Chart Watch

Chart Watch Extra: I Am…The Year’s #1 Music Video

Chart Watch

In just six weeks of release, Beyonce's I Am...World Tour has become the best-selling music video of 2010. The DVD has sold 139,000 copies, 20,000 more than the year's #2 music video, Rush's Beyond The Lighted Stage. This is the fourth year in a row that Beyonce has had one of the year's top 10 music videos, but first time that she has come out on top.

Michael Jackson has three of the year's top 10 videos. This is the second year in a row that Jackson has made a strong showing on the list. On the year-end chart for 2009, he made a clean sweep of the top four positions. Only one other artist in Nielsen SoundScan history has ever had three or more of the year's top 10 music videos. Backstreet Boys had three of the top four in 1999.

Beyonce and Celine Dion each have two of the top 20 music videos for 2010.

The top 20 includes some historic footage: the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the Rolling Stones on their Exile On Main St. tour in 1972, and Michael Jackson on his Dangerous tour in 1992.

Nine of the videos in the top 20 are by artists who have been chart perennials for 35 years or more: Barbra Streisand, the Beatles, the Stones, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Rush and Bruce Springsteen.

Here are the top 20 DVD music videos of 2010, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The number after the title is the sales total for the year. If the DVD was released prior to 2010, I also show the cumulative total. I also tell you when the act first appeared on The Billboard 200 album chart (just for the heck of it).

1. Beyonce, I Am...World Tour, 139K. This concert video takes its title from Beyonce's 2008 album I Am...Sasha Fierce. The DVD, which features guest appearances by Jay-Z and Kanye West, has been out for six weeks. Beyonce first charted with Destiny's Child in 1998.

2. Rush, Beyond The Lighted Stage, 119K. This two-disk documentary is the year's top video by a rock band. (Take that, U2.) The doc has been out for 27 weeks. The Canadian band first charted in 1974.

3. Michael Jackson, Live In Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour, 118K. Jackson's video was shot on Oct. 1, 1992, when he was the biggest pop star in the world. It has sold 750,000 copies since its release on DVD in July 2005. It was the #2 video of 2009. Jackson first charted with the Jackson 5 in 1970.

4. U2, 360 Degrees At The Rose Bowl, 106K. U2's two-disk video, which was shot entirely in HD at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., has been out for 32 weeks. The Irish band first charted in 1981.

5. Eric Clapton, Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival 2010, 97K. This was recorded in June 2010 at the third edition of Clapton's benefit concert/music festival. The video has been out for eight weeks. Steve Winwood, Jeff Beck, ZZ Top and Buddy Guy are among the guests on the two-disk set. Clapton first charted with the Yardbirds in 1965.

6. Michael Jackson, Number Ones, 93K. The DVD, which features 15 key Jackson videos, has sold 1,332,000 copies since its release in November 2003. It's the video companion to Jackson's 2003 album Number Ones. This was the #1 music video of 2009, with sales in that year of 558,000 copies.

7. Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson's Vision, 81K. This three-disk set includes all 35 of Jackson's videos (or "short films," as he preferred to call them). Ten of them are on DVD for the first time. The set has been out for six weeks.

8. Metallica/Slayer/Megadeth/Anthrax, The Big 4: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria, 78K. This is the year's top hard rock video and the year's top multi-artist video. The two-disk set was recorded in June 2010. It has been out for nine weeks. All four of these bands first charted between December 1985 (Anthrax) and November 1986 (Slayer).

9. Bon Jovi, Live At Madison Square Garden, 77K. Bon Jovi's concert video has been out for 34 weeks. The veteran band first charted in 1984.

10. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, London Calling: Live In Hyde Park, 76K. This two-DVD set, which was filmed in June 2009, draws its title from The Clash's 1980 album London Calling. It has been out for 28 weeks. The Boss first charted in 1975.

11. Celine Dion, Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert, 76K. This concert video takes its title from Dion's 2007 album Taking Chances. The two-disk CD/DVD combo has been out for 32 weeks. Dion had the #1 music video of 2008 with A New Day: Live In Las Vegas. The Canadian artist first charted in 1991.

12. Celtic Woman, Songs From The Heart: Live From Powerscourt House And Gardens, 74K. The DVD, which was filmed at a country estate in Ireland, has been out for 38 weeks. The female group first charted in 2005.

13. The Beatles, The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles, 73K. This two-disk set includes the Fab Four's historic 1964 appearances on the legendary variety show. It even includes the original commercials. The set has been out for 17 weeks. The Beatles first charted in 1964.

14. The Rolling Stones, Ladies & Gentleman, The Rolling Stones, 66K. This concert video was shot during the Stones' 1972 tour for Exile On Main St. It had a limited theatrical release in 1974, but this is its first time on DVD. The video has been out for 13 weeks. The band first charted in1964.

15. Beyonce, I Am...Yours: An Intimate Performance At Wynn Las Vegas, 64K. This video has sold 162K copies since its release in November 2009. This was the #6 video of 2009, with sales in that year of 99K.

16. Barbra Streisand and Quartet, One Night Only: At The Village Vanguard: September 26, 2009, 61K. About 100 of "the luckiest people in the world" made it into the Village Vanguard for Streisand's first club performance in 48 years. The rest of us can watch the DVD, which has been out for 34 weeks. Streisand first charted in 1963.

17. Various Artists, The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts, 61K. Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Billy Joel and Paul Simon are among the stars on this three-disk set. The video, which was recorded at Madison Square Garden in October 2009, has been out for 14 weeks. (A 4-DVD version of the set has sold 18K this year. Nielsen SoundScan counts it separately.)

18. P!nk, Funhouse Tour: Live In Australia, 53K. This concert video draws its title from P!nk's 2008 album Funhouse. The video has sold 89K copies since its release in November 2009. P!nk first charted in 2000.

19. Il Divo, An Evening With Il Divo: Live In Barcelona, 51K. The CD/DVD has sold 98K copies since its release in December 2009. The classical crossover quartet first charted in 2005.

20. Celine Dion, Celine: Through The Eyes Of The World, 50K. This backstage tour documentary is a companion to Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert. The video has been out for 32 weeks.

Pop Quiz: Since 1993, only one music video has appeared in Nielsen SoundScan's year-end top 10 more than three times. Name that video. Answer below.

Bonus Facts: Nielsen SoundScan's list of this week's top 50 music videos also indicates how many copies the videos have sold during their entire runs. Six of the current top 50 have sold more than 500K. Michael Jackson has three of these big sellers. The other three are by classic rock bands. In descending order of sales they are: Jackson's Number Ones (1,333,000), Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin (1,209,000), Pink Floyd's Pulse (851,000), Jackson's Live In Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour (751,000), Journey's Greatest Hits 1978-1997 (567,000) and Jackson's Video Greatest Hits: HIStory (541,000).

Quiz Answer: Since 1993 (the oldest date that this information is available on the Nielsen SoundScan site), only one music video has appeared in the year-end top 10 more than three times. Eagles' Hell Freezes Over was in the year-end top 10 a remarkable six times. It scored in 1994 and 1995 and again from 1999 through 2002. Other bands have greater mystique (the Stones and Led Zeppelin, for example). Eagles just quietly sell tons of albums and videos.

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