Every time I have the misfortune of hearing Jack Johnson on the radio, I always seriously wonder just who is buying his albums and causing yet more of his songs to get airplay. Today I learned the answer.
In 2005, Sony BMG released a 3-CD set entitled Electric 80s. The cover art for this compilation of "the greatest Eighties electric hits" featured a reproduction of a UPC bar code, with the title "ELECTRIC 80s" placed in the space at the bottom of the bar code where the human-readable numbers corresponding to that code would usually appear. (The real bar code -- the one used for scanning the price of the item at checkout counters -- was placed in a corner on the back of the packaging, as it is for nearly every similar item.)
Unfortunately for some retailers (such as Tesco supermarkets), the machine-readable version of the bar code used for the CD compilation's cover art was scannable by their systems, and sales clerks at those outlets who mistakenly passed the CD's cover (rather than its back) over point-of-purchase scanners ended up ringing up sales for £9.77, (US $17.46) considerably less than the set's listed price of £14.97 (US $26.76). Often the mis-scanning resulted in stores' mistakenly recording sales of singer Jack Johnson's new (and significantly less expensive) CD, In Between Dreams, instead.
There you have it. Mystery solved.
No one actually likes Jack Johnson. What actually happened is everyone bought a shitty 80's CD and Jack got the credit. This scenario seems much more likely to me -- seeing how Jack Johnson sucks ass -- and I feel like humanity hasn't quite let me down completely.