Pentatonix Hits Top Three on Billboard 200, Nickelback Debuts in Top 10

Jiro Schneider
Pentatonix photographed in 2014 by Jiro Schneider.

As earlier reported, One Direction's Four debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 387,000 copies in the week ending Nov. 23, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's the second-largest debut sales week of 2014 (after Taylor Swift's 1989 arrival of 1.287 million), and the largest week for an album by a group.

One Direction's start is slightly less than anticipated. On Nov. 18, a day after the album's release, industry forecasters suggested it would start with 420,000. By Friday, Nov. 21, its first-week projection was scaled back to 400,000. One Direction's last album, Midnight Memories, bowed at No. 1 with their career-high sales week: 546,000.

Swift's 1989 album slips one rung to No. 2 on the new chart — after three weeks at No. 1 — selling 214,000 (down 32 percent). The album has now shifted 2.21 million. With five weeks left in SoundScan's tracking year, 1989 is threatening to become the top selling album of 2014. Ahead of it is only the Frozen soundtrack, with 3.27 million.

Four is the final No. 1 on a purely sales-based Billboard 200. As previously announced, the Billboard 200 will shift next week to a multi-metric popularity ranking, incorporating traditional sales, on-demand audio streaming and digital track sales. A sale-based chart, named Top Album Sales will continue to exist however, both in print and on billboard.com

Shifting back to this week's Billboard 200, a cappella group Pentatonix collects its highest charting album yet (and biggest sales week ever) as That's Christmas To Me rises 8-3 with 99,000 (up 193 percent). It's their second top five album in 2014, following PTX: Vol. III (EP), which hit No. 5.


That's Christmas To Me is one of three holiday albums in new the top 10, as it is joined by Michael Buble's Christmas (13-9 with 35,000; up 34 percent) and Idina Menzel's Holiday Wishes (16-10 with 33,000 in its sixth chart week; up 39 percent). Holiday Wishes is Menzel's first top 10 album, and happens to feature a duet with Buble. As for Buble, his 2011 Christmas album is a former No. 1 (it spent five weeks atop the list in late 2011 and early 2012), and has returned to the top 10 in each successive holiday season.

The new chart's second-highest debut is owned by Nickelback's No Fixed Address, which bows at No. 4. The rock band's latest effort sold 80,000 copies in its first week, and marks their sixth top 10. The set is the group's first for Republic Records, after a long tenure with Roadrunner Records. The four-piece band's previous studio effort, 2011's Here and Now, debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 227,000 sold.

Garth Brooks' Man Against Machine falls one spot to No. 5 in its second week (62,000; down 52 percent). Pink Floyd's The Endless River dips 3-6 with 45,000 (down 74 percent) and Foo Fighters' Sonic Highways drives 2-7 with 36,000 (down 81 percent).

The third and final debut in the top 10 is rock band's In This Moment with Black Widow at No. 8. The group's Atlantic Records debut is their first top 10, and earns them a career-high sales week of 36,000. They previously topped out at No. 15 with their final release for Century Media, Blood, back in 2012 (20,000).
 
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" stays at No. 1, selling 302,000 downloads (down 8 percent), while Hozier's "Take Me To Church" is also a non-mover at No. 2 (176,000; though up by 34 percent).

Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk!," featuring Bruno Mars, flies 18-3 with 111,000 (up 107 percent). Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" dips 3-4 with 106,000 (down 16 percent) and Sam Smith's "I'm Not the Only One" rises 6-5 with 99,000 (up 7 percent).

Maroon 5's "Animals" descends 4-6 with 96,000 (down 22 percent), Nick Jonas' "Jealous" is stationary at No. 7 with 90,000 (up 8 percent) and Swift's "Shake It Off" drops 5-8 with 83,000 (down 11 percent).

Mr. Probz makes the top 10 for the first time, as "Waves" crashes 13-9 with 71,000 (up 17 percent).

Trainor's "Lips Are Movin," the follow-up to "All About That Bass," also hits the top 10 for the first time: 19-10 (69,000; up 34 percent).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Nov. 23) totaled 5.49 million units, up 2 percent compared with the sum last week (5.38 million) and up 4 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (5.29 million). Year to date album sales stand at 215.01 million, down 12 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (245.01 million).
    
Digital track sales this past week totaled 18.65 million downloads, up 5 percent compared with last week (17.72 million) and down 4 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (19.52 million). Year to date track sales are at 990.03 million, down 13 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (1.13 billion).

Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: One Direction's Midnight Memories arrived at No. 1 with 546,000. The previous week's No. 1, Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2, fell to No. 2 with 199,000 (though, up by 65 percent).