Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:
— Bonnie Raitt, Dig In Deep - No. 11 — Bonnie Raitt earns her 20th charting album on the Billboard 200, as her latest release, Dig In Deep, debuts at No. 11. The set earned 33,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 3, according to Nielsen Music, and sold just over 32,000 in pure album sales. It also debuts at No. 7 on the Top Album Sales chart.
The new album also enters at No. 1 on both the Folk Albums and Blues Albums charts. It marks her second leader on the Blues Albums list, following a 25-week run at No. 1 with the 2012 release Slipstream.
— Willie Nelson, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin - No. 40 — Music legend Willie Nelson extends his multi-genre chart history, as his new album, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, debuts at No. 1 on both the Traditional Jazz Albums and overall Jazz Albums charts.
The set, which sold 13,000 copies in the week ending March 3, according to Nielsen Music, also enters at No. 14 on Top Album Sales. It launches at No. 40 on the Billboard 200 -- his 19th top 40-charting album on the list (with 13,000 equivalent album units).
Willie Nelson Says Frank Sinatra Is His Vocal Inspiration
The new album is a tribute to the songwriting duo George and Ira Gershwin. It gives Nelson his third No. 1 on the Traditional Jazz Albums chart, following two collaborations with Wynton Marsalis: Two Men With the Blues (2008) and Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles (with Norah Jones, 2011). While Nelson is most certainly an icon of country music -- and has 14 No. 1s on the Top Country Albums chart to prove it -- he’s also notched top 10s on the Blues Albums (Milk Cow Blues, No. 2 in 2000), Kid Albums (Rainbow Connection, No. 7 in 2001) and Holiday Albums (Pretty Paper, No. 9 in 1983) charts. He’s even claimed a No. 1 on the Reggae Albums chart (Countryman, in 2009).
The new Gershwin album does not add to Nelson’s voluminous history on the Top Country Albums chart, however, as the set is a decidedly jazz affair. That follows such titles as his top 10 Blues Albums effort Milk Cow Blues (2000) and his two earlier No. 1s on the Traditional Jazz Albums list, all of which skipped the Top Country Albums tally.
— Michael Jackson, Off the Wall - No. 61 — Michael Jackson’s classic Epic Records debut, Off the Wall, zooms 110-61 on the Billboard 200 following its rerelease on Feb. 26. The set earned 10,000 equivalent album units (up 66 percent) and 9,000 in pure album sales (up 92 percent) in the week ending March 3, according to Nielsen Music. Off the Wall peaked at No. 3 for three weeks in 1980, stuck behind Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes (No. 2) and another “wall,” Pink Floyd’s The Wall (No. 1).
— Old Dominion, Meat and Candy - No. 35 — The album flies 109-35 after it was discounted to just $3.99 during the week at select digital retailers, including iTunes, which prompts its 340 percent gain in pure album sales (to 10,000) for the week, and a 136 percent unit lift (to 14,000).
— Steel Panther, Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage - No. 153 — The humorous band, spoofing hair metal acts of yesteryear, also rises 14-1 on Comedy Albums with this new live effort. It’s their fourth straight leader on the Comedy Albums chart — out of four total visits to the list.