Dismal opening week performance for the singer’s tribute to his estranged wife is just 2 percent of “Blurred Lines” first week sales
Was “Blurred Lines” really that much of an anomaly? Robin Thicke‘s follow-up album, “Paula,” had the dubious honor of hitting the Official UK Chart at #200, with a paltry 530 copies sold in its opening week. It didn’t fare much better in the US, where it sold 25,000 copies in its first week.
Compare that to “Blurred Lines,” which sold 25,981 in its first week in the UK, and 177,000 in the U.S. In the U.S., Thicke’s sales were was just 14 percent of “Blurred Lines'” first week, while it was even worse in the UK at only 2 percent.
“Paula” is a declaration of love and an attempt to win back his estranged wife of nine years, Paula Patton, who separated from him in February. As declarations go, though, this didn’t turn out to be a very strong one.
The paltry first week sales are likely the result of a few things. For one, a Twitter #AskThicke promotional stunt backfired horribly when the hashtag was bombarded with negative questions about rape, his VMA performance with Miley Cyrus, and his nudity-filled video for “Blurred Lines.” Further, the separation itself has tarnished his public image, with unsubstantiated speculations of infidelity.
But the biggest factor is the song “Blurred Lines” itself. Whether in part because of the scandalous video or not, the song became the 2013 summer anthem, peaking at #1 on multiple charts. It was released four months before the album, becoming a massive hit. Thus, there was a ravenous audience waiting for the album’s release.
In contrast, the debut track from “Paula,” “Get Her Back,” peaked at #82 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #25 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, according to Billboard. That kind of chart performance just isn’t going to do much to bolster excitement for a forthcoming album.