Billboard magazine is reporting that a mammoth Mozart boxed set that went on sale in late October is the “biggest-selling CD act of 2016,” outpacing such heavyweight contenders as Beyonce, Drake and other people we never listen to.
The story isn’t “fake news,” exactly, but it is heavily spun. First of all, CD sales have tanked in recent years; the medium is no longer the preferred way of listening to music. (Downloading and streaming are, though this week it was reported that in the UK, sales of vinyl recently surpassed those of digital downloads.)
What’s more, to get to the Mozart-winning number, Billboard tallied every single CD in the boxed set, which included 200 CDs, or virtually all of Mozart’s music.
If you look at the fine print, Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition, released by Universal Music Group, sold just a little more than 6,000 units to nab the headline.
So don’t expect your loud neighbor to start blasting “La clemenza di Tito” at their pool parties anytime soon.
Still, the story invents a fun little factoid, and maybe it will inspire a few more people to sample some Mozart in the future.
“Mozart’s immortal melodies, no less than The Beatles or ABBA, are in some way part of all our lives,” said Paul Moseley, the director of Mozart 225, thereby becoming the first person in history to use a Swedish pop group from the ’70s to bolster the reputation of Wolfgang Amadeus.