Kanye, GN'R, Music Sales Down on Black Friday

Kanye, GN'R, Music Sales Down on Black Friday
The holiday weekend down south has now come and gone, and so too has the hope that the one-two Kanye/Axl punch would bring in big numbers. Music sales were down as much as 30 percent this past weekend compared to last year, Billboard reports, with "hit albums" released for Black Friday failing to live up to expectations.

Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak will likely sell between 425,000 and 450,000 units, sources tell Billboard, down significantly from the 700,000 to 975,000 units previously projected. As for Axl Rose's much-anticipated Chinese Democracy, the Gun N' Roses album also woefully underperformed and is expected to sell 250,000 to 260,000 units, down from projections it would sell anywhere from 300,000 to 784,000 copies.

Overall, U.S. retailer Newbury Comics said music sales were down 28 percent compared to last year, while sales at big box stores like Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble were down anywhere from 30 percent to 40 percent, label execs told Billboard. On the other hand, online sales were reportedly stronger than last year.

Meanwhile, over in UK tabloid land, the Sun is reporting that the bigwigs over at Universal are blaming Axl himself for Chinese Democracy's poor sales figures, with an "insider" telling the newspaper that the singer's reclusive nature cost the label a number one record.

"Everyone knows Axl is a bit of a maverick genius and won't do anything he doesn't want to do," the Sun quotes the insider as saying. "The label is really glad to have him back. But it is frustrating because the album would have had a much better chance of going to number one if he had only been prepared to show his face."

As for Kanye's poor numbers, too much Auto-Tune?

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