How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful sold 128,000 copies in its first week -- easily Florence + The Machine’s best sales week yet. It trumps the 105,000 sales start of Ceremonials, which was previously their high-water mark.
The new album was led by the single “What Kind of Man,” which peaked at No. 8 on the Alternative Songs chart, and No. 7 on Hot Rock Songs.
Notably, Florence + The Machine’s album is one of many colorfully titled chart-topping sets. It follows other No. 1 “blue” albums like last year’s Turn Blue by The Black Keys. Also among the blue No. 1s: Jay Z’s three different The Blueprint albums, Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue, Mac Miller’s Blue Slide Park, Madonna’s True Blue, Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue, The Blues Brothers’ Brief Case Full of Blues, Diana Ross’ Lady Sings the Blues soundtrack, and The Rolling Stones’ Black and Blue.
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Back on the current Billboard 200 chart, Taylor Swift’s 1989 holds at No. 2 with 66,000 units (down 5 percent) while last week’s leader, A$AP Rocky’s At.Long.Last.A$AP, slips to No. 3 with 50,000 units (down 66 percent).
Jason Derulo’s fourth album, Everything Is 4, takes a bow at -- appropriately -- No. 4 as it starts with 37,000 units. It matches his chart high, initially earned when his last album, Talk Dirty, debuted and peaked at No. 4 a little over a year ago. Everything Is 4 launches with 22,000 copies sold in traditional album sales -- Derulo’s third-largest sales frame. Talk Dirty debuted with 44,000 sold -- his best sales week. (His second-biggest week was logged by his self-titled debut, in 2010, when it started with 42,000.)
The new album’s first single, “Want To Want Me,” is a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold 1.1 million downloads. The song is his sixth consecutive top 40 hit on the Hot 100, following five top 40-charters from his Talk Dirty album.
Ed Sheeran’s x rises 7-5 with 36,000 units (up 2 percent) and the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack descends 4-6 with 34,000 units (down 34 percent).
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Two country legends are up next on the chart, as Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s new collaborative album, Django and Jimmie, debuts at No. 7 with 31,000 units (30,000 in pure album sales). It’s Nelson’s fourth top 10 set and Haggard’s first. Nelson logged his first top 10 back in 1982 with the No. 2-peaking Always On My Mind, and then more recently claimed his second and third top 10s with To All the Girls (No. 9 in 2013) and Band of Brothers (No. 5 in 2014).
As for Haggard -- who arrived on the Billboard 200 in 1967, two years after he debuted on the Top Country Albums chart -- Django and Jimmie marks his highest charting album yet on the Billboard 200. Until this week, he’d only earned one previous top 40 set, when his first duets effort with Nelson, Pancho & Lefty, peaked at No. 37 in 1983.
Rounding out the new top 10 is Meghan Trainor’s Title (holding at No. 8 with just over 30,000 units; down 12 percent), Zac Brown Band’s Jekyll + Hyde (17-9 with 30,000 units; up 22 percent) and Maroon 5’s V (11-10 with 29,000 units; up 4 percent).