On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Oct. 1), Jason Aldean brought country music back to the top of the list for the first time since late 2015. Aldean’s They Don’t Know bowed at No. 1 with 138,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Sept. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Traditional album sales comprised 131,000 of that sum.
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 latest Billboard 200 chart:
— Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman - No. 9 — The pop princess’ album returns to the top 10 for the first time since the June 25-dated list, as Dangerous Woman earned a 19 percent unit gain in the week ending Sept. 15. The set steps 11-9 with 30,000 units -- and 46 percent of that sum was driven by streaming equivalent albums. (The album is up across the board -- in streaming units, track equivalent units and traditional album sales.) Chalk up its rise in part to the popularity of its latest single, “Side to Side,” featuring Nicki Minaj. Grande and Minaj teamed up to perform the track on the Aug. 28 MTV Video Music Awards, and the song’s music video premiered the following day. The track is off to a fast start on the Billboard Hot 100, where it is bulleted at No. 19 in only its third week on the list.
— Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree - No. 27 — The singer/songwriter earns his highest-charting album ever, as Skeleton Tree bows at No. 27. It starts with just over 15,000 units -- nearly all from traditional album sales. Skeleton Tree is Cave’s 16th album with The Bad Seeds, and seventh to reach the Billboard 200 (all with The Bad Seeds). Cave previously went as high as No. 29 with 2013’s Push the Sky Away. The new album performed particularly sturdy on vinyl, as it sold 4,000 copies on the format, and debuts at No. 3 on the Vinyl Albums chart.
— Gavin DeGraw, Something Worth Saving - No. 35 — DeGraw tallies his ninth charting effort on the Billboard 200 with Something Worth Saving. The set launches with 13,000 units (11,000 in traditional album sales). The album’s single “She Sets the City On Fire” hold steady at its No. 16 peak on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart (up 7 percent in plays in the week ending Sept. 18). The tune is DeGraw’s 13th hit on the Adult Pop Songs list.
DeGraw is currently on tour with Andy Grammer. The trek kicked off Aug. 28 and continues through Nov. 9 in Boca Raton, Fla.
— ZZ Top, Live: Greatest Hits From Around the World - No. 111 — The veteran rock trio’s first official live album hits the Billboard 200, marking the group’s 21st charting effort. It bows with 6,000 units (5,000 in traditional album sales). ZZ Top has been charting on the Billboard 200 since the May 6, 1972-dated list, when Rio Grande Mud bowed at No. 151. The act reached the top 10 for the first of seven times in 1974 with Tres Hombres (peaking at No. 8).
— Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Trio: The Complete Trio Collection - No. 124 — The new collection (6,000 units, nearly all from traditional album sales) gathers together the two previously released collaborative Trio albums, and adds in a bevy of bonus material. The first Trio set peaked at No. 6 in 1987, and Trio II reached No. 62 in 1999. The new effort’s 20 additional cuts include alternative mixes of songs from both albums, plus 11 previously unreleased recordings.
— Matchbox Twenty, Yourself Or Someone Like You - No. 113 — The band’s breakthrough debut album collects its 120th week on the list, as it returns to the chart for the first time since 2012 -- thanks to a 99-cent sale tag in the Google Play store. The album sold 5,000 downloads in the tracking week (up 368 percent) -- the vast majority of the set’s 6,000 units earned for the week. The album was last on the Billboard 200 dated June 16, 2012 (No. 198), and this is its highest rank since June 19, 1999 (No. 90).