Pitchfork’s Top 50 of 2010, By the Numbers

    Eric Harvey, a Ph.D. student and apparent music obsessive, posted a list of (most of) Pitchfork’s top fifty albums of 2010 along with their sales figures today on his Marathonpacks blog. It provides a pretty entertaining and somewhat eye-opening glance into the popularity of some of the bands currently considered to be the indie world’s cream of the crop. For example, half of the top 10 sold well below 100,000 (James Blake’s EPs didn’t even hit a cumulative 5,000). The only artist to hit a million was Drake, with Kanye and Rick Ross at the number two and three spots. The most popular non-hip-hop artist was (unsurprisingly) the Arcade Fire, who still (unsurprisingly) fell short of 500k. Of course this is intimately connected to the fall in album sales in general as of late, but remembering that Halcyon Digest only sold 60,000 copies is pretty humbling in the context of the increasingly insular world of indie journalism. [FACT]