With 234,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, Zac Brown Band  ropes its second No. 1 on Country Albums  and the Billboard 200, as "Uncaged" arrives with the group's best one-week sum to date. Their previous best was noted when You Get What You Give opened with 153,000 two years ago. The handsome debut was goosed by appearances on "The Late Show With David Letterman" and a July 13 stop at "Today" on NBC.
At least one retailer offered "Uncaged" for $3.99 during its first week out. Only one country album, Carrie Underwood 's "Blown Away," has sold more in any given week this year (267,000 sold, May 19). Zac Brown Band boasts a total of three albums in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 this week, the first time a country act has had that many in the top 20 since Garth Brooks had a trio on Nov. 7, 1992.
Meanwhile, Eli Young Band  celebrates its second No. 1 -- seven weeks faster than its first -- as "Even If It Breaks Your Heart," steps 2-1 in its 31st week on Country Songs . The group first topped the radio tally with "Crazy Girl," which reigned in its 38th week on the chart dated Nov. 19, 2011. With 36,000 downloads during the SoundScan tracking week, "Heart" ranks at No. 10 in its 21st week on Country Digital Songs following a No. 7 peak two weeks ago (666,000 total downloads). Both of the band's No. 1 radio hits are from their third full-length album, Life at Best, which bullets at No. 30 in its 48th week (4,000 sold) on Country Albums (279,000 total sales).
Little Big Town's "Pontoon" spends a second week at No. 1 on Country Digital Songs (84,000 sold), and vaults 20-15 in its 10th week on Country Songs. The track is the quartet's fastest-rising single to date on the radio chart, surpassing the 19 weeks it took "Little White Church" to reach the top 15 two years ago. The summertime anthem is the lead single from the group's fifth album, "Tornado," set for release on Sept. 11. Also noteworthy on Country Songs is the 15th top 10 achievement for "The Voice" vocal coach Blake Shelton, as "Over" jumps 11-9 -- eleven of the artist's previous top 10's also did time at No. 1. Shelton's "Red River Blue" set gets a 107% sales spike and shoots 24-17 on Country Albums.
Keep an eye on Billboard's country singles charts next week, as Jason Aldean is likely to post career-high bows with "Take a Little Ride" on Country Songs and Country Digital Songs. The new tune is from Aldean's fifth studio album, due this fall.
- Country