Chart Watch

Week Ending Aug. 11, 2013. Albums: The Civil Wars, On Hiatus And On Top

Chart Watch

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The Civil Wars’ eponymous sophomore album enters The Billboard 200 at #1. The folk-rock duo (Joy Williams and John Paul White) has been on hiatus as a touring act since last November, citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.” The act isn’t even making TV appearances to promote the album, though Williams done some press interviews on her own.

The Civil Wars is the second duo to reach #1 this year, following Daft Punk.

The album sold 116K copies in its first week, which is nearly five times as many as its debut album, Barton Hollow, sold in its first week (25K) in February 2011. That album debuted at #12. It didn’t crack the top 10 until more than a year later, following the 2012 Grammy Awards. The Civil Wars won two awards on the show: Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the title track. The duo also performed the title track on the show.

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The duo can give much of the credit for its success to two of the two hottest women in music, Adele and Taylor Swift. Adele sent out a helpful tweet last week: “Please go and get the new Civil Wars album. They're my absolute favourite and the new record is beautiful! X.” Swift teamed with the duo to write and record last year’s hit “Safe & Sound,” which gave the duo its only Hot 100 single to date. The song, from The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond, reached #30 in and brought the duo a third Grammy—Best Song Written For Visual Media. (T-Bone Burnett, who produced the single, also co-wrote the song.)

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Barton Hollow rebounds from #111 to #60 in its 101st week on The Billboard 200. (It jumps to #1 on Top Catalog Albums, displacing The Essential Billy Joel.) Here’s an odd chart fact: Barton Hollow has spent just five weeks in the top 40 on The Billboard 200, but has sold a healthy 623K copies. (Explanation: It has sold steadily over time but has rarely been hot enough to rack up big chart numbers.)

The Civil Wars sold 80K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. Also, the album debuts at #2 on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart. Barton Hollow reached #8 in the U.K.

Now 47 debuts at #2 with first-week sales of 82K. That’s the lowest first-week sales tally for a regular Now installment since the first volume sold 48K in its first week in November 1998. That’s not good. The franchise’s chart rankings are holding up because the albums surrounding them are also declining in sales. Now 47 is the 14th Now album to debut at #2. (Fifteen have debuted at #1.) Every regular Now installment has debuted inside the top five since Now 4 in August 2000.

Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail dips from #3 to #4 in its fifth week. The album tops the 500K mark in digital sales this week (out of 845K total). Jay Z’s top digital seller is Watch The Throne, his 2011 collabo with Kanye West, which has sold 780K digital copies.

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The Teen Beach Movie soundtrack, which holds at #6 for the second week, has been in the top 10 for four weeks. It’s the first soundtrack from a made-for-TV movie to spend four or more weeks in the top 10 since Camp Rock held tight for 10 weeks in 2008. Just three other soundtracks to made-for-TV movies have logged four or more weeks in the top 10: High School Musical (25 weeks in 2006), High School Musical 2 (16 weeks in 2007) and The Cheetah Girls 2 (four weeks in 2006). These were all Disney Channel productions.

Teen Beach Movie is #1 on Top Soundtracks for the fourth week. It’s the first TV soundtrack (from either a made-for-TV movie or series) to top this chart for four or more weeks since Glee: The Music: The Christmas Album logged four weeks at #1 in November and December 2011.

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Tye Tribbett’s fifth album, Greater Than, debuts at #9. It’s the first gospel album to make the top 10 since Lecrae’s Gravity debuted at #3 in September 2012. This is Tribbett’s first top 10 album. His previous highest-charting album was Stand Out, which reached #16 in 2008.

Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s To The Good Times holds at #10. The album holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for the eighth week. This extends its record for most weeks at #1 for an album by an ongoing duo. Here’s To The Good Times is the first debut album to log eight or more weeks at #1 on the country chart since Taylor Swift’s Taylor Swift amassed 24 weeks on top in 2007-2008.

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“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell logs its 10th week at #1 on Hot Digital Songs. That ties “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz for the longest stay on top this year. (Katy Perry’s “Roar” is expected to bump it off next week.) “Blurred Lines” sold 346K copies this week. This is the 10th week the song’s sales have topped 300K. That constitutes a new, all-time record. Will the song also hold at #1 for the 10th week on the Hot 100? Of course it will. But you’ll find out for sure out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.

Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.

The Top Five: The Civil Wars’ The Civil Wars debuts at #1 (116K). It’s the duo’s second top 10 album…Now 47 debuts at #2 (82K). This is the 52ndalbum in the Now franchise to make the top 10…Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines drops from #1 to #3 in its second week (65K)…Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail dips from #3 to #4 in its fifth week (48K). It has been in the top five the entire time…Asking Alexandria’s From Death To Destiny debuts at #5 (41K). It’s the group’s second top 10 album.

The Second Five: The Teen Beach Movie soundtrack holds at #6 for the second week in its fourth week (38K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions rebounds from #11 to #7 in its 49th week (37K). This is its 17th week in the top 10…Five Finger Death Punch’s The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1 drops from #2 to #8 in its second week (36K)…Tye Tribbett’s Greater Than debuts at #9 (30K). It’s his first top 10 album…Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s To The Good Times holds at #10 for the second week in its 36th week (26K). This is its 10th week in the top 10.

Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Tech N9ne’s Something Else drops from #4 to #14. Backstreet Boys’ In A World Like This drops from #5 to #26. Emblem3’s Nothing To Lose drops from #7 to #18. Selena Gomez’s Stars Dance drops from #8 to #13. Kidz Bop Kids’ Kidz Bop 24 drops from #9 to #12.

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Brett Eldredge’s debut album, Bring You Back, debuts at #11. The country artist has a crossover hit, “Don’t Ya,” which is currently in the top 40 on the Hot 100. Eldredge’s cousin is Terry Eldredge of the Grascals. That country band’s highest-charting album, Country Classics With A Bluegrass Spin, reached #99 in 2011.

Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox drops from #12 to #15 in its 35th week. Billboard’s Keith Caulfield notes that it’s the first album by a male artist to remain in the top 20 for its first 35 weeks since Eminem’s The Eminem Show held tight for 38 weeks in 2002-’03.

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Hugh Laurie’s second blues album, Didn’t It Rain, debuts at #21. His first, Let Them Talk, reached #16 in 2011. Laurie received six Emmy nominations for his role on HousePitch Perfect drops from #19 to #24 in its 42nd week. It’s the highest-ranking soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie for the 24rd week…Kanye West’s Yeezus drops from #38 to #41 in its eighth week. The album tops the 500K mark in sales this week. It’s the 19th album to sell that many copies in 2013. And it’s just the eighth album that was released this year to do it.

George Duke’s Dreamweaver, which was released last month, debuts at #74. The Grammy-winning keyboardist died on Aug. 5 at age 67. This is Duke’s highest ranking since 1982. Duke first charted in 1975. His highest-charting album was 1977’s Reach For It, which reached #25.

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Remember that $6.99 sale at iTunes that boosted numerous catalog albums last week? The sale is over…and, predictably, almost all of those albums dropped off the chart. The biggest exception is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Chronicle The 20 Greatest Hits. The album drops from #22 to #109, but at least remains on the chart. If record companies permanently dropped the price on catalog albums would sales stay aloft? Or do people just like the idea of snagging a bargain?

One Direction’s Up All Night—The Live Tour returns to #1 on Top Music Videos. This is its 31st week on top. The video has sold 502K copies since its release in May 2012.

Elysium was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.

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Coming Attractions: Luke Bryan is a lock to debut at #1 next week with Crash My Party, with first-week sales in the 495K range. K. Michelle’s Rebellious Soul will open at #2, with first-week sales in the 65K range.  Parachute’s Overnight is looking good for a #11 bow (around 16K). Also due: Hoodie Allen’s Americoustic and Washed Out’s Paracosm.

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