Jekyll + Hyde is the group’s first album for John Varvatos Records, Republic Records and Big Machine. The act was previously signed to Atlantic Records. Jekyll + Hyde is also the band’s third straight studio effort to reach No. 1, following the chart-topping bows of Uncaged (in 2012) and You Get What You Give (2010). The new set moved 214,000 in traditional album sales, marking the group’s second-largest sales frame (following the 234,000 sales launch of Uncaged).
The new album was led by two No. 1 singles on two different airplay charts: “Heavy Is the Head,” featuring Chris Cornell, is spending its second week atop the Mainstream Rock Songs chart (dated May 16), while “Homegrown” led the Country Airplay chart for three weeks in April. Zac Brown Band is only the second act to ever reach No. 1 on both of those tallies (following Bon Jovi).
Coming in at No. 2 behind Zac Brown Band on the new Billboard 200 is singer Josh Groban, who lands his eighth top 10 album with Stages. The set opens with 180,000 units, of which 176,000 were pure album sales. The album performed stronger than expected, as last week, some industry forecasters had pegged the set to start with around 125,000.
Stages’ sales debut also surpasses the bow of Groban’s last release, 2012’s All That Echoes, which entered with 145,000 sold (and debuted at No. 1).
Stages features Groban interpreting a bevy of famed musical theater songs, including tunes from Les Miserables (“Bring Him Home”), A Chorus Line (“What I Did For Love”) and The Phantom of the Opera (“All I Ask Of You”). The set boasts collaborations with Kelly Clarkson, Chris Botti and six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald.
Groban’s pairing with Clarkson on “All I Ask Of You” debuts on the Pop Digital Songs chart at No. 32, selling 15,000 downloads.
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Trailing Groban on the Billboard 200 at No. 3 is the Furious 7 soundtrack, which drives down one position with 53,000 units (down 15 percent).
The third and final new entry in the Billboard 200’s new top 10 is country singer Tyler Farr’s Suffer In Peace. It starts at No. 4 with 42,000 units (of which 36,000 are pure album sales). The album follows Farr’s 2013 full-length debut, Redneck Crazy, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 off a 29,000 sales start.
Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late slips one rung to No. 5 with 37,000 (down 24 percent), and the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack is also down a slot, to No. 6, with 36,000 units (down 6 percent).
Last week’s No. 1 album, Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color, slides to No. 7 in its second week with 34,000 units (down 64 percent).
Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour dips 7-8 with 33,000 (down 9 percent) and Taylor Swift’s 1989 descends 6-9 with 32,000 (down 11 percent). Meghan Trainor’s Title rounds out the top 10, holding steady at No. 10 with 31,000 (up less than 1 percent).