Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Keith Richards, Judy Collins & Darlene Love Debut
On the most recent Billboard 200 chart (dated Oct. 10), Drake and Future flew in at No. 1 with their surprise new album, What a Time to Be Alive. The set moved 375,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Sept. 24, according to Nielsen Music. It was one of seven debuts in the top 10 — the most the region has seen since the Nov. 8, 2014-dated chart.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the Oct. 10 chart:
— Keith Richards, Crosseyed Heart - No. 11 — The iconic guitarist of The Rolling Stones earns his highest charting solo album ever, as Crosseyed Heart debuts at No. 11. His previous high was logged with 1988’s Talk Is Cheap, which rose to No. 24. The new set, which is his third solo studio effort, arrives with 34,000 units (of which 33,000 are from pure album sales). That sales sum is also his largest sales week since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991. As for The Rolling Stones, the band has charted 53 entries on the Billboard 200, most recently with a pair of titles related to the reissue of Sticky Fingers earlier this year: Sticky Fingers (Super Deluxe) (No. 65 peak) and Sticky Fingers: Live (No. 92).
— Soundtrack, Pitch Perfect 2 - No. 43 — Thanks to the home video release of Pitch Perfect 2, its companion soundtrack scoots up the list with a 104 percent unit gain (rising 112-43). The album shifted 10,000 units (of which are 9,000 in pure album ales). The film was released to home video on Sept. 22.
— Lil Dicky, Professional Rapper - No. 47 — Rapper Lil Dicky jumps back onto the list at No. 47 (9,000 units; up 260 percent) thanks to publicity generated by his viral video “$ave Dat Money.” The clip, which was released on Sept. 17 to his YouTube channel, has tallied 7.9 million global views.
— Judy Collins, Strangers Again – No. 77 — Singer/songwriter Judy Collins returns to the Billboard 200 after 33 years, as her new album Strangers Again arrives at No. 77. It’s her first studio album in four years, and her first appearance on the chart since 1982’s Time of Our Lives wrapped up its five-week chart run on April 10, 1982 (peaking at No. 190 that same week). It’s also the Grammy Award-winner’s highest-charting title since 1979’s Hard Times for Lovers reached No. 54. The new album features a bevy of guest stars, including Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Jeff Bridges, Glen Hansard and Don McLean. Promotion of the new album was bolstered by an interview on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition (on Sept. 12) and coverage in USA Today.
Strangers Again is Collins’ 17th charting album. Her first came in 1964 with Judy Collins #3 (which reached No. 126). Her high-water mark on the list was earned by 1968’s Wildflowers, which peaked at No. 5.
— Glen Hansard, Didn’t He Ramble – No. 92 — Speaking of Glen Hansard (as he’s one of the guests on Judy Collins’ new album, see No. 77, above), he debuts at No. 92 with his own new set, Didn’t He Ramble (6,000 units). It’s the fourth charting effort for the Academy Award-winner, following Drive All Night (EP) (No. 188 in 2013), Rhythm and Repose (No. 21 in 2012) and The Swell Season (No. 194; credited to Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova with Maria Tuhkanen and Bertrand Galen).
— Florence + The Machine, How Big How Blue How Beautiful – No. 97 — The album earns the chart’s largest percentage gain (up 44 percent) after promotion within the iTunes Store and Apple Music. The band played the Apple Music Festival on Sept. 28, and the show was heavily publicized by Apple leading up to the event.
— Darlene Love, Introducing Darlene Love – No. 134 — Darlene Love -- a vocalist who is both a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Award-winner -- finally makes her Billboard 200 chart debut with Introducing Darlene Love. The set (which starts at No. 134 with 5,000 units) is her first full-length album of original pop songs in 27 years, and includes tunes written by Bruce Springsteen, Desmond Child, Joan Jett and Elvis Costello. Love was featured in the 2013 Academy Award-winning documentary film 20 Feet From Stardom, and whose voice has been heard on numerous hits that have charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Perhaps most famously, Love was the lead vocalist of the No. 1 single “He’s a Rebel,” which was credited to The Crystals, though actually performed by Love with her group The Blossoms. Love also provided background vocals on smashes like The Ronettes’ No. 2 hit “Be My Baby,” Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers’ chart-topper “Monster Mash” and The Righteous Brothers’ No. 1 “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin.’” She has sang background on albums for everyone from Cher and Aretha Franklin to Luther Vandross and Bette Midler.