Chart Watch

Week Ending Aug. 25, 2013. Albums: A Let-Down For John Mayer

Chart Watch

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Luke Bryan’s continued good fortune on The Billboard 200 spells disappointment this week for John Mayer, who debuts at #2 with his latest album, Paradise Valley. Mayer’s last two albums, Battle Studies and Born And Raised, both debuted at #1 (as did his 2003 album, Heavier Things). Paradise Valley is Mayer’s first studio album to fall short of #1 since 2006’s Continuum, which got stuck at #2 behind Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, which debuted the same week.

Mayer’s album sold 144K copies this week, 15K fewer copies than Bryan’s. If Mayer’s album had had as big an opening as any of his last four studio albums (all of which topped 200K in their first weeks), it would have debuted at #1 with ease.

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There is one consolation for Mayer: Paradise Valley sold 97K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. This is the first week since May 12 that the #1 album on The Billboard 200 wasn’t also #1 on Top Digital Albums. Then, too, a country artist (Lady Antebellum) was #1 on the big chart but not on the digital chart.

Paradise Valley enters the U.K.’s Official Album Chart at #4, which ties Mayer’s previous album, Born And Raised, as his best mark in the U.K.

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Bryan’s Crash My Party logs its second week at #1. It’s the first album by a male “core” country artist to spend two weeks at #1 since George Strait’s 50 Number Ones did the trick in October 2004. (Lionel Richie’s country crossover album Tuskegee topped The Billboard 200 for two weeks last year, but of course the pop and R&B veteran isn’t a “core” country artist.)

Bryan also headed The Billboard 200 for a week in March with Spring Break…Here To Party. He’s one of only two artists to top the chart for three weeks so far this year. The other is Justin Timberlake, who did it with just one album, The 20/20 Experience, in March and April.

Crash My Party also holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for the second straight week. It’s Bryan’s third album in a row to spend two or more weeks atop the country chart.

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TGT’s first studio album, Three Kings, debuts at #3. The title is no hype, either. All three of the artists in TGT are R&B stars and have been potent forces on The Billboard 200. Tyrese has had two top 10 albums. Ginuwine has had four. Tank has had three.

Two of the three members of TGT have charted as high as #3 before this week. Ginuwine reached #3 with 2001’s The Life. Tank hit #2 with 2007’s Sex Love And Pain. (Tyrese’s highest ranking as a solo artist was #9 for last year’s Open Invitation.)

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Jimmy Buffett’s Songs From St. Somewhere debuts at #4. It’s his 11th top 10 album; his sixth to make the top five. Buffett first charted in March 1974—before most of the acts in this week’s top 10 were born. The only artists in the current top 10 who were alive then are Jay-Z (who was born in December 1969) and Ginuwine of TGT (who was born in October 1970).

At 66, Buffett is old enough to be the grandfather of Earl Sweatshirt, 19, who debuts one rung behind him at #5 with his first solo album, Doris.

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Sweatshirt is the third member of the Odd Future collective to land a top five album. Tyler, The Creator reached #5 with Goblin and #3 with Wolf. Frank Ocean hit #2 with the Grammy-winning Channel Orange. Odd Future debuted and peaked at #5 in March 2012 with The OF Tape Vol. 2.

Here’s a little “odd” material of my own. Sweatshirt has now charted as high as Keith Sweat ever did as a solo artist. That R&B star reached #5 with an eponymous album in 1996. (He hit #4 the following year as part of a collabo with Gerald Levert and Johnny Gill.) Also: The title of Sweatshirt’s album shares its name with one of the most successful female vocalists in pop history. Doris Day reached #1 with four movie soundtracks in the 1950s. (It also shares its name with Doris Troy, whose “Just One Look” went top 10 on both the pop and R&B charts in 1963.)

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The Teen Beach Movie soundtrack dips from #7 to #8. It’s #1 on Top Soundtracks for the sixth week. It’s the first TV soundtrack to top this chart for six or more weeks since Victorious: Music From The Hit TV Show logged seven weeks on top in 2011.

A$AP Ferg’s Trap Lord debuts at #9. It’s the second album by a member of the A$AP Mob to crack the top 10. A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP debuted at #1 in January.

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Katy Perry’s “Roar” is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the second straight week (392K). It’s the first song to spend its first two weeks at #1 since Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” spent its first five weeks on top in August-September 2012. This is the biggest second-week sales tally since Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” sold 509K in its second week in February 2011. Will “Roar” move up to #1 on the Hot 100 or will “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. + Pharrell log its 12th week on top? You’ll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.

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

The Top Five: Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party holds at #1 for the second week (159K)…John Mayer’s Paradise Valley debuts at #2 (144K). It’s his seventh top 10 album…TGT’s Three Kings debuts at #3 (76K). It’s the triumvirate’s first top 10 album…Jimmy Buffett’s Songs From St. Somewhere debuts at #4 (55K). It’s his 11th top 10 album…Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris debuts at #5 (49K). It’s Sweatshirt’s first top 10 album as a solo artist.

The Second Five: Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines drops from #4 to #6 in its fourth week (46K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time...Now 47 drops from #3 to #7 in its third week (33K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…The Teen Beach Movie soundtrack dips from #7 to #8 in its sixth week (32K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…A$AP Ferg’s Trap Lord debuts at #9 (32K). It’s his first top 10 album… Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail drops from #6 to #10 in its seventh week (30K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time.

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I have mixed news for fans of Florida Georgia Line. Bad news: the duo’s Here’s To The Good Times drops from #8 to #12. Good news: It pulls ahead of Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story… to become the top-selling country album so far this year. Here’s To The Good Times has sold 845K copies so far this year, 4K more than Based On A True Story… (The duo’s album sold an additional 181K copies in 2012.) Of course, Here’s To The Good Times won’t hold the country title for long. Luke Bryan’s album has sold 687K copies in just two weeks.

Four other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. K. Michelle’s Rebellious Soul drops from #2 to #14. Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions drops from #9 to #19. Five Finger Death Punch’s The Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell: Volume 1 drops from #10 to #21. The Civil Wars’ The Civil Wars drops from #5 to #17.

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Tedeschi Trucks Band’s third album, Made Up Mind, debuts at #11. It’s the band’s highest-charting album to date. Revelator reached #12 in 2011. The band is fronted by a married couple, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.

Blue October’s seventh studio album, Sway, debuts at #13. It’s the alternative band’s third top 15 album…Blessthefall’s fourth studio album, Hollow Bodies, debuts at #15. It’s the metalcore band’s first top 20 album…Ben Rector’s fifth studio album, The Walking In Between, debuts at #16. It’s his first top 20 album.

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The Lumineers’ The Lumineers rebounds from #52 to #29 in its 73rd week due to the release of a deluxe version. The album has ranked in the top 100 continuously since it debuted at #45 in April 2012. The album peaked at #2 in January, behind Gary Allan’s debuting Set You Free. But over the long haul, The Lumineers has sold more than four times as many copies as its one-time chart rival (1,412,000, compared to 318K for Set You Free).

The Lacs’ Keep It Redneck debuts at #23. The Georgia-based country duo’s name is short for “Loud Ass Crackers.” I’m a little surprised that an album with the word “redneck” in its title is a hit in 2013. The word peaked in popular culture 20 years ago when comedian Jeff Foxworthy kicked off a series of three “redneck” albums with You Might Be A Redneck If… and country legend George Jones charted with High-Tech Redneck.

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The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones soundtrack debuts at #32. It’s the week’s top-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie, displacing Pitch Perfect, which had earned that distinction for 25 weeks. The Mortal Instruments features tracks by Zedd, Ariana Grande & Nathan Sykes, Demi Lovato, Colbie Caillat and Jessie J, among others.

Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans rebounds from #69 to #60 in its 149th week. The album holds at #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the seventh week. That enables it to surpass Bob Marley & the Wailers’ 1984 compilation Legend for the most weeks at #1 on the catalog chart in 2013. Mars reached #1 on The Billboard 200 in March with Unorthodox Jukebox. Mars is one of just four artists to top both of these key charts in 2013. The others are Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk and The Civil Wars.

NSYNC’s 2005 compilation Greatest Hits re-enters the chart at #117 in the wake of the boy band’s reunion on the VMA’s. We’ll see the full impact of the show on this and other albums next week.

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Lynyrd Skynyrd’s The Best Of Lynyrd Skynyrd: 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection drops from #166 to #190 in its 130th week on the chart. The album has sold 2,929,000 copies, which is more than any other album in this star-studded franchise. Nine other albums in the series are over 1 million, namely the installments by George Strait (1,528,000), The Who (1,311,000), Eric Clapton (1,304,000), Abba (1,282,000), Three Dog Night (1,136,000), The Jackson 5 (1,063,000), Barry White (1,058,000), Marvin Gaye (1,039,000) and Toby Keith (1,008,000).

Richard & Adam’s The Impossible Dream tops the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart for the fourth week. This ties the Les Miserables soundtrack for the longest run at #1 in the U.K. so far this year. Richard Kiley introduced “The Impossible Dream” in the 1965 musical, Man Of La Mancha. The song was a ubiquitious standard of the mid-1960s. It received a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year for 1966.

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The Beatles’ 1 this week pulls ahead of Backstreet Boys’ Millennium to become the fourth best-selling album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking U.S. album sales in January 1991. 1 has sold 12,233,000 copies, 1K more than Millennium. The only albums that have sold more copies than these two are Metallica’s Metallica (15,908,000), Shania Twain’s Come On Over (15,531,000) and Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill (14,868,000). 1 is the newest album of these five. It was released in November 2000.

Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away Tour: Live is #1 on Top Music Videos for the second week.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler was #1 at the box-office for the second straight weekend.

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Coming Attractions: Avenged Sevenfold’s Hail To The King is set to debut at #1 next week with first-week sales in the 155-170K range. Big Sean’s Hall Of Fame will open at #3 (70K). Juicy J’s Stay Trippy will open at #4 or #5 (60K).  Alabama & Friends will probably around #8 (25K). Also due: Bob Dylan’s Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 (about 15K, not including a separate deluxe version).

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