Dixie Chicks Sales Drop 33%, Album Debuts At No. 1

Buried in the press releases and media coverage about the latest album from The Dixie Chicks is the inconvenient fact that, in terms of first week sales compared to their last album (2002’s Home), according to Billboard sales have plummeted 33%.

The drop in sales, while hardly surprising, has to be a disappointment considering the fawning wall-to-wall coverage the band has received in support of the release. Here’s how their record company describes the press love they’ve received:

Taking The Long Way arrives in the midst of an incredible media blitz surrounding the Dixie Chicks, who were honored with a profile on CBS’s “60 Minutes” and appeared on the cover of Time magazine an unprecedented two times in May. The group was featured in a five-part series of interviews, culminating with an SRO live concert at New York’s Bryant Park on Friday, May 26, on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The Dixie Chicks will sit down for an in-depth interview on “Larry King Live” tonight, Wednesday, May 31.

The popular success of Taking The Long Way is echoed in the praise the album is receiving from the press, which has been heralding the record in a flurry of four-star reviews. “Taking The Long Way embraces the depth and fury of classic rock while remaining true to the trio’s Texas roots,” raved Rolling Stone while USA Today called the album “Incredibly impressive.”

Entertainment Weekly gave the new Dixie Chicks album an “A” grade saying, “Fightin’ words and the music doesn’t back down either, on an album that finds the Dixie Chicks bolder than ever. With (Natalie) Maines projecting more passionately than ever, Taking The Long Way remains intimate and personal.”

“This is an album that has something for everyone,” said The New York Times, “old fans who thought the Dixie Chicks were at their finest in their fancy-free early days as well as recent admirers who are eager to see the band push beyond the confines of country.”

Rolling Stone closed its review of the album with a nod to the new Dixie Chicks single, “If you’ve dismissed the Chicks or need a new reason to love them, the epic, howling longing of ‘Voice Inside My Head’ will blow away your expectations.”

An yet, despite glowing reviews and endless media coverage, sales are down. While the AP report linked below notes a “cool reception” from country radio and fans, it fails to note that the Chicks seem intent on martyring themselves in that regard by continually demeaning the country audience.

Dixie Chicks Return to No. 1 on Charts – [AP]

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