The National’s High Violet Sold 51,000 Copies Last Week


For context, Vampire Weekend sold 120,000 copies of Contra, good for a #1 debut; the National, 50K copies of High Violet later, just attained their best chart spot ever, at #3. (2007’s Boxer only reached #68.) Working against them? The fact that their record came out in May, rather than January; a tattooed heartthrob by the name of Justin Bieber (#1 at 60,000, the second worst top sales effort since 1991); and the fact that the moody, lugubrious strains of the National–though they play well to the elite, from the New York Times to D. A. Pennebaker–just don’t quite have the same demographic oomph as their lighter-hearted fellow New York denizens. A good day for critics and Brooklyn dudes who drink wine; a terrible one for pretty much everyone else who depend on record sales for their livelihood. [Billboard]