Well, at least they're consistent.  Album sales continue to slide, marking declines for eight out of the last nine years.

In the third quarter 2009, sales were down 11.1% from the same period in 2008, according to Billboard. For the year so far, sales are done 13.9% from last year.  In case anyone's still counting, in 2008, sales were down 14% from 2007. And so it goes.

Even the splendid sales from Michael Jackson and the Beatles didn't slow the drop much. Third quarter sales from the two iconic acts in the third quarter helped stem the tide, but didn't stop the bleeding. In the third quarter, Jackson sold close to 5 million albums in the U.S. following his June 25 death, while the Beatles have sold 1.3 million units since their catalog was re-released  Sept. 9. 

The top seller of the year so far is Jackson's "Number Ones" with 1.8 million units. That title has quite a ways to go to catch last year's winner: Lil Wayne's "The Carter III," which sold 2.5 million copies in the 2008 calendar year. Is it too cruel to remind you that there were years, not too long ago, when a title from a superstar, such as Eminem or Garth Brooks, would sell one million copies in a week? Makes you cry, doesn't it?