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?