The Arctic Monkeys are proof that word of mouth can matter just as much as signing to a major record label when it comes to album sales. The band from Sheffield, England, is on its way to having the fastest selling debut album in UK chart history.
Their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, was released on January 23rd and on that day sold more than 100,000 copies. To put that staggering number into perspective, it is more than all the other artists on the top 20 UK charts combined.
Currently the title of fastest selling debut album in the UK is held by Hear'Say's Popstars, which sold 306,631 copies in March 2001.
The Arctic Monkeys formed in 2002 and began building a loyal fan base when a copy of the demos they sell at their concerts ended up online. Through online downloads, their fan base multiplied, and in 2004 the band began to gain attention and acclaim from the UK press.
"Contrary to all the rumours and myths and panics about the record industry going into meltdown because of music online, it has had the opposite effect," NME assistant editor Malik Meer told Reuters UK. "The fact that they have had two #1 singles means they are not just for a core of obsessive fans. This is good old honest rock 'n' roll, which we have been lacking lately."
It is predicted that the band could sell 350,000 copies in the disc's first week, breaking the record for fastest selling debut album.
The album's first single, "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," was released in October, and the second, "When the Sun Goes Down," came out January 16th.
Writer: Michelle Garcia