After a 16-year wait, country singer Gary Allan nabbed his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart this past week, as his "Set You Free" debuted atop the list with 106,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Only two albums bowed in the top 10 this week -- "Set You Free" and the "2013 Grammy Nominees" album (No. 4).
As for the rest of the chart, there were some movers and shakers. Let's take a closer look at some of them.
-- Randy Houser: His third album, "How Country Feels," just barely misses the top 10, debuting at No. 11 with 24,000 sold. Still, it's the country singer's best rank yet on the chart, easily surpassing the No. 43 peak of 2010's "They Call Me Cadillac." The new album is Houser's first with Stoney Creek Records, after two sets with Toby Keith's Show Dog-Universal label. "How Country Feels" also arrives at No. 3 on the Country Albums chart -- his first top five set on the tally.
-- "12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief": After spending three weeks on the chart as a digital-exclusive title, the "12-12-12" concert album returns to the list at No. 18 following its release on CD (18,000; up 1,072%). It concurrently re-enters at No. 6 on Rock Albums. It debuted and peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 dated Jan. 5, selling 82,000.
-- Eli Young Band: Following the group’s two-song performance on ABC's "The Bachelor" (Jan. 21), the album makes a big re-entry on the list at No. 79 with 5,000 sold (up 290%).
-- Helloween: The German metal band scores its highest charting album ever as "Straight Out of Hell" debuts at No. 97, surpassing the No. 104 peak of “Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part I” in 1987. The new album saw 43% of its debut come from CD sales via the Internet
-- Rodriguez/"Searching For Sugar Man”: The DVD release of the Academy Award-nominated film "Searching for Sugar Man" (Jan. 22) sparks gains for its subject, singer/songwriter Rodriguez. Cold Fact returns at No. 83 with a 154% gain while the movie's soundtrack rises by 128% for a re-entry at No. 117.
-- Tim McGraw: Shortly before dropping his first album for Big Machine Records on Feb. 3 (“Two Lanes of Freedom”), his old label Curb issued this duets compilation exclusively to Walmart (a debut at No. 126 with 3,000).
-- Say Anything: The act's 45-song compilation "All My Friends Are Enemies" bows with 3,000 at No. 136, giving Say Anything its fourth charting set. It collects the act's 2001 debut studio effort ("Baseball") and two early EPs ("Junior Varsity," "Menorah/Majora") along with early demos and rarities.
-- "The Sound of Music" Soundtrack: After slightly more than two years, the classic soundtrack returns to the list (No. 176 with 3,000; up 19%). Amazon MP3 discounted the Julie Andrews-led album last week, leading downloads to account for 89% of its weekly sales.
-- "Now That's What I Call Music!": The "Now That's What I Call Music!" series keeps on chugging along as its latest release, "Now That's What I Call Love Songs" debuts at No. 123 on the Billboard 200 with 3,000 sold. (A number certain to grow as we near Valentine's Day on Feb. 14.)
The 18-song title includes such thematically appropriate tunes as Train's "Marry Me," Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" and Lady Gaga's "You and I." An expanded 40-song version of the "Love" album is also exclusively available at iTunes. It charts separately and sold than 1,000 last week. The new “Love” album follows the 2010's "Now That's What I Call Love," which debuted and peaked at No. 32 on Feb. 13, 2010 (16,000 sold in its first week). It has moved 126,000 total.
Of the 83 "Now" albums to chart, 39 of them have been themed sets (that is, those that are not the numbered titles 1-44). The spin-off titles include ones devoted to Motown singles, power ballads, Disney tunes and Christmas music.