Kid Rock's album 'Born Free' quietly goes platinum after 44 weeks: What albums took even longer?

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So, here’s some random news: Kid Rock’s latest album, Born Free, just passed the 1 million mark in album sales after a whopping 44 weeks on the chart.

Most impressively, Kid reached that number without a major hit single (“Born Free” peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart), and without any help from iTunes, where he has long chosen not to release his music for download.

”I don’t have a beef with Apple, or iTunes, or any of them,” he told EW in 2008. “I do have a beef with that it seems kind of socialist of them to charge the same price for every song. What if every car cost $4,000, you know what I mean? A song from my neighbor’s garage band is not the same value as Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run.’ I just want to decide how my product gets sold with the people who sell it.”

The album’s long journey to platinum-status (technically, Born Free was certified platinum in May for shipping 1 million copies to stores, but it just crossed the 1 million copies-sold mark) has us thinking about what other albums took their sweet time to reach the milestone.

According to the RIAA, the answer is quite a few: Coldplay plugged along for 59 weeks to earn a platinum certification for their debut album, Parachutes, which came out in 2000. Buckcherry’s 2006 album, 15, spent 1 year and 9 months (93 weeks) working towards that number. Flyleaf’s All Around Me, meanwhile, took 2 years and 9 months (about 143 weeks!) to reach platinum status following its 2006 release. Jason Mraz’s We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things took its sweet 43-week time, while Mumford and Sons’ Sigh No More spent 53 weeks working to reach the coveted plateau.

Unlike Mumford, who had a high-profile Grammy gig and rode a wave of critical buzz, or Mraz, who produced a long-germinating über-hit with “I’m Yours,” Kid Rock managed to sell 1 million albums (after a solid, but not huge 189,000 debut week) without many accolades or promotions besides “Born Free” being named the official song of the 2010 MLB playoffs on TBS.

What do you think caused Born Free to slowly chug along to success? And what helps others like it?

Read more:
Born Free album review
Kid Rock: A 2008 Entertainer of the Year

Comments (24 total) Add your comment
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  • J. Lane

    He’s still alive?

    • The Ulimate Answer

      “What do you think caused Born Free to slowly chug along to success?” 1) Because it’s a Kid Rock album. 2) Because it sucked.

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  • CountryClub

    This is how it used to be. Albums would sell slow and steady while the band toured. It wasnt until the late 90’s (Spears, N Synch, etc…) when CD’s used to explode with 700k sold in the first week.

    • Randy

      Pearl jam VS sold 900,000 copies in the 1st week in 94

      • CountryClub

        Very true. My point was that the huge 1st week sales splash didnt become the norm until the late 90’s. I should have been clearer.

    • PN

      I think with Spears and NSYNC, they had their loyal fans right there, they promoted their music to the max on multiple media platforms and the fans get the albums immediately. Other artists take a more low key route without promotion and tour to promote their album and the album sells briskly that way. Sometimes people will get that artist’s album this way versus seeing them on TV or other forms of media. Kid Rock’s unconvential way actually worked for his album.

  • Randy Jackson

    People still buy Kid Rock records?

  • austin

    His beef really just seems to be with the US version of iTunes. I went on iTunes UK and it looks like you can get the individual songs there. iTunes is iTunes what difference does the country make?

  • dw

    i remember moby’s album taking forever to reach that status. the chicago tribune did a whole article on it and pointed to all the ads that featured songs as how it kept building slowly.

  • Maddie

    The last time I checked, music stores sell every album for pretty much the same price. Does that mean they’re “socialist”, too? What an idiot.

    • John Cusack

      Are there still record stores around? Cool, I might do a movie about one…but Kid Rock ain’t invited.

  • Huh?

    I actually used to like some of his stuff, and had a bit of respect for this guy…but the fact that you can get his stuff on iTunes in the UK, but he’s claiming it’s socialist and will not sell them on the US version of iTunes…what a d1(khead. He’s such a complete hypocrite, and a phony, and is being dishonest to his fans.

  • Bebe

    He wants his fans in the U.S. to have to shell out for the entire CD. He’s probably not as popular (if he is in fact still popular in the U.S.) over there.

    • Huh?

      Exactly…”Born Free” to steal money from his sucker fans in the U.S. He is officially a tool.

  • PN

    There are a lot of albums that took 52 weeks or 2 years, maybe even3, 5 to 10 years to sell over 1 million copies. I even saw the RIAA website of some classic ’80s or ’90s albums that took years to go gold or platinum. It’s that slow build of a year of an album versus a big name artist that sells 300,000 or 500,000 its first week. Sometimes, a few of my favorite albums finally went gold or platinum. It’s good tht Kid Rock’s recent album took that long 44 weeks to go platinum. I think that because he’s against the downloading trend and would rather see fans buy physical albums, that’s why his Born Free album sold that strong.

  • PN

    I’m surprised that Coldplay’s 2000 album took 59 weeks to go platinum! I thought they sold that big right out of the box, but that was surprising to read that it took a year for their album to go platinum. It’s those early albums that led to their bigger success later on that decade.

  • Ryan

    Kid Rock doesn’t want his music on iTunes because all the music is the same price. Meanwhile, you can buy his CD in a store, where…all of the CDs are the same price.

    Can I be his accountant?

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  • ken

    I wonder who all you haters like and listen to.Kid rock is my favorite musician and he doesnt make a bad song.He sells millions of cd’s because hes great and you all are not !!! A bunch of losers your whole life and have to hate to be happy.losers

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