Chart Moves, Oct. 23, 2013: Pearl Jam’s Lighting Bolt Strikes at No. 1


Pearl-Jam-w14I believe that it was last week I suggested to readers to ‘take your pick’ at which album would debut at no. 1.  Somehow when formulating such a statement, I must have forgot about a certain veteran band who would manage to sell six figures – oops! Pearl Jam debuts atop the Billboard Albums Chart with 166,000 copies of Lightning Bolt sold.  Pearl Jam definitely aren’t strangers to debuting at no. 1 as several of their sets have landed there.  166,000 copies is a solid start in this day and age, though not exactly ‘breathtaking’. Still, it leads one to believe that the ceiling is wider than it would be had the vets sold under 100,000 copies.  By the way, Lighting Bolt is the sole album to sell over 100,000 copies.  Ew!

The second largest debut comes from Paul McCartney, whose latest album New bows at no. 3 with 67,000 copies.  While that number is respectable, it’s not incredibly ‘sexy’.  It only gets worst for those not named ‘Pearl Jam’.  The Avett Brothers sell almost 58,000 copies of Magpie and the Dandelion (no. 5).  Sure, Billboard references 61rtMC1Jc1L._SL500_AA280_this as “their second-largest week”, but 58,000 copies definitely doesn’t seem to leave much room for ‘growth’ you might say.  Scotty McCreery does much worse, particularly considering the platinum success of debut album Clear As Day, which debuted at no. 1 with 197,000 copies.  See You Tonight settles for no. 6 with an unimpressive 52,000 copies sold.  Can you say big time sophomore slump (excluding that Christmas album of course).  Country veteran Willie Nelson bows at no. 9 with 43,000 copies sold of To All The Girls while The Head and the Heart debut at no. 10 with 42,000 copies of Let’s Be Still.

Holdovers? Miley Cyrus (no. 2), Drake (no. 4), and Lorde (no. 7).  Cher re-enters the top 10 at no. 8.  Oh and that Lorde song “Royals”  – yeah, it’s still no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

71bnnB+lzdL._SL1500_Who’s Got Next? All indications would seem to suggest Katy Perry’s highly anticipated PRISM to me, which was preceded by a very successful, former no. 1 single in “Roar”.  That said, when Teenage Dream bowed back in 2010, the numbers were a bit underwhelming during its debut week considering the success of the promo singles (it still debuted at no. 1).  Also released this week:  DJ Khaled (Suffering From Success), AFI (Burials), Il Volo (Buon Natale: The Christmas Album), Andrea Bocelli (Love in Portofino), The Piano Guys (A Family Christmas), Motörhead (Aftershock), Fifth Harmony (Better Together (EP)), Najee (Morning After), and Wynton Marsalis (The Spiritual Side of Wynton Marsalis).


Chart Moves, October 2, 2013: Drake 3Peats


Drake’s 3Peat on the Billboard Albums Chart

Unsurprisingly, Drake lands atop the Billboard 200 Album Charts with his third solo album, Nothing Was The SameNothing Was The Same sold a career-best 658,000 copies, trumping the 631,000 copies that Take Care sold in 2011.  Ultimately, Drake’s latest sold just a tad below prognostications, but easily took honors as top hip-hop debut of the year and the second-best debut overall behind Justin Timberlake’s juggernaut, The 20/20 Experience.  Drake, dude, “you the f**king best”.

…More Debuts This Week…

51UokMRA8lL._SL500_AA280_The best he may be, Drake is only the start of a debut-heavy top ten.  Kings of Leon play bridesmaid with Mechanical Bull, which sold 110,000 copies.  That’s down from the debut of 2010 effort Come Around Sundown, but stronger than the band’s breakthrough effort Only By The Night, which was their fourth album.  Cher and Elton John apparently don’t miss a beat, even at 67 and 66 years of age respectively.  Cher’s anticipated CElton John-LMK-051125loser to the Truth, her first new album in 11 years, bows at no. 3 with 63,000 copies.  As for Elton John, The Diving Board arrives at no. 4 with 47,000 copies sold.  He impacted the chart last with Leon Russell on the fine The Union in 2010 (no. 3, 80,000 copies).

Guess what, there were more debuts! Dream Theater’s Dream Theater moves 34,000 copies at no. 7.  Krewella moves 27,000 copies of Get Wet, good for a no. 8 bow.  Metallica is the final top 10 bow as Metallica: Through the Never ends up at no. 9 with 26,000 copies.

Who’s Got Next

51C5yP6ZOqL._SL500_AA280_I’ll keep it simple… Justin Timberlake. The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 should debut at no. 1.  The only spoils? Timberlake underperforms and Drake over performs after a brilliant debut.  Other releases arriving? Lorde’s Pure Heroine, Tyler Farr’s Redneck Crazy, Joan Jett & The BlackheartsUnvarnished, Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Glorious Unfolding, K-Ci & JoJo’s My Brothers Keeper.  Lorde should be the other biggie in addition to Timberlake according to’s estimations.  Having the U.S.’s new no. 1 single “Royals” certainly helps the teen singer.

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!

Forthcoming Albums To Anticipate (August 2013 Onward)


As we are transitioning into the late summer, the album releases become increasingly more ‘blockbuster’ like.  Face it, the end of the year is always loaded.  We don’t know all of the releases that will materialize yet, but we already have a rich group of new albums we will be spinning beginning in August.


Lady Gaga, ARTPOP 

Genre: Pop / Dance

Anticipated U.S. Release date: November 11, 2013

lady-gaga-artpop-650-430“Let’s have some fun this beat is sick / I wanna take a ride on your disco stick!” Whenever a new Gaga album is released, watch out.  Details will come soon enough, but after a two year hiatus (Born This Way, 2011), is the world ready for nu Gaga? (That’s rhetorical). I’ll tell you one thing though, go ahead an sign, seal, and deliver another triumphant number one bow on the album charts.


Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience 2, etc. 

Genre: Pop

Anticipated U.S. Release date: N/A

Had we not already gotten our first taste of Justin Timberlake returning in a big way earlier this year, then JT probably would’ve topped this list.  2013 has been the year of Justin Timberlake, and it should continue this fall.  We’ve already be introduced to the set’s first single, “Take Back The Night”.


Arcade Fire, N/A

Genre: Alternative

Anticipated U.S. Release date: October 29, 2013

Arcade-Fire-006Right now the details are few about Arcade Fire’s follow up to The Suburbs (2010).  The Suburbs was a triumph, debuting at number one on the albums chart with 156,000 copies and selling 765,000 copies total. Numbers aside, The Suburbs won the coveted Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2011.


Elton John, The Diving Board

Genre: Pop / Rock

Anticipated U.S. Release date: September 24, 2013

This is a BIG Elton John release.  The 66 year old veteran is releasing his first solo album in seven years.  Ain’t much changed… he co-writes with his homeboy Bennie Taupin and we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Cher, Closer To The Truth

Genre: Pop / Dance

Anticipated U.S. Release date: September 24, 2013

Premiere Of "The Zookeeper" - ArrivalsIt’s been eleven years since Cher’s last studio album (Living Proof, 2002).  Can the 67 year old rekindle the fire after such a long hiatus? Let’s hope there’s another “Believe” in her!


John Mayer, Paradise Valley

Genre: Pop / Rock

Anticipated U.S. Release date: August 20, 2013

XXX _JOHN MAYER GAP 1669.JPG A FEAEvery John Mayer album seems to make a nice dent in the charts.  I have no doubt that Paradise Valley will follow suit and likely find itself at the penthouse.  That said, wasn’t it surprising that his 2012 effort Born and Raised missed out on the Grammy love he usually gets?


Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks 

Genre: Alternative

Anticipated U.S. Release date: September 3, 2013

trent-reznor_1358298cThis is Nine Inch Nails’ first album since The Slip from 2008.  The Slip was given away for free is memory serves me correctly.  If you want to get technical, their last proper album via major label was 2007’s Year Zero, which debuted at number two (187,000) behind Avril Lavigne’s The Best Damn Thing.


Genre: Alternative

Anticipated U.S. Release date: September 17, 2013

mgmt1Who does trippy much better than MGMT? The duo’s third album arrives after a three year hiatus. 2010 effort Congratulations debuted triumphantly at number two with 66,000 copies sold.


Earth, Wind & Fire, Now, Then & Forever

Genre: R&B

Anticipated U.S. Release date: September 10, 2013

It’s the legendary soul band’s first album in eight years (Illumination, 2005)! Explanation enough!


Panic! At The Disco, Too Weird To Live, To Rare To Die 

Genre: Alternative

Anticipated U.S. release date: October 8, 2013

panic-2013-400Panic! At The Disco return with their fourth album, led by Janet Jackson alluding poppy single “Miss Jackson”.  “Miss Jackson are you nasty?” LOL.  Too Weird To Live, To Rare To Die follows up 2011 effort, Vices & Virtues.  


Raheem DeVaughn, A Place Called Loveland

Genre: R&B

Anticipated U.S. Release date: August 20, 2013

The neo-soul hippie returns after a three year hiatus (The Love & War MasterPeace, 2010).


Franz Ferdinand, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action 

Genre: Alternative

Anticipated U.S. Release date: August 27, 2013

Franz-Ferdinand-in-2009-002The band returns with their first studio album in four years (Tonight, 2009).  Here’s hoping the Scottish band can get back on their debut album’s swag (Franz Ferdinand, 2004).


Elvis Costello & The Roots, Wake Up Ghost

Genre: Rock

Anticipated U.S. Release date: September 17, 2013

I know very little about this album as of yet, but who cares? Elvis Costello AND The Roots? Count me in.


TGT, Three Kings

Genre: R&B

Anticipated U.S. Release date: August 20, 2013

71SLN8s527L._SL1425_Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank? That’s some kind of adult contemporary R&B album!


The Civil Wars, The Civil Wars

Genre: Country / Folk

Anticipated U.S. Release date: August 6, 2013

Sophomore follow-up to the duo’s Grammy-winning Barton Hollow (Folk Album, Country Duo/Performance (“Barton Hollow”)).


Many, many more releases will be announced as the year progresses.  Here’s some other notable upcoming releases:

KT Tunstall, Invisible Empire / Crescent Moon (August 6, 2013)

Glen Campbell,  See You There (August 13, 2013)

Washed Out, Paracosm (August 13, 2013)

Allen Toussaint, Songbook August 20, 2013)

Jimmy Buffett, Songs From St. Somewhere (August 20, 2013)

Tedeschi Trucks Band, Made Up Mind (August 20, 2013)

Avenged Sevenfold, Hail to the King  (August 27, 2013)

Ashanti, BraveHeart (September 3, 2013)

Arctic Monkeys, AM (September 10, 2013)

Gloria Estefan, The Standards  (September 10, 2013)

Goldfrapp, Tales of Us  (September 10, 2013)

Billy Currington, We Are Tonight (September 17, 2013)

Chris Young, A.M. (September 17, 2013)

Jack Johnson, From Here To Now To You (September 17, 2013)

Johnny Lang, Fight For My Soul (September 17, 2013)

Placebo, Loud Like Love  (September 17, 2013)

Sting, The Last Ship (September 24, 2013)

Candice Glover, Music Speaks (TBA)