The infamous album, which was arguably one of the most highly anticipated rock albums ever, has sold just 614,000 copies in America to date, according to Nielsen Soundscan. The Recording Industry Association Of America, which issues gold and platinum album certifications, awarded it a platinum certification shortly after its release, based on shipments of over one million units. When I read that fact I was shocked because I thought this practice had long ago been done away with. That it continues only demonstrates what a useless organization the RIAA is (these are the same people, after all, who sued kids for illegal downloading). Wasn't the whole point of the implementation of the Soundscan system in 1991 to give more accurate sales figures based on actual scans at retail point-of-purchase, thereby eliminating the shoddy guesswork and inflated sales numbers the music labels were guilty of for decades? Apparently not.
This news is just one more black mark on an album that deserved much better (read my review here). Its anemic sales performance was due to it being a victim of too much hype, both too much time passing between GNR releases and too radical a shift in sound, which alienated fans, and, of course, Rose himself. Bizarrely, he did almost no press when the album came out and refused to have a tour ready to support the album upon its release. Clearly, a further sign of the man's massive ego and tenuous grasp on reality.