Barbra Streisand this week becomes the the first solo artist to put an album in the top five on The Billboard 200 in six different decades. She accomplishes the feat as What Matters Most: Barbra Sings The Lyrics Of Alan and Marilyn Bergman debuts at #4. One group, The Rolling Stones, has put an album in the top five in each of the last six decades, though their only album to score so far in this decade was a reissue of their 1972 classic Exile On Main St. Streisand kept her string going the old-fashioned way: by going into the studio and recording a new album.
Streisand first cracked the top five in October 1963 with The Second Barbra Streisand Album
. This gives her a nearly 48-year span of top five albums. Since Billboard
introduced its album chart in March 1945, the only artists who can match that are Frank Sinatra
, whose top five albums span 62 years and two months (from The Voice Of Frank Sinatra
in March 1946 to Nothing But The Best
in June 2008) and, um, the Chipmunks
, whose top five albums span 48 years and three months (from Let's All Sing With The Chipmunks
in January 1960 to Alvin And The Chipmunks
in April 2008).
To give you an idea of just how long Streisand has been a serious chart contender, John F. Kennedy
was President when she first cracked the top five. Barack Obama
was a two-year old. The folk boom was near its peak back then. (Peter, Paul & Mary
had two albums in the top five.) Now, Streisand is competing in a culture dominated by rap and country music.
What Matters Most is Streisand's 31st album to make the top 10, a total topped only by two artists in chart history. Again, Sinatra leads the pack with 39 top 10 albums. The Stones are second with 36. Streisand now ranks ahead of The Beatles, with 30 top 10 albums.
Streisand's new album consists of 10 songs by the Bergmans that she hadn't recorded before, including "The Windmills Of Your Mind," which was a top 40 hit for Dusty Springfield, and "Nice 'N' Easy," a chart hit for Frank Sinatra. A deluxe edition contains a second disk of 10 songs by the Bergmans that she had recorded, including the #1 hits "The Way We Were" and "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."
The album includes "That Face," which Fred Astaire
introduced in the late 1950s. I had the pleasure of interviewing Streisand late last year when she was named MusiCares' Person of the Year. I opened our conversation by telling her something she didn't know: that she and Astaire are the only two people to have received both a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. Since these are the top career awards for music and movies, respectively, these two performers are the most celebrated in the history of movie musicals. (She got all verklempt.)
The Bergmans have amassed 15 Oscar nominations for Best Song, more than any other songwriting team in history. They won for "The Windmills Of Your Mind" and "The Way We Were" and were nominated for such outstanding songs as "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" and "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" (Sammy Cahn
and James Van Heusen
are in second place among songwriting teams, with 11 shared nominations.)
A #4 debut is nice, especially for an artist who has been recording for nearly 50 years, but Streisand will need to do a little better if she is to extend one of her greatest records. Streisand is the only solo artist who has had a #1 album in each of the last five decades, from the 1960s to the 2000s. Now, she needs to extend that streak into the 2010s. And I have just the concept: The Broadway Album III.
Game's The R.E.D. Album debuts at #1. (The rapper was formerly known as The Game, but I guess if Streisand can drop an "a" from Barbara, The Game can drop the "the.") This is Game's third #1 album, following 2005's The Documentary and 2006's Doctor's Advocate. His last album, LAX, peaked at #2 in an extremely close contest with Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone. In fact, when Nielsen SoundScan first released the chart, it had Game on top. A recount reversed the top two positions.
The R.E.D. Album (the title stands for Rededication To Hip Hop) is the second rap album in a row to hold the top spot, following Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West. Next week, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV will become the third rap album in a row to reach #1. The album is expected to post a first-week sales tally in the 850K to 900K range.
Watch The Throne dips to #2 after two weeks on top. The album has sold 707K copies in its first three weeks, which enables it to surpass Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday as the best-selling rap album of the year to date. Pink Friday (which was released in November) has sold 701K copies since the first of January.
Pistol Annies' Hell On Heels bows at #5. It's the first top 10 album for this country collaboration, which consists of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. It's Lambert's third top 10 album, following Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Revolution. The digital-only album is #1 on both Top Digital Albums and Top Country Albums.
The Muppets: The Green Album compilation bows at #8. The album features such alternative acts as The Fray, My Morning Jacket and the Airborne Toxic Event performing Muppets songs. This is the first Muppet-related album to crack the top 10. Two Muppets albums made the top 40 in 1979. A Christmas Together, with John Denver, reached #26. The soundtrack from The Muppet Movie reached #32.
Weezer featuring Hayley Williams performs the most prized Muppets song, "Rainbow Connection," which Muppets creator Jim Henson (as Kermit) sang in The Muppet Movie. Kermit's version reached #25 on the Hot 100. The heart-tugging Paul Williams/Kenny Ascher ballad received an Oscar nomination (and shoulda won). It has been recorded by such artists as Judy Collins, Kenny Loggins, Sarah McLachlan and Carpenters. Andrew Bird sings "Bein' Green," which has been recorded by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Diana Ross.
"Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon5
featuring Christina Aguilera
returns to #1 on Hot Digital Songs. Will it depose Katy Perry's
"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) from the top spot on the Hot 100? You'll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here's the low-down on his week's top 10 albums.
, The R.E.D. Album
, 98,000. This new entry is Game's third #1 album; his fourth to make the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Martians Vs. Goblins" (featuring Lil Wayne
& Tyler, the Creator
) debuts at #81. "Pot Of Gold" (featuring Chris Brown
) debuts at #120.
and Kanye West
, Watch The Throne
, 94,000. The former #1 album dips to #2 after two weeks on top. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Otis" (featuring Otis Redding
), which dips from #23 to #24.
, 82,000. The former #1 album dips from #2 to #3 in its 27th week. It has been in the top five the entire time. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped, for the first time, by "Someone Like You," which leaps from #25 to #11.
4. Barbra Streisand
, What Matters Most: Barbra Sings The Lyrics Of Alan and Marilyn Bergman
, 68,000. This new entry is Streisand's 31st top 10 album; her 20th to crack the top five.
5. Pistol Annies
, Hell On Heels
, 44,000. This new entry is the first top 10 album for this collaboration. It's #1 on Top Country Albums and Top Digital Albums. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Hell On Heels" leaps from #82 to #26. "Boys From The South" debuts at #103.
6. Various Artists
, Now 39
, 44,000. The album drops from #3 to #6 in its third week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time.
7. Luke Bryan
, Tailgates & Tanlines
, 35,000. The album drops from #4 to #7 in its third week. "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" drops from #27 to #29 on Hot Digital Songs.
8. Various Artists
, The Muppets: The Green Album
, 30,000. This new entry is the first Muppets-related album to crack the top 10. "Rainbow Connection," by Weezer
featuring Hayley Williams
, enters Hot Digital Songs at #159.
9. Jason Aldean
, My Kinda Party
, 29,000. The album drops from #5 to #8 in its 43rd week. This is its 21st week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Dirt Road Anthem" drops from #18 to #21. "Don't You Wanna Stay" (featuring Kelly Clarkson
) drops from #54 to #76.
10. Eric Church
, 24,000. The former #1 album drops from #7 to #10 in its fifth week.
"Homeboy" drops from #69 to #90 on Hot Digital Songs.
Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Eli Young Band's Life At Best drops from #6 to #17, Blue October's Any Man In America plummets from #8 to #77, Beyonce's 4 drops from #9 to #12, and Kidz Bop Kids' Kidz Bop 20 drops from #10 to #19.
Pop Quiz: The Official Charts Company in the U.K. reported last week that Amy Winehouse's
2006 album Back To Black
has surpassed James Blunt's
2005 album Back To Bedlam
as the best-selling album in the U.K. in this century. Back To Black
had, as of last week, sold 3.26 million copies in the U.K., compared to 3.25 million for Blunt's album. My question: What's the best-selling album in the U.S. in this century? Answer below.
Sunny Sweeney's Concrete bows at #21. It enters Top Country Albums at #7...Adele's 2008 album 19 jumps from #29 to #25. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 21st week.
Victorious: Music From The Hit TV Show drops from #20 to #32 in its fourth week. It's the #1 soundtrack for the fourth week...Country Strong rebounds from #108 to #45 in its 31st week as the movie airs on premium cable. It's the week's top-charting soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie. It has held that distinction for 16 weeks.
The Help was #1 at the box-office for the second straight weekend. The soundtrack drops from #52 to #106 in its fifth week on The Billboard 200.
The Best Of Sandi Patty debuts at #1 on Top Music Videos. It's the third video by a Contemporary Christian act to top the chart so far this year, following Bill & Gloria Gaither's Alaskan Homecoming and The Best Of David Phelps. Both the Patty and Phelps videos are part of the Gaither Gospel Series. Bill Gaither is the Berry Gordy of Contemporary Christian music.
Quiz Answer: The Beatles' 1
is the best-selling album in the U.S. in this century. It has sold 11,760,000 copies since its release in November 2000. The best-selling album of new material in the U.S. in this century is *NSYNC's No Strings Attached
. It has sold 11,121,000 copies since its release in March 2000.
Shameless Plug I: On Friday, I posted a Chart Watch Extra in which I looked at Adele's
past, present and future chart and Grammy accomplishments. Future? I went there. If you missed it, here's a link
Shameless Plug II: What's the only hit to win both a Grammy for Record of the Year and a VMA award as Video of the Year? If you don't know, you must not have read my And The Winner Is piece in which I looked back at the first 27 VMA Video of the Year winners. But it's not too late. Here's a link
Shameless Plug III: On Thursday, I'll look back at the songs and TV shows that came out of the 9/11 tragedy. Alan Jackson's "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning) was one of the first and best songs written about that horrible day. Check out this Chart Watch Extra on Thursday.
As noted above, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV
is expected to debut at #1 next week with first-week sales in the 850K to 900K range. Red Hot Chili Peppers
' I'm With You
will bow at #2 with sales of about 200K. Jake Owen
's Barefoot Blue Jean Night
and David Guetta
's Nothing But The Beat
are also headed for top 10 starts. Also due: Lenny Kravitz
's Black & White America
, Cobra Starship
's Night Shades
, Glen Campbell's Ghost On The Canvas
, Jill Scott
's Hidden Beach Presents: The Original Jill Scott From The Vault Vol. 1
and Glee Cast
's Glee: Dance Party