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Jason Aldean Achieves Third Straight No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart
Plus: a quartet of rockin' new top 10 debuts from Bastille, The Head and the Heart, The Beatles and Jack White.
Jason Aldean earns his third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with arrival of They Don’t Know. The set, which was released on Sept. 9 through Macon/Broken Bow Records, earned 138,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Sept. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 131,000 were in traditional album sales.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Oct. 1-dated chart (where Aldean enters at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
They Don’t Know is also Aldean’s third consecutive No. 1 on the chart. His last two chart entries, which also happen to be his last two studio albums, likewise opened atop the list. His last album, 2014’s Old Boots, New Dirt, launched at No. 1 with 278,000 copies sold. Two years before that, Night Train rolled in at No. 1 with 409,000 sold.
In total, They Don’t Know is Aldean’s sixth top 10 effort, and seventh charting album. He previously hit the top 10 with My Kinda Party (No. 2 in 2010), Wide Open (No. 4 in 2009) and Relentless (No. 4 in 2007). His self-titled debut album peaked at No. 37 in 2005.
They Don’t Know is the first country album to rule the Billboard 200 since late 2015, when Chris Stapleton’s Traveller spent two weeks atop the list on the Nov. 21 and Nov. 28-dated charts. (Traveller reentered the chart, straight in at No. 1 on the Nov. 21-dated list, following his big night on last year’s Country Music Association Awards.)
This year marks the first since 2001 that we've waited until a chart dated in October for a country album to top the Billboard 200. That year, one country set reigned: Garth Brooks' Scarecrow, on the Dec. 1, 2001, chart.
Drake’s former No. 1, Views, rises one rung to No. 2 with 59,000 units. Streams of the set’s songs continue to drive the album’s high rank on the chart. In the latest tracking week, Views’ streaming equivalent units totaled 43,000. (That equals 63.8 million streams of Views’ songs.) Views was the most-streamed album of the week, by total streams of its songs.
The Suicide Squad soundtrack also rises a notch, to No. 3, with 52,000 units. Unlike Views, the Suicide Squad soundtrack’s units are evenly distributed across traditional album sales (19,000 copies sold), track equivalent albums (16,000), and streaming equivalent albums (17,000).
At No. 4 is the second of five debuts in the top 10, as Bastille’s Wild World enters with 43,000 units (35,000 copies sold). It’s the band’s highest charting album, first top 10, and best sales week yet. It trumps the No. 11 debut and peak of its first album, Bad Blood, which arrived with 34,000 sold in its first week, back in 2013. Bastille also charted a pair of EPs, with Haunt (No. 104 in 2013) and Vs.: Other People’s Heartache Pt. III (No. 87 in 2014).
The Head and the Heart also score its highest-charting album yet, as Signs of Light bows at No. 5 with 40,000 units (37,000 in traditional album sales). The group previously hit the top 10 once, at No. 10, with its last album, Let’s Be Still in 2013 (42,000 sold in its first week -- still the act’s best sales frame).
On the Top Rock Albums chart, which ranks the week’s best-selling rock albums, The Head and the Heart debut at No. 1 with Signs of Light, while Bastille’s Wild World enters at No. 2.
Back on the new Billboard 200, last week’s No. 1, Travis Scott’s Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, falls to No. 6 with 38,000 units (down 57 percent).
The Beatles notch their 32nd top 10 album, as Live at the Hollywood Bowl debuts at No. 7 with 36,000 units (35,000 in traditional album sales). The group last hit the top 10 in 2013 with On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2 (No. 7).
The new album -- like its 1977 predecessor, The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl -- features songs from The Beatles’ three Hollywood Bowl performances in 1964 and 1965. The 1977 album peaked at No. 2, and eventually fell out of print.
The 1977 album’s 13 songs are on the new 2016 album, along with four bonus tracks. The 2016 set was newly mixed and remastered, and directly sourced from the original three track tapes of the concerts.
Jack White’s new archival compilation, Acoustic Recordings: 1998-2016, enters at No. 8 with 32,000 copies sold (30,000 in traditional album sales). The 26-song set includes alternative versions, mixes and previously unreleased recordings from White and his bands The White Stripes and The Raconteurs. Acoustic Recordings is the third top 10 set for White, following a pair of No. 1s: Lazaretto in 2014 and Blunderbuss in 2012.
The new set was a hot seller on vinyl LP, with 12,000 copies sold on the format, and a debut at No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums chart. Acoustic’s vinyl sales mark the biggest week for a vinyl set since Blink-182’s California started with 20,000 LPs sold back in July.
The sizable vinyl sales are usual for White, who is a fan of the format and set a vinyl sales record in 2013 with Lazaretto. That album launched with 40,000 vinyl LPs sold -- the largest sales week for a vinyl LP since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in 1991.
Rounding out the new top 10 on the Billboard 200 are Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman (rising 11-9 with 30,000 units; up 19 percent) and Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots (dipping 5-10 with 30,000 units; down 29 percent).