Chart Watch (NEW)

Week Ending Jan. 27, 2013. Albums: Gary Allan Bumps Off Swift

Chart Watch

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Gary Allan’s Set You Free enters The Billboard 200 at #1. It’s the country star’s first #1 album. Set You Free also enters Top Country Albums at #1, ending Taylor Swift’s 13-week lock on the top spot. This is the second time that a Swift album has been knocked off the top of the country chart by a star who is much less famous than she is. Fearless was bounced from #1 in February 2009 by Dierks Bentley’s Feel That Fire.

Allan, 45, is far from an overnight success. He first cracked the pop and country album charts in 1996 with Used Heart For Sale. Set You Free is his fifth top five album on The Billboard 200, following Tough All Over (#3 in 2005), Greatest Hits (#5 in 2007), Living Hard (#3 in 2007) and Get Off On The Pain (#5 in 2010). It’s his third #1 on Top Country Albums, following Tough All Over and Greatest Hits.

Allan’s “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)” jumps to #1 on this week’s Hot Country Songs chart. It's Allan's first #1 country hit since 2004’s “Nothing On But The Radio.”

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The Lumineers’ The Lumineers jumps from #7 to #2 in its 43rd week, in the wake of the band’s performance on Saturday Night Live. It took longer to break into the top five than any album since Adele’s 19, which finally cracked the top five in its 122nd chart week in February 2012. Before that, you have to go back to Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More, which cracked the top five in its 47th week in February 2011.

Both 19 and Sigh No More broke into the top five following the Grammy Awards. Adele scored in the week after she won six awards last year. Mumford & Sons scored in the week that ended on Grammy night two years ago. The band didn’t win anything, but made a strong impression in its performance segment with Bob Dylan and the Avett Brothers.

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The Lumineers’ album is breaking big on the eve of this year’s Grammys, where the band is nominated for a couple of key awards: Best New Artist (where it will probably lose to fun.) and Best Americana Album (where it will undoubtedly lose to Mumford & Sons’ Babel). The Lumineers are set to perform on the show, which, as Mumford proved two years ago, can be even more important than winning to an album’s success.

The Lumineers’ album has been boosted by the sleeper smash “Ho Hey,” which has spent four (non-consecutive) weeks at #3 on the Hot 100.

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The Pitch Perfect and Les Miserables soundtracks both rank in the top 10 for the fifth straight week. This marks the first time that soundtracks to two theatrically-released movies have appeared in the top 10 simultaneously for five or more weeks since Twilight and Miley Cyrus’ Hannah Montana: The Movie kept each other company in the top 10 for seven straight weeks in the spring of 2009.

Pitch Perfect holds at #3 for the second week. (Coincidentally, Pitch Perfect peaked at #3 on the box-office rankings the weekend of Oct. 5-7, when it went wide.) It’s #1 on Top Soundtracks for the second week in a row. It’s also #1 on Top Digital Albums for the second time in three weeks. The album sold 38K digital copies this week (out of 44K total copies sold this week).

Les Miserables drops from #6 to #10. The soundtrack holds at #1 for the second week on the Official U.K. Chart. It’s the first soundtrack from a movie that was based on a stage musical to reach #1 in the U.K. since Madonna’s Evita achieved the feat in February 1997. (That album peaked at #2 in the U.S.)

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2013 Grammy Nominees debuts at #4. It’s the 12th installment in this long-running franchise to reach the top 10, which makes it one of the most successful franchises in music history. It trails only the Now franchise, which has spawned 49 top 10 albums, Kidz Bop Kids’ Kidz Bop 23 (16 top 10 albums), and Glee (14 top 10 albums and EPs). (The Grammy Nominees franchise is at a disadvantage in this comparison because it’s an annual series, whereas the others churn out new releases every few months.)

Three of the 22 songs on the Grammy compilation are drawn from albums that are listed in this week’s top 10. The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” also appears on their album at #2. Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait” also appears on their album at #6. Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” also appears on her album at #9.

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“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the third week (357K). Also, it becomes the first song to sell 1 million copies in 2013. Will it also hold at #1 on the Hot 100 for the second week? 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: Gary Allan’s Set You Free debuts at #1 (106K). It’s the country star’s fifth top five album…The Lumineers’ The Lumineers jumps from #7 to #2 in its 43rd week (50K). This is its fifth week in the top 10…The Pitch Perfect soundtrack holds at #3 for the second week in its 14th chart week (44K). This is its fifth week in the top 10…2013 Grammy Nominees debuts at #4 (41K). It’s the 12th installment in this long-running franchise to reach the top 10… Kidz Bop Kids’ Kidz Bop 23 drops from #2 to #5 in its second week (40K).

The Second Five: Mumford & Sons’ Babel rebounds from #9 to #6 in its 18th week (38K). This is its 12th week in the top 10… A$AP Rocky’s Long.Live.A$AP drops from #1 to #7 in its second week (38K)... Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox drops from #5 to #8 in its seventh week (36K). It has ranked in the top 10 the entire time…Taylor Swift’s Red drops from #4 to #9 in its 14th week (32K). It has ranked in the top 10 the entire time…The Les Miserables soundtrack drops from #6 to #10 in its sixth week (27K). This is its fifth week in the top 10.

Two albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Phillip Phillips’ The World From The Side Of The Moon drops from #8 to #16. One Direction’s Take Me Home drops from #10 to #13.

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Randy Houser’s third studio album, How Country Feels, debuts at #11. It’s the first top 40 album for the 37-year old country singer. Houser first charted in 2008 with Anything Goes.

12-12-12 The Concert For Sandy Relief re-enters the chart at #18 in the wake of the release of the two-disk CD set. As a digital-only release, the album debuted and peaked at #9 in December. I think the format of these all-star benefit concerts is simply overly familiar. Can the format be reinvented or has it simply run its course?

Bad Religion’s True North debuts at #19. It’s the veteran punk group’s first top 30 album. The band first charted in 1994, but it released its first album way back in 1982.

Casting Crowns’ Acoustic Session, Volume 1 debuts at #35. Kurt Carr’s Bless This House bows at #43. Trapt’s Reborn debuts at #44.

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Aaron Neville’s My True Story debuts at #45. Don Was and Keith Richards produced the album, a collection of vintage doo-wop songs, including “Tears On My Pillow,” “Little Bitty Pretty One” and “Goodnight My Love (Pleasant Dreams).” Neville first “bubbled under” the Hot 100 in August 1960, when he was just 19. He first hit the Hot 100 in December 1966 with the classic “Tell It Like It Is,” but he didn’t crack The Billboard 200 with an album of his own until 1991’s Warm Your Heart. Prior to that album, he had charted with five albums with the Neville Brothers and one as a featured artist on a Linda Ronstadt album, Cry Like A Rainstorm—Howl Like The Wind.

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Michael Jackson’s landmark 1982 album Thriller jumps from #88 to #52 in its 175th week on the chart. This is its highest ranking since the week ending Nov. 8, 2009. The album is #1 on Top Catalog Albums. This is the first time the album has headed the catalog chart since Jackson died in June 2009. The album was last #1 on that chart the week ending Nov. 2, 2008 when a silver anniversary edition ended an 11-week run on top.

Hansel & Gretel was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.

One Direction’s Up All Night—The Live Tour returns to #1 on Top Music Videos. This is its 30th week on top, which is longer than any other title since this chart originated (as Top Music Videocassettes) in March 1995. It surpasses Ray Stevens’ Comedy Video Classics, which logged 29 weeks on top in 1993-1994.

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Coming Attractions: Justin Bieber will land his fifth #1 album next week. Believe Acoustic is expected to post first-week sales in the 190K range. Andrea Bocelli’s Passione will probably debut at #2 with sales of 85K. This will match the peak position of 2009’s My Christmas. Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob will probably open at #3 with sales of 40K. Charlie Wilson’s Love, Charlie will probably open at #6 with sales of 30K. Also due: Colton Dixon's A Messenger, Local Natives’ Hummingbird and Get Up! by Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite.

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