Garth Brooks can credit his recent record-breaking first week sales figures to his enormous popularity, a healthy push from his record label, and apparently a change in the way major retailers report their sales figures.
Handleman Music, a major retail distributor, changed its sales monitoring period from Saturday through Friday to Monday through Sunday. The change means that instead of crunching figures from November 14 through 20, Handleman tabulated figures from November 16 through November 22. It also means that Brooks, Method Man, Jewel, and all of the other "Super Tuesday" releases that arrived in stores on November 17 had the benefit of two extra days (November 21 and 22) to rack up first week sales.
With the two-day swing, Brooks was able to rack up more than one million copies of his "Double Live" album, breaking the previous first week sales record of 950,000 held by Pearl Jam's "Vs." The country singer also topped the one-week sales record of 1,061,00 that
was previously held by "The Bodyguard" soundtrack.
It is not known if Brooks would have been able to top Pearl Jam and "The Bodyguard" without the policy change, but with only 135,000 separating him from Pearl Jam and 24,000 between Garth and "The Bodyguard," such a record-setting debut would seem unlikely under the old policy.