When Lou Reed died on 27th October 2013 he sold 3,000 copies of his album on that day alone, as well as 17,000 single song downloads. Not to include the increase of streams on YouTube and Spotify or Radio plays.
Following the sad death of David Bowie it’s evident that his music is ascending the charts with Reuters reporting the LP Blackstar is number one in the UK charts before his death. “The legendary star’s 25th studio collection takes an early lead on today’s Official Albums Chart Update with combined sales so far of 43,000 – 25,000 ahead of his closest competitor.”
It’s the spike of sales and presence that happens when artists die, Michael Jackson being a perfect example.
The mania when a public figure dies these days may look insincere sometimes, with the tweets and posts on social media from everyone about the loss they personally feel. With Bowie we can see this, but personally I think it was totally justified, more so than the death of Diana of Wales.
It’s a hysteria we might presume is a modern issue, something about online culture and tweeting is more about our own vanity than the dignity of who we are eulogising, a trap people assume makes us all linked together in grief. However, when Lord Nelson died after the Battle of Waterloo the money for the great column and statue came from public subscription (about £1.5 million today). The amount of Nelson memorabilia that can be found from that time is immense, cups and plates to cameos. These things happen when men of greatness die and Bowie was lucky enough to see his work idolised in his lifetime, mostly the Berlin trilogy.