his debut solo album in 2009. But his alter-ego backfired when hardly anyone went out and bought the record. Thankfully he got it right when he blatantly named his 2012 follow-up Banks.
The Music – ‘Welcome To The North’
Reviewed by NME’s former editor in chief Steve Sutherland, The Music’s second album scored a massive 9 out of 10 and was dubbed the record that would take the Leeds band to “infinity and beyond”. What it did actually do was drag them into a label struggle which severely hampered record sales.
Keith Moon – ‘Two Sides Of The Moon’
The guest line-up on the late hell-raising Who drummer’s solo LP was quite impressive with both David Bowie and Ringo Starr putting in appearances. He also chose to sing on this record rather than play drums on most of the tracks which cost him dearly because the album was a flop.
Freddie Mercury – ‘Mr Bad Guy’
This 1985 solo debut from Queen’s late frontman was loaded with new wave and disco tracks. A disaster in America it faired just as badly in the UK.
Chris Cornell – ‘Scream’
The Soundgarden frontman’s third solo LP was a million miles away from his nineties grunge roots as he dabbled in electronic pop for the first time with the help of Timbaland on production duties. As expected the album bombed and he went back to what he did best – playing with Soundgarden again.
Richard Ashcroft – ‘United Nations Of Sound’
Coming down from a post-Verve split, Richard Ashcroft really lost it on his fourth solo album. Greeted with scathing reviews and poor album sales, NME gave it 3 out of 10 and said it found him “battling it out with Des’ree for the wooden spoon in cod-philosophising about life”.
Julian Casablancas – ‘Phrazes For The Young’
The Strokes frontman had good intentions and a decent single in ‘11th Dimension’ on his 2009 debut album. But like most artists who take time out from their day job, sales figures didn’t match those intentions.
Christina Aguilera – ‘Bionic’
Eclipsed by Lady Gaga following a four year hiatus, Christina was hoping to reclaim her crown upon her return in 2010. Backed by guest appearances from M.I.A., Santigold, Peaches, Ladytron and a hype storm, ‘Bionic’ flopped, becoming her worst selling album on record. It also spawned a failed movie in Burlesque.
Nelly Furtado – ‘The Spirit Indestructible’
Poor promotion meant that Nelly was no chart-eater on her most recent album, missing the UK Top 40 for the first time in her career. Sales figures around the world were appalling too, particularly in the US where it notched up a mere 9,000 sales in 2012.
Metallica and Lou Reed – ‘Lulu’
Based on the work of a bleak German poet this self-indulgent side project was hardly expected to have record sales flying off the shelves by either party. Roundly panned by most critics, NME gave it 7 out of 10 and hailed it a “surprising triumph”.