In a tight race for the “Number One Spot” (slick Ludacris reference, right), The Black Keys outsell Michael Jackson to secure top honors. Turn Blue sold a respectable 164,000 copies, besting the 157,000 copies that Jackson’s Xscape sold. While Jackson was unable to add another no. 1 to his collection, peak-wise, Xscape lands a spot higher than his first posthumous effort, Michael, which settled for no. 3. That said, both the Keys and Jackson’s numbers are down from previous albums, which both sold north of 200,000. Nitpicking aside, both albums infused the industry with a much need lift.
Rascal Flatts, another notable release from the week of May 13, didn’t fare nearly as well as the Keys or Jackson. Flatts sold 61,000 copies of Rewind, good for a no. 5 bow. 61,000 copies is solid contextually given the 2014 sales slump, but in the past, Rascal Flatts could’ve easily moved more copies. More impressive is Dolly Parton’s latest album, Blue Smoke, which lands at no. 6 with 37,000 copies. No, 37,000 copies isn’t a gargantuan number, but for a veteran who isn’t exactly burning up the chartsanymore, Parton did her thing. The gap in sales between albums five and six is tremendous – 24,000 copies to be exact. It’s also quite large between albums six and seven, with Tori Amos landing at no. 7 with Unrepentant Geraldines, which sells only 20,000 copies. Michael W. Smith is the final debut within the top 10 at no. 10, selling around 16,000 copies of Sovereign.
Otherwise within the top 10 of the albums chart, previously charted albums carry over: Now 50, Frozen Soundtrack, Sarah McLachlan (Shine On), and Hunter Hayes (Storyline). Next week should have some notable new releases charting including Coldplay (Ghost Stories), Phillip Phillips (Behind the Light), and The Roots (…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin). If I were a betting man, I’d bet on Coldplay’s Ghost Stories to debut at no. 1.