Ah, who doesn’t love a good ‘come-up’ story? Schoolboy Q has reason to celebrate as his third LP Oxymoron takes over the no. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Apparently, them “Collard Greens” were pretty potent, as 139,000 people decided to add Oxymoron to their music collection. 139,000 copies isn’t the ‘end all be all’ in regards to album sales, but its definitely sound for what could be considered an up-and-comer, even three albums into a rap career. Compared to his colleague Kendrick Lamar, the numbers are less favorable (Good Kid M.A.A.D. City missed the top spot, but sold 241,000 copies), though Kendrick also had bigger buzz surrounding him at the time, not to mention the fourth quarter to propel him.
Schoolboy Q fended off that feisty Frozen Soundtrack, which continues to put up respectable numbers. This week, the magic number for the runner up was 91,000, which according to billboard.com was an increase from the previous week. Frozen kept another new release and veteran, Beck from the runner-up spot. Beck settles for no. 3 with 87,000 copies sold of Morning Phase, his first album in six years. Even though Beck couldn’t match a previous high watermark – a no. 2 peak for 2005 effort Guero – or its robust 162,000 copies start, he managed to outperform prognostications.
Surprise albums seem to be all the rage these days, with Kid Cudi’s oddball Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon fitting right into the trend. Kid Cudi doesn’t quite have the Beyoncé effect, but does debut at no. 4 with 87,000 copies. Compared to last year’s slightly more accessible Indicud, the numbers are down for the left-field rapper. In fact, Satellite Flight is Cudi’s lowest debuting album as of yet. The next closest in terms of his discography was his debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day, which sold 104,000 good for a no. 4 bow. Previous album Indicud debuted at no. 2 selling 136,000 copies. Indicud was a drop-off itself, specifically from Cudi’s sophomore album, Man on the Moon: The Legend of Mr. Rager, which debuted at no. 3, but sold 169,000 copies. Is Scott Mescudi just too odd for sustainable commercial success? Perhaps.
Keeping things close (and new), Romeo Santos debuts at no. 5 with Formula: Vol. 2. Formula sold 85,000 copies, awesome numbers for a Latin album. Dierks Bentley didn’t quite get in on the “80s” action (80K that is), but Riser did debut at no. 6 with 63,000 copies. 63,000 copies doesn’t have much of a ceiling itself, but Bentley isn’t exactly country’s most consistent selling male artist. Still, 63,000 copies isn’t too shabby. The Fray would’ve enjoyed being even remotely close to 63K; they settle for a no. 8 bow and 37,000 copies sold of Helios. Seems like the popularity of “Over My Head (Cable Car)” hasn’t translated to the band’s more recent efforts. Other than Frozen, the only holdovers are Eric Church (The Outsiders), Now 49, and Beyoncé (Beyoncé). Good sales week – finally!
Pharrell Williams goes into next week’s chart with the momentum of retaining no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Happy“). Pharrell’s second solo album GIRL is one of the competitive albums fighting for the top two spots on next week’s chart. Second solo album you ask? Well ole boy released In My Mind a couple of years back and snagged a Grammy-nomination for the LP. Rick Ross should have no. 1 locked up as he releases his sixth LP, Mastermind. With the exception of Ross’ best LP (in my opinion), Teflon Don, Ross has locked down no. 1 four previous times. Lea Michele wishes she could muster up the numbers expected from Ross or Williams, but according to Billboard prognostications, she won’t come close. And as for Eli Young Band, well 10,000 Towns is far behind. I won’t even mention Ashanti’s Brave Heart – it doesn’t have a shot.
Oh and going back to the Billboard Hot 100, what about my homeboy John Legend breaking into that top four (last week I believe)? Who would’ve thought that “All Of Me”, an old school, piano-driven ballad would be a hit in 2014? It remains at no. 4 this week according to Billboard. Rock on John, rock on!
The Frozen Soundtrack is sort of like winter itself – it just don’t stop! Once more, Frozen finds itself atop the Billboard 200 Albums Chart selling 89,000 copies. It is surprising that Frozen was able to rise to the top once more, particularly after Eric Church blew the competition out of the water with last weeks no. 1 debuting The Outsiders, which had sold 288,000 copies. This week, Church takes a step back to no. 2 with only 74,000 copies sold… yuck! Country newbie Cole Swindell debuts respectably with 63,000 copies of Cole Swindell, good for a no. 3 bow. Issues – an up and coming rock band – lands at no. 9 with Issues, selling 22,000 copies. Notice Candice Glover misses the top 10 with debut album Music Speaks. What a shame. Also no signs of Phantogram‘s Voices.
By the way, the “Dark Horse” has been dethroned… Pharrell Williams takes the incredibly fun “Happy” to no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. First he “got lucky” at no. 2 and now he’s incredibly “happy” at no. 1. Top spot baby! Who’s got next on next week’s charts? Beck (Morning Phase), St. Vincent (St. Vincent), and Schoolboy Q (Oxymoron) are all strong candidates. Where they will land, well only time will tell.
Let the “Church” say yes… Corny, I know. But one of country’s rising stars, Eric Church, just continues to rise. The Outsiders gives Church his second no. 1 album, selling a healthy 288,000 copies. Sub 100K weeks are done, at least this week. How does The Outsiders’ numbers compare to the numbers that greeted Chief? Well ole boy “Doubled Up”… or nearly doubled up (145,000 copies). In a slow weak for new releases, well, Church was the bright spot. Compilations continue to do soundly though, as Frozen Soundtrack sold another 100,000 (no. 2) and Now 49 sold 77,000 copies after a no. 1 debut. From there, the numbers are only so-so. What is notable, however, is that Toni Braxton & Babyface only see a small drop in sales of Love Marriage & Divorce (it is no. 8 this week). Go figure.
On The Billboard Hot 100, Katy Perry continues to rule the roost with some help from Juicy J on “Dark Horse”. However, being “Happy” definitely helps Pharrell Williams, who’s Academy Award nominated hit sits at no. 2.
As for next week’s chart impact from new releases, Candice Glover, the American Idol season 12 victor, released her debut album Music Speaks. Unfortunately, with little fanfare behind the album, who knows how well it will sale. Otherwise, unless Cole Swindell is incredibly established as a new country force, sales might underwhelm.
From one compilation to another, Now 49 debuts at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. In yet another sub 100,000 copies week, Now 49 sells 98,000 copies. Frozen doesn’t fall too far from grace – it is no. 2 and managed to sell another 88,000 copies. The big news on the charts is how much of an impact the Super Bowl had on Bruno Mars, who’s Unorthodox Jukebox returns to the top 3, with 81,000 copies sold. While his compilation contemporaries may not have near the bragging rights given their numbers, Mars should be proud. Unorthodox Jukebox was released in December 2012 and in February 2014 has managed to re-enter the top echelon of the charts. Now that’s swag.
Now 49 wasn’t the only debut. Toni Braxton & Babyface surprisingly outperform as Love Marriage & Divorce sells 67,000 copies, goo for a bow at no. 4. Sure 67,000 copies still doesn’t leave the duo a great ceiling, but it’s respectable given the status of R&B these days… well save for ‘Yoncé. Broken Bells land at no. 5 with their sophomore album, After The Disco. 44,000 copies isn’t too shabby considering Broken Bells isn’t exactly a household name. Lil Mix isn’t either, yet their sophomore album Salute lands at no. 6 with 43,000 copies. The numbers don’t exactly equate to prolonged success mind you, but in some regards, all four of the newbies on the chart performed better than I anticipated at least.
“Dark Horse” she’s not ladies and gentleman as Katy Perry continues to shine atop the Billboard Hot 100 with pal Juicy J. Changing gears though, as for who’s got next on the albums chart, put your money on Eric Church’s latest, The Outsiders. Church’s previous studio album, Chief debuted at no. 1. This is a relatively quiet release week.
It’s been an awesome winter for the Frozen Soundtrack, as it spends yet another week atop the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. This week, the album sold another 94,000 copies according to Billboard.com. On the one hand, it is good that there is an album that’s infusing the industry with some, well, sales. On the other hand – the more pessimistic one – yet another sub 100,000 copies week is amongst us with sales down. Still, close by Frozen is another compilation the Grammy Nominees 2014, which remains at no. 2, but surges in sales with 87,000 copies sold. Both albums post gains, which are pros, but the realist in me has an observation to make.
In years past, Grammy-award winning albums or nominees who performed have sold massive numbers to top-load the charts following the week after the Grammys. This time, a holdover soundtrack remains the album to beat, while the Grammy compilation itself outsells victorious albums. It definitely says something about the sales of albums in recent times. Personally, I don’t see record sales regaining their swagger, save for a blockbuster like Beyoncé’s Beyoncé, which sits at no. 5 this week.
But enough chitter chatter, what about the new albums – that’s what y’all came for right? Of Mice & Men bow at no. 4 with Restoring Force selling 51,000 copies. Casting Crowns’ latest, Thrive, starts at no. 6 with 43,000 copies sold. For Casting Crowns, a Christian band, these numbers are actually underwhelming considering the success the band has had in recent times. If this were any other Christian or gospel act, 43,000 copies and a number six bow would be remarkable. However, Casting Crowns has both peaked and sold more robustly in the past, namely 2007 album The Altar and The Door which debuted at no. 2 with 129,000 copies. Still, 43,000 in the current music economy is sound…I suppose.
Other than Yoncé’s small gain, Other Grammy winners saw some increases, though not like years in the past. The percentages are similar to the past, but the actual amount of sales isn’t. Those included in the gains are Lorde, Bruno Mars, Imagine Dragons, Katy Perry, and album of the year victor, Daft Punk. Daft Punk perhaps get the shortest end of the stick for an album of the year winner as Random Access Memories rose to no. 10, but only moved 31,000 copies. Sure, the French duo rose 300% in sales according to Billboard.com, but remember that’s relative to the current music economy, which is down. Herbie Hancock’s upset victory a couple of years back (over Kanye West and Amy Winehouse) scored him a top 5 album with 54,000 copies sold. Adele and Mumford & Sons, both album of the year winners, had huge surges following the Grammys. It is what it is though. At least Daft Punk and the rest of us were able to “Get Lucky” all summer long – no pun intended.
Ultimately, the Grammys’ influence makes this a busier chart week, even if the optimism is only short-lived and doesn’t match the same amount of sales of the past. Next week, among new albums arriving include Broken Bells (After The Disco), Now 49, and a duets album courtesy of Toni Braxton & Babyface (Love, Marriage & Divorce). Bruno Mars’ sales may still rise depending on how much impact his awesome Super Bowl halftime performance had beginning on Monday, the day once sales are tallied for the new week. His full gain in sales probably wouldn’t have been felt on Sunday, the day of the big game… well lopsided game.
The Frozen soundtrack ascends back to no. 1, selling 93,000 copies. For a soundtrack, the sales have been quite impressive. The next closest album, 2014 Grammy Nominees is nowhere near Frozen’s sales, landing at no. 2 selling 59,000 copies. Next week, however, billboard.com prognosticates the compilation could rise to no. 1, with 85,000 copies sold. Still, 85,000 copies aren’t exactly breathtaking numbers. Still below that 100,000 copies mark.
Singer/songwriting duo A Great Big World enter at no. 3 with 48,000 copies sold. For relative unknown newbies, save for the huge “Say Something” that is a top five Hot 100 hit, those are decent sales. Young The Giant bow at no. 7 with Mind Over Matter, which sales 34,000 copies. Other wise, the top ten features holdovers. The no. 1 album sells 93,000 copies vs. the no. 10 album selling 24,000 copies. Nothing too sexy, but it is what it is.
Katy Perry has added another no. 1 to her belt, as “Dark Horse” featuring Juicy J rises to no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Timber” couldn’t stay no. 1 forever… Ultimately, quite a boring week, much like January as a whole has been.
Bruce Springsteen lands at a familiar position, no.1 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. High Hopes didn’t exactly deliver killer numbers, but the 99,000 copies it moved was enough to give The Boss another notch in his belt… err another no. 1 album. Perhaps the more negative view of Springsteen’s latest number one is the likelihood of an unfavorable overall ceiling for the album. Folks, where are 99,000 copies going? That’s rhetorical.
Other albums debut, albeit so-so. Kidz Bop’s umpteenth album arrives at no. 3, behind the Frozen soundtrack. The 76,000 copies are actually respectable, but certainly doesn’t paint an optimistic picture for albums sales as a whole. Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland) manages to sell 54,000 copies of her solo debut, That Girl. The album arrives at no. 5. Switchfoot proceeds at no. 6 with Fading West, selling a modest 39,000 copies. Ick! Otherwise the top 10 looks familiar: Beyoncé, Lorde, Eminem, Katy Perry, and Imagine Dragons. January is in full swing.
Unsurprisingly, “Timber” continues to rock out on the Billboard Hot 100. Hey, somebody’s gotta live it up in the dead of January, why not Pitbull and Ke$ha? As for this coming week, look for the Grammy Nominees album and A Great Big World (Is There Anybody Out There?) to make some chart noise. Just how loud that noise is… probably piano (aka soft).
Beyoncé tried to reclaim the glory of being number one – something that she did for three consecutive weeks, but Disney’s popular Frozen film has also taken the music world a storm remaining atop the Billboard 200. The numbers are ugly, but a number one album is a number one album right? Well, sort of… Frozen sold only 86,000 copies. 86,000 copies for the top-selling album in the country is pretty modest. That said, it’s January and the charts are a ‘hot mess’ early on in the year. ‘Yoncé didn’t find herself to far behind, moving 79,000 more copies of Beyoncé. The ‘visual album’ has sold like a beast, selling over 1.5 million in five short weeks. Yes girl, you are “***Flawless”.
The top ten is pretty quiet this week, though Kid Ink arrived with In My Own Lane at number three. The drop off between albums two and three is pretty wide though – Ink sold 50,000 copies. It is what it is. After that, the top ten keeps Eminem, Lorde, One Direction, Katy Perry and Imagine Dragons. Miley Cyrus regains her swag to rejoin ‘elite’ company with horrific numbers (can you say a legit “Wrecking Ball”). The most shocking re-entrance in the top ten comes from R. Kelly. Still, according to Billboard, not too many folks were on them Black Panties – the album sold 17,000 copies! So the top ten ranges between 17,000 and 86,000 copies in sales. Add the approximate sales totals of the top ten and what do you get? 385,000 copies… It took ten albums to sell that much. Record execs everywhere are cringing.
On the Hot 100, Pitbull and Ke$ha keeps things “going down” with “Timber.” They might as well, as little else is going down. Thankfully, a hot release week should infuse some life into the albums chart next week. Bruce Springsteen should definitely bring some High Hopes after such tepid numbers this week. Also, don’t count out Jennifer Nettles – surely some of that Sugarland crowd will join her for the solo ride That Girl. Also don’t underestimate the power of parents buying wholesome music for their offspring. Kidz Bop, it sells people! Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings may not be a household name, but those who have a soft spot for retro-soul – the real deal mind you – will eat up Give The People What They Want. Record companies have done a fine job of stacking January 14, 2014 with interesting releases… hopefully people partake.
Beyoncé couldn’t get it done for a fourth consecutive week…sigh. She gives up her throne this week to the Frozen soundtrack. Between Frozen and Beyoncé – albums nos. 1 and 2 – they’re the only albums to sell over 100,000 copies this week. Christmas has come and gone folks! Frozen grows in sales moving 165,000 copies, while Beyoncé shrinks to 130,000 copies. For Beyoncé, this is the fourth consecutive week it moves six figures. According to billboard.com, the album has already surpassed 4 in total album sales and has sold just short of 1.5 million. After Beyoncé and Frozen, there’s not much noise on the charts. Familiar names rule the top ten with a reduced percentage in sales. Those familiar names/artists – Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP 2), Katy Perry (PRISM), One Direction… you get the idea.
On the singles chart, well, according to Pitbull and Ke$ha, “it’s going down…” aka “Timber” crows the Hot 100, dethroning the “Rap God” himself, Eminem (“The Monster” featuring Rihanna). One has to admit, “Timber” is catchy. That said, inevitably, “what goes up, must come down”. It may be “going down” now Pit and Ke$ha, but the ride won’t last always… LOL.
Whose Got Next? Kid Ink (My Own Lane) is the only notable album released on Tuesday, January 7. Steve Malkmus & The Jicks also arrives, but isn’t likely to generate much buzz. How well the Kid Ink set will sell, only time will tell.
This one is short and sweet… but informative.
Beyoncé continues her stint at no. 1, with fifth LP Beyoncé moving another 310,000 copies. What’s interesting about that total is that that’s about how many copies 4 sold when it debuted! In total, Beyoncé has sold 1.3 million copies in three short weeks! Now who’s “working” Britney? Three other albums sold more than 100,000 copies – One Direction (Midnight Memories), Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP 2), and Frozen Soundtrack. Katy Perry didn’t do too shabby for herself either, as Prism closed out a highflying top five with 99,000 copies. Go on and “roar” girl!
New releases definitely didn’t play a role in this weeks chart, nor will they next week; the dead of January is firmly upon us. So buy those albums you missed/slept on or replay the new classics of 2013. Otherwise, there won’t be a lot to add to the collection…