'Furious 7' Soundtrack Speeds to No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart

© 2015 Universal Studios.
Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker and Ludacris in “Furious 7.” 

The Furious 7 soundtrack album drives to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, as the multi-artist compilation jumps 2-1 in its fourth week on the chart (dated April 25). The set moved 111,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 12 (up 51 percent), according to Nielsen Music.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Furious 7 is the fourth chart-topping soundtrack in the past 12 months, following the TV soundtrack to Empire (No. 1 for one week on the chart dated March 28), Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (No. 1 for two weeks: Aug. 23-30, 2014) and Frozen (No. 1 for 13 nonconsecutive weeks between Jan. 18-May 17, 2014).

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The Furious 7 album benefits from its red-hot single “See You Again,” performed by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. The track is a tribute to the film’s co-star Paul Walker, who died before the movie was finished. The song plays over the final scene in the movie (which bowed in theaters on April 3) and sold 464,000 downloads for the week. That sum bolsters Furious 7’s overall unit total, and lifts the album’s track equivalent album total to 58,000 units (or 52 percent of its overall weekly sum).

Also helping encourage sales of the song and the album: “See You Again’s” official music video premiered on April 6, and Khalifa performed the song two days later on NBC’s The Voice.

Furious 7’s relatively slow ascent to No. 1 is somewhat rare, as most No. 1 albums open atop the list, as opposed to debuting lower and then rising to the top. For example, of the 42 albums that have been No. 1 since the start of 2014, only three did not debut at No. 1: Furious 7, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack (which went to No. 1 in its second week, after debuting at No. 3) and the Frozen soundtrack (it hit No. 1 in its sixth week).

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Coming in at No. 2 -- with a career-high peak on the chart -- is rock band All Time Low with its new album Future Hearts. The set starts with 80,000 units ­-- of which 75,000 are pure album sales: the band’s best sales week yet. The new album surpasses their previous high-water mark, set when 2009’s Nothing Personal debuted and peaked at No. 4 from a 63,000 sales start.

Future Hearts was the top selling album of the week, and launches at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart (which ranks titles based on traditional album sales). The Furious 7 soundtrack is No. 2 on the Album Sales chart, with 45,000 sold (up 36 percent).

Back on the Billboard 200, the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack rises six rungs to No. 3 with 47,000 units (down 12 percent). That gives the chart two concurrently-charting soundtracks in the top three for the second time this year, and only the fourth time this decade.

Maroon 5’s V climbs 11-4 (44,000; down 17 percent) to its highest rank since its second week on the chart (back on Sept. 27, 2014) when it was No. 2. The album’s current single, “Sugar,” is riding high on the airwaves: it’s spending its second week at No. 1 on the Pop Songs airplay chart (also known as Mainstream Top 40).

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Taylor Swift’s 1989 holds at No. 5 for a fifth straight week on the Billboard 200 (slightly less than 44,000; down 27 percent). The album has spent all 24 of its chart weeks in the top five. It’s one of only nine albums to tally their first 24 frames in the top five (since the chart combined its mono and stereo lists into one all-encompassing chart in 1963).

Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour is a non-mover at No. 6 (43,000; down 27 percent). Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly flutters down 4-7 (42,000; down 36 percent) and Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late vaults 14-8 (40,000; down just 1 percent).

Ed Sheeran’s x skips back into the top 10, climbing three rungs to No. 9 (39,000; down 19 percent) and Meghan Trainor’s Title also returns to the region, rising three slots to No. 10 (34,000; down 17 percent).

Last week’s No. 1 album, Wale’s The Album About Nothing, falls to No. 11 in its second week (33,000 units; down 67 percent).