James Taylor, Before This World © Concord

25 Chart Takeaways: James Taylor’s First No. 1 Album

James Taylor, Before This World © Concord

Finally after a lengthy career, James Taylor does something he’s never done before – topped the Billboard 200! That shocking bit of news and 24 other worthwhile pieces of chart information you’ll probably never use in life but enjoy reading!!! Can’t get a better intro than that, right?

1) Veteran Singer/Songwriter James Taylor scores the first #1 album of his career with Before This World.

2) Adam Lambert hits a familiar position on the chart – third. Like his 2009 debut album For Your Entertainment, The Original High debuts at #3.

3) Hilary Duff’s first album in eight years, Breathe In. Breath Out, debuts at #5.

Nate Ruess, Grand Romantic © Fueled By Ramen

4) Nate Ruess’ debut album Grand Romantic debuts at #7 on the Billboard 200.

5) Mumford & SonsWilder Mind improves nine spots from #19 to #10 on the charts.

6) After three weeks in the top 10, A$AP Rocky spends his fourth week outside of it as At. Long Last. A$AP slips from #8 to #12.

7) Third Eye Blind’s Dopamine debuts modestly at #13. Interestingly, Third Eye Blind has never scored a top ten album.

Muse, Drones © Warner Bros

8) Muse has an abysmal sophomore week as Drones tumbles from #1 to #19. Ouch! If it makes Muse feel any better, The Rolling Stones also tumbled, though Sticky Fingers has already experienced its success peak (drops from #5 to #31).

Fifty Shades Of Grey (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) © Republic

9) Only two soundtracks grace the top 20 this week: Fifty Shades of Grey (#17) and Furious 7 (#20). Pitch Perfect 2 slips from #11 to #23.

10) Hozier sees his self-titled debut album improves 11 spots from #40 to #29 in its 37th week. Hozier debuted at #2 back in 2014.

11) Get this! Imagine Dragons’ debut effort Night Visions improves from #63 to #36. The band’s sophomore album Smoke + Mirrors also improves (#58 to #49), but Night Visions outsold it this week!

12) Matt Redman’s latest contemporary Christian music album Unbroken Praise: At Abbey Road Studios debuts at #50.

13) After falling 25 spots between its first and second weeks (#7 to #32), Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard slip 20 more spots in week three to #52. Won’t be much left to “go to pot” at this rate!

14) Boosie BadAzz has “No Juice” – as far as album sales are concerned. Touch Down 2 Cause Hell drops 20 more spots from #48 to #68.

15) There are three debuts in the 70s – Walk Off The Earth’s Sing It All Away, Giorgio Moroder’s Déjà vu, and Don Omar’s Last Don II. These three debut at #71, #72, and #73 respectively.

Billy Currington, Summer Forever © Mercury

16) Billy Currington’s Summer definitely won’t be lasting Forever. The country musician’s latest is nothing short of a flop, plummeting 25 spots from #55 to #80 three short weeks in.

James Bay, Chaos And The Calm © Republic

17) British newbie James Bay’s debut album returns to the top 100 of the Billboard 200, as Chaos And The Calm improves from #172 to #90. James, people have “The Craving” for you!

18) The “Hood [may] Go Crazy” on the Billboard Hot 100, but the sales for Tech N9ne’s Special Effects are anything but – unless “crazy” means the sales suck. Special Effects slips from #79 to #97 seven weeks in.

19) Chase Rice’s Ignite The Night has spent 42 weeks on the Billboard 200 – Hard to believe right? Ignite The Night falls from #95 to #102.

20) Tamia’s Love Life has not been popular to say the least. The album drops a whopping 82 spots from #27 to #109.

21) Mika’s No Place In Heaven lays an egg – well not literally. No Place In Heaven definitely must be feeling the heat of hell as the album only musters up a tepid debut at #117.

22) AWOLNATION’s Run improves 55 spots from #179 to #124. You go Aaron Bruno!

Jamie Foxx, Hollywood- A Story Of A Dozen Roses © RCA

23) The trainwreck for Jamie Foxx continues. Hollywood: A Story OF A Dozen Roses falls 45 more spots from #101 to #146. Jamie, why’d you bother to release this album buddy?

24) Lil Durk is going NOWHERE! Three weeks in, Remember My Name sits at #164, only 84 spots worse than the previous week.

25) Madonna’s Rebel Heart reenters the Billboard 200 at #198. This marks the album’s 10th week on the charts after debuting at #2. Isn’t something wrong with this picture? Madonna just doesn’t sell any more does she?

Muse, Drones © Warner Bros

25 Chart Takeaways: Muse Takes The Top Spot  

Muse, Drones © Warner Bros

A veteran British alternative band FINALLY earns a #1 album. That long awaited achievement and 24 other fascinating, stimulating chart takeaways – or something like that!

1) 21-years into its career, Muse lands its first #1 album with Drones. 21 years is a long period of time, but better late than never right?

2) Taylor Swift just won’t budge. Once she returned to the top five – she decided that 1989 would keep that #2 spot warm. Well, she didn’t decide technically – that’s all on the music buyers!

3) Who are Of Monsters And Men? Great question! Apparently the Icelandic alternative band’s sophomore album impacted enough to score a #3 debut on the Billboard 200.

4) After reaching the penthouse for the first time last week, Florence + The Machine’s third studio album How Big How Blue How Beautiful falls to #4.

5) Those “fingers” are still sticky 44 years later – The Rolling Stones see their seminal (no pun intended) album Sticky Fingers reenters the chart at #5. The super deluxe edition enters at #65.

Sam Hunt, Montevallo © MCA Nashville

6) Sam Hunt’s star is rising folks. Hunt’s debut album Montevallo improves from #13 to #7.

Pitch Perfect 2 © UMe

7) As hard as it may be to believe, there is NO soundtrack gracing the Billboard 200 Top 10 this week. Pitch Perfect 2, you were the last hope and you FAILED by falling from #6 to #11! CUSS WORDS! Was that too much? – LOL!

8) Royal Blood’s self-titled album enters at #17. One other album, Southernality, the debut effort by A Thousand Horses, closes out the top 20 at #20.

9) Big plunge for Jason Derulo this week as Everything Is 4 drops from #4 to #23 in week two.

Tamia, Love Life © Def Jam

10) Tamia’s first album for a major label in more than a decade doesn’t go so hot – shocker right? The monogamously, classy LP, Love Life debuts modestly at #27.

11) Doesn’t look like there’ll be “too much money going to pot” based upon the second week fortunes of Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s joint album Djano And Jimmie. The set dropped 25 spots from #7 to #32.

12) Tremonti’s Cauterize debuts at #40. For those not in the know, Tremonti was founded by Creed and Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti.

13) Kendrick Lamar sees his sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly improve from #48 to #45 in week 13.

14) After a hot start, the pace has slowed down for Boosie BadAzz as his latest album Touch Down 2 Cause Hell slips from #22 to #48 in only its third week.

Billy Currington, Summer Forever © Mercury

15) Talk about a crappy second week – Billy Currington experiences it firsthand. Summer Forever free falls from #15 to #55 – a 45-spot drop.

16) Despite dropping from #56 to #58, Imagine Dragons’ sophomore album Smoke + Mirrors sees “gains in performance.”

17) Jamie xx also experiences that nasty second week bug. In Colour slips from #21 to #72.

18) The Weeknd sees his compilation album Trilogy rise from #88 to #78 in its 67th week on the chart. Trilogy debuted at #4 back in 2012.

Lil Durk, Remember My Name © Def Jam

19) Call it the second week blues – yep. Isn’t it something that Lil Durk titled his album Remember My Name? Unfortunately, the album crashes and burns in week two plunging from #14 to #80. That’s an ugly 66-spot drop.

20) Michael Jackson’s The Essential Michael Jackson improves from #163 to #96 in week 133.

21) As shocking as it may be, Wale’s The Album About Nothing improves in week 11 from #107 to #98. The improvement is legit – “gains in performance” baby!

22) Jamie Foxx might as well hang up those shoes. Hollywood: A Story Of A Dozen Roses drops 40-spots from #61 to #101 in week four. Album is DONE – write it down.

23) They once were popular, but Montgomery Gentry have to settle for an unremarkable start with Folks Like Us at #121.

24) Marvin Sapp saw his latest album You Shall Live slip from #40 to #124. Gospel isn’t a big seller but still, couldn’t Marvin have gotten a bit more support?

Kelly Clarkson, Piece By Piece © RCA

25) 30 spots later, Kelly Clarkson finds Piece By Piece sitting at #151, it’s worst charting point as of yet.

Florence + The Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful © Island

25 Chart Takeaways: Florence + The Machine Debuts At No. 1

Florence Welch Screen Shot from "What Kind Of Mind" music video (Republic)
Florence Welch Screen Shot from “What Kind Of Mind” music video (Republic)

Florence Welch (and her Machine) returned in a big way with her rather blue, yet beautiful new album, which sits in the penthouse this week on the Billboard 200. But guess what folks – there’s more than Florence at work? How about those 24 other chart takeaways to pass the time?

1) Florence + The Machine scores its first #1 album with How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, the collective’s third studio album. Is anyone surprised?

2) A$AP Rocky’s At.Long.Last.A$AP falls from the top spot on the Billboard 200 to #3 in its second week. This news isn’t the least bit shocking either…yawning as we speak.

3) Jason Derulo’s fourth studio album Everything Is 4 starts at #4 – seems appropriate right? If Everything really is 4, then it totally has to debut fourth since it is his fourth album and he’s trying to move FORward.

Pitch Perfect 2 © UMe

4) Pitch Perfect 2 is the sole soundtrack to remain in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 this week. Fifty Shades of Grey tumbled from #9 to #16, while Furious 7 followed suit slipping from #10 to #17.

5) Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s joint album Django And Jimmie lands at #7. Whatever money these two country vets make – well, “It’s All Going To Pot.”

6) Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll + Hyde rises from #9 to #17 in week number six. Truly seems like the band is embodying the whole “Jekyll” and “Hyde” thing, right?

7) Three newbies miss the top 10: Major Lazer (Peace Is The Mission, #12), Lil Durk (Remember My Name, #14), and Billy Currington (Summer Forever, #15).   The ceiling for all three of these albums appears to be L-O-W.

8) Jamie xx’s solo debut – In Colour – debuts just outside the top 20 at #21. Similarly, rapper Dom Kennedy’s latest album, By Dom Kennedy bows at #23.

Josh Groban, Stages © Reprise

9) Are the Stages narrowing for Josh Groban? The former #2 album slips from #13 to #29 in week six.

10) After a resurgence thanks to a ‘platinum edition,’ Brantley Gilbert’s Just As I Am has experienced a two week drop – #7 to #18 and #18 to #31.

11) After a hot streak, things have cooled off for gospel artist Marvin Sapp. The quietly released You Shall Live debuted equally quietly at #40. Sapp’s previous two albums – Here I Am and I Win – debuted impressively at #2 and #9 respectively.

12) Hillsong United had a solid first week with Empires debuting at #5, but week two is the exact opposite, as the album tumbles to #43.

13) Barenaked LadiesSilverball debuts modestly at #46.

Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly © Aftermath / Interscope

14) Has Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly lost its commercial appeal? Somewhat, as the former #1 album slips 12 spots from #36 to #48 in its 12th week on the charts.

15) Who has the year’s latest flop? If you guessed Jamie Foxx and Hollywood: A Story Of A Dozen Roses, you’d be correct. The uninspired album falls from #32 to #61.

16) Tech N9ne may have the “Hood Go Crazy” on Special Effects, but he’s certainly not going crazy on the charts. Special Effects slipped from #49 to #64 in week five.

Nick Jonas, Nick Jonas © Island

17) No “jealousy” this week cast towards Nick Jonas as his self-titled album slips 20 spots from #46 to #66. Don’t cry too much for ole boy – he’s been on the chart for 30 weeks.

18) YelaWolf experiences an improvement in chart performance: Love Story rises from #81 to #69 in week seven.

19) We have another bomb on our hands ladies and gentlemen. Zedd may be a brilliant musician and seeming nice person, but his sophomore set True Colors is selling about as bad as some of the reviews for the album. This week, it slips from #33 to #76 – OUCH!

20) After 118 weeks on the charts, Drake’s sophomore album, Take Care is still hot – well relatively speaking. It rises from #124 to #81 this week.

Mariah Carey, #1 to Infinity © Epic

21) Mariah Carey needs to rethink things – really. #1 To Infinity can’t be the start that she’d hope for with her new deal at Epic Records – the compilation free falls from #58 to #92 with only three short weeks under its belt.

22) The TenorsUnder One Sky barely cracks the upper half of the Billboard 200 at #98.

23) There’s no “glory” in album number three for Gloriana – the country group suffers a tremendous blow to their previous top 20 fortunes as Three debuts tepidly at #116. Yep, that “fat lady has been done sung.”

24) What’s the deal Kelly Clarkson? Why is Piece By Piece arguably the quietest album of your illustrious career, slipping from #108 to #120? 14 weeks in and the sentiment is this album has been an underperformer.

25) Not only do The Darkness chart their latest album Last Of Our Kind, but they do so within the darkest portions of the chart – that blasted bottom half. Last Of Our Kind debuts at #125. Bad? – Most definitely…like horrible.

Jack Johnson, From Here To Now To You © Brushfire

Chart Moves, September 25, 2013: Jack Johnson, Miley Cyrus and Drake

Jack Johnson, From Here To Now To You © Brushfire

Jack Johnson Tops Without A Hitch 

Every time there is supposed to be a slugfest for the no. 1 spot, that just fails to happen.  Again, after it was prognosticated that no. 1 was a toss up – this time between Jack Johnson and Justin Moore (seemed odd being honest), Jack Johnson did what he does – scores no. 1 albums.  From Here To Now To You opened at the penthouse with 117,000 copies.  Blah numbers right? His previous album sold more than twice as much as that, moving 243,000 copies its first week.  As for the bridesmaid Justin Moore, he debuted at no. 2 with Off The Beaten Path to respectable numbers (97,000 copies).  Hey, when you have never come near six figures, you’re doint something when you just miss by a smidgen, right?

Justin Moore, Off The Beaten Path © Valory

Besides Moore, country shined this week on the Billboard albums chart.  Chris Young can probably thank single “Aw Naw” for the no. 3 bow of A.M. With 54,000 copies.  Sure that makes for a low ceiling, but when you’re not exactly a household country name, those are some solid numbers.  Maybach Music Group (MMG) finds themselves in a familiar spot at no. 4 as Self Made 3 sells 50,000 copies.  That’s healthy for a compilation, but just not a MMG one necessarily.  The fine Self Made 2 sold 98,000 copies, nearly twice as many as this less heralded one. Avicii did well to land at no. 5 with 50,000 copies of debut TRUE sold.  However, another country brother didn’t get it done; Billy Currington found himself at no. 10 with only 26,000 copies of We Are Tonight sold.  Wonder if being charged with terroristic threatening played a role in the cool reception?

Miley, Miley, Miley

Wasn’t it just weeks ago that Robin Thicke was on top the world for like twelve weeks with “Blurred Lines”? Katy Perry knocked him down, but her plan to stay atop the roost didn’t materialize as one Miley Cyrus shut that down with a nude video for actually likable song “Wrecking Ball”.  “Wrecking Ball” has already done something that popular first single “We Can’t Stop” or even earlier career single “Party in the U.S.A.” was unable to do – landed at no. 1.  I’m not really into Miley’s shock value, but I’ll give credit where it is do.  I’m onboard with “Wrecking Ball”… the song. Congrats on another week at no. 1.

Who’s Got Next?

Some of the releases from Tuesday, September 24 should definitely put some numbers on the chart… but you just never know with the way album sales have waned.  Drake should definitely make the top truly top heavy with his highly anticipated third album Nothing Was The Same.  Then there’s that southern rock band Kings of Leon who are releasing their first album in a couple of years (Mechanical Bull).  What about the oldies? Elton John, Sting, and Cher also dropped.  What about a newbie like Icona Pop? Hopefully, these albums move units and don’t disappoint. Drake, we’re counting on you!

Keith Urban, Fuse © Capitol Nashville

Chart Moves, September 18, 2013: Keith Urban’s Narrow No. 1

Keith Urban, Fuse © Capitol NashvilleChart Rewind: Highlights from Last Week (September 11, 2013) 

Ariana Grande found her debut album Yours Truly debuting at no. 1 with 138,000 copies sold.  Tamar Braxton followed behind her in the no. 2 spot with Love and War selling an impressive 114,000 copies.  Nine Inch Nails returned with their first major label effort in a couple of years, selling 107,000 copies.  John Legend arrives to a cooler reception as Love in the Future sells a somewhat underwhelming 68,000 copies good for a no. 4 start.  Jaheim’s numbers are also modest, as Appreciation Day enters at no. 6 with 58,000 copies sold.  As for others charting, Bastille’s Bad Blood bowed at no. 11, Neko Case’s Worst Things Get, The Harder I Fight…  lands at no. 12,  while former typical top ten R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn found his fine A Place Called Love Land debuting outside the top 20 at no. 22. Ouch!

Keith Urban Debuts At No. 1, By A Smidgen 

Keith Urban debuts at no. 1 with latest album Fuse, but it was no landslide.  Urban’s latest sold under its 100,000 prognostication, selling 98,000 copies.  Respectable in an age where few albums are wowing with their sales figures, but certainly not ‘juggernaut’ status.  The Weeknd really just needed a little more firepower behind it with its 95,000 copies to top the charts with Kiss Land. But no. 2 ain’t bad, especially when his last album the compilation Trilogy debuted at no. 4 with 86,000 copies.  He came up… a little.  As for Urban, well, he’s had better charting days – much better.

2 Chainz
certainly didn’t make the impact on the charts that his debut Based On A T.R.U. Story did in 2012 (no. 1, 147,000 copies).  2 Chainz suffers from the sophomore slump as B.O.A.T.S. II #METIME lands at no. 3 with 63,000 copies.  Those are better numbers than anticipated, but still, maybe dumbness isn’t paying off for ol’ boy. Janelle Monáe has a solid debut as The Electric Lady lands at no. 5 with 47,000 copies.  The Arctic Monkeys do relatively well all things considered, landing at no. 6 with 42,000 copies sold of album AM.  As for Ms. Sheryl Crow, she’s had better days as Feels Like Home debuts at no. 7 with only 36,000 copies.

Top 10 holdovers rule the rest of the chart including Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party at no. 4, Tamar Braxton’s Love and War at no. 8, Ariana Grande’s Yours Truly at no. 9, and John Legend’s Love in the Future at no. 10.

Miley Hits No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

There is plenty to scrutinize about Miley Cyrus (like a crap-ton), but “Wrecking Ball” gives the rebellious twenty-year old her first no. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.  Honestly, the song itself is quite likable… yes I said it.  It’s the video that raised eyebrows, specifically some tongue/sledgehammer action and the nudity.  But regardless, Miley came up.  I could make a Katy Perry joke in regards to “Roar”, but I won’t.

Who’s Got Next?

519q2dveFcL._SL500_AA280_The fall is always rich with new albums.  This week is no different. Jack Johnson seems to be leading the charge as From Here To Now To You wouldn’t be a shocking chart topper come next week. Maybach Music Group return with a third compilation set Self Made 3, while MGMT return with their third, self-titled effort.  Elvis Costello and The Roots have a thing going on with collaborative album Wise Up Ghost, while a country trifecta of Chris Young (A.M.), Justin Moore (Off The Beaten Path), and Billy Currington (We Are Tonight).  Johnny Lang also bows with his latest (Fight For My Soul) as does power-pop favorite Five For Fighting (Bookmarks). Need some electronica/dance? How about Avicii’s debut True?  Or some alternative goodness – Grouplove’s Spreading Rumours.  Jam-packed week, but Jack Johnson seems like he’ll be hard to beat.

Justin Bieber (instagram/justinbieber)

#SwagDown: 10 Artists With PR Problems in 2013

CHICAGO, IL - December 15, 2012: Justin Bieber performs live on stage at the B96 Pepsi Jingle Bash at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois (photo by Alex Goykhman/ B96 Chicago)

I am sure there are more artists than mentioned, but there have been some big time  artistic miscues by numerous musicians in 2013.  I have chosen fifteen, err..sixteen overall with ten to highlight, but I’m sure there are many more! Welcome to 2013’s Disastrous Musical Artists PR Tournament!

Others with some PR problems:

  • Brad Paisley/LL Cool J: The controversially bad duet that should’ve never happened…SMH (8-
    seeds, unranked)
  • Nicki Minaj: This one should speak for itself… Are you watching American Idol every week? Well even if you are avoiding it, take my word for it.  (7-seed, unranked)
  • Jason Aldean: The divorce/cheating thing…  (7- seed, unranked)
  • Azealia Banks: Too many twitter beefs.  This girl can’t seem to get along with anybody.   (6-seed, unranked)
  • Keyshia Cole:  Should probably keep her opinions about others to herself… not helping your career.  (6-seed, unranked)

Now for the ranked opponents!

Continue reading “#SwagDown: 10 Artists With PR Problems in 2013”