Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Country Music Sales Surge Post-CMAs, 'Stranger Things' Returns After Vinyl Release

Kenny Chesney photographed on Aug. 25, 2014 in Nashville.
Austin Hargrave

Kenny Chesney photographed on Aug. 25, 2014 in Nashville. 

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Nov. 19), Jeezy’s Trap or Die 3 debuted at No. 1, while the rest of the top four was filled with debuts from Kenny Chesney, Meek Mill and Avenged Sevenfold at Nos. 2-4, respectively.

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:

The Piano Guys, Uncharted - No. 15 — It’s the sixth charting album for the act on the chart, and second-highest peaking set overall. It bows with 20,000 units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 3, according to Nielsen Music (19,000 in traditional album sales). The group also makes a splash on the Classical Crossover Albums and New Age Albums charts, where the album bows at No. 1 on both lists. On Classical Crossover Albums, it’s the fifth No. 1 for the act, while on New Age Albums, it’s their sixth. On the latter list, their last three non-Christmas studio albums all spent at least 34 weeks at No. 1. In 2014, Wonders began a 44-week run at No. 1, and before that, The Piano Guys 2 ruled for 34 weeks in 2013 and 2014, and then their self-titled set reigned for 56 weeks in 2012 and 2013.

In total, The Piano Guys have racked up 143 weeks at No. 1, the most weeks at No. 1 among groups (four weeks ahead of the 139 of Mannheim Steamroller) and the fourth-most overall. They are behind Enya (399 weeks), Yanni (234) and Jim Brickman (146).

Keith Urban, Ripcord - No. 12 — Country albums make headway on the chart, thanks to exposure from the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards on Nov. 2. Performer and nominee Keith Urban climbs 31-12 with his album Ripcord, earning 22,000 units (up 69 percent) and 13,000 in traditional album sales (up 93 percent). Overall country album sales were up 54 percent in the week ending Nov. 3

Jimmy Buffett, ‘Tis the Season - No. 50 — Jimmy Buffett’s second Christmas album, ‘Tis the Season, bows at No. 50 with 10,000 units (nearly all from traditional album sales). His first seasonal effort, 1996’s Christmas Island, debuted at No. 125 and peaked at No. 27. It went on to sell 1.24 million copies.

On the Holiday Albums chart, ‘Tis the Season starts at No. 3.

Straight No Chaser, I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album - No. 61 — A cappella group Straight No Chaser scores its fourth charting Christmas release on the Billboard 200, with I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album. It debuts at No. 61 with 9,000 units (nearly all from traditional album sales). The group previously visited the list with the holiday efforts Under the Influence: Holiday Edition (EP) (No. 33 in 2013), Christmas Cheers (No. 38 in 2009) and Holiday Spirits (No. 46 in 2009).

Soundtrack, Stranger Things, Volume One - No. 72 — The soundtrack to the hit Netflix TV series returns to the chart, after the album was released on vinyl LP on Oct. 28. The vinyl release sold a little more than 6,000 copies, which is the bulk of the title’s overall 8,000 unit total for the week (up 331 percent) on the Billboard 200. On the Vinyl Albums chart, the soundtrack debuts at No. 1, and is the first soundtrack to lead the list in more than a year, since the Pitch Perfect 2 album debuted at No. 1 on the list dated May 30, 2015.

Michael Jackson, Thriller - No. 76 — As the latest tracking week captured the Halloween holiday on Oct. 31, it’s not surprising that Michael Jackson’s blockbuster album – which contains the spooky title track – jumps from No. 122 to No. 76 with a 49 percent gain (to 8,000 units).


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