If memory serves, it was the songwriter Peter Allen who coined the phrase, “Everything old is new again.” Now, that’s not meant to be an affront to the respective ages of Madonna and Lionel Richie, but rather, the fact that two artists who dueled on the charts back in the mid-1980s are doing so again in the year 2012.
Madonna rode another wave of controversy to the #1 spot on the Billboard charts, with M.D.N.A. selling 359,000 copies this week, making it Madge’s 8th #1 album. Some people question the “authenticity” (there’s THAT word again) of this sales figure, pointing out that people who bought a ticket to her upcoming world tour also received a copy of her new album as part of the overall ticket purchase price. According to Billboard‘s rules on matters such as these, this tactic is totally legal, so credit the Material Girl’s top notch marketing team for scoring the 53 year-old another debut on top of the charts.
No one is accusing Lionel Richie of any trickerfoolery —that’s what you get when you combine trickery and tomfoolery!— when it came to his album Tuskegee. Thanks in part to a well-received comeback performance at SXSW and his killer version of “Say You, Say Me” on Letterman last week, the honey-voiced smooth operator sold 199,000 copies of his torch and twang inspired reinterpretation of his catalog. A hearty congrats go out to Richie, who hasn’t seen these kind of heights on the charts since his album Dancing On The Ceiling debuted at #1 back in 1986.