Bob Marley’s Legend has kept the title of second longest charting catalogue album on Billboard whilst also topping every major reggae chart on iTunes except Japan.
Marley, who would have been 65 on Saturday, currently charts at number 10 on Billboard Catalogue Albums with Legend, which has been on that chart for 914 weeks or some 17 years according to Billboard data. The only album charting longer (at 944 weeks) is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon at number 12. Marley’s 1984 album currently outlasts catalogue albums by Journey, ABBA and the Beatles at 755 weeks, 416 weeks and 351 weeks respectively. Besides Marley’s catalogue album, the reggae icon is also charting with his 2009 album B is For Bob on the Billboard Reggae Albums charts at number three.
At the same time, Legend was the top reggae download in 19 of the 22 listed countries on iTunes, arguably the Internet’s most popular online music store. Marley topped the iTunes chart in the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. These online sales would augment the album’s world-wide sales which have surpassed 20 million, according to Forbes and iafrica.com. The only countries in which Marley does not top the iTunes chart is in Japan, Sweden and Denmark. On those countries charts it is filled with indigenous specific reggae.
Matisyahu’s Light currently tops the Billboard Reggae Albums chart but has been unable to chart in more than one of the 22 listed countries on iTunes — only charting at number six on the US iTunes reggae chart. iTunes lumps new and catalogue albums together, for instance in UK downloaders are purchasing Legend and also Sean Paul’s latest release Imperial Blaze.
Last year, music stakeholders complained that the charts were not reflecting the full talent of the industry and that it was also being restricted by major reggae labels. At the time, half of the top-15 albums on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart were VP Record releases. Others have countered arguing that Jamaica produces many singles but few albums.