Billboard 200 Chart Moves: The Weeknd's Back in the Top 40, George Carlin Returns to Chart After Nearly 32 Years
On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Oct. 8), Drake’s Views returned to No. 1, clocking its 13th nonconsecutive week atop the list. The last album to earn as many weeks at No. 1 was the soundtrack to Frozen, which also claimed 13 nonconsecutive frames in the penthouse between Jan. 18-May 17, 2014).
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:
— Adele, 25 - No. 13 — After another steady sales week, Adele’s third studio album, 25, has crossed yet another milestone -- it has now sold 9 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. In the latest track week (ending Sept. 22), 25 sold another 11,000 copies (up 5 percent), bringing its cumulative total to 9.01 million.
In addition, the set has earned a total of 10.09 million equivalent album units — a sum that blends traditional album sales along with track equivalent album (TEA) units and streaming equivalent album (SEA) units (1.07 million).
Further, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently certified the set at 10 million units earned -- the company’s diamond award.
Only 31 albums have sold 9 million copies since Nielsen started electronically tracking music purchases in 1991.
Adele is one of just six acts that have sold at least 9 million copies of two different albums in the Nielsen era. Her previous release, 21, has sold 11.7 million.
She joins Backstreet Boys (Millennium, 12.3 million and their self-titled album, 10.2 million), Garth Brooks (Ropin’ the Wind, 9.6 million and No Fences, 9.01 million), Celine Dion (Falling Into You, 10.8 million and Let’s Talk About Love, 9.6 million), Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP, 11 million and The Eminem Show, 10.7 million) and Britney Spears (…Baby One More Time, 10.6 million and Oops!… I Did It Again, 9.2 million).
As Adele’s debut set 19 has sold 2.9 million, the singer/songwriter’s three albums have sold a combined 23.7 million.
— Led Zeppelin, The Complete BBC Sessions - No. 21 — Led Zeppelin notches its 21st charting album on the Billboard 200 as The Complete BBC Sessions bows at, coincidentally enough, No. 21. The live compilation set -- which is an updated, expanded and slightly retitled version of its 1997 album BBC Sessions -- earned 16,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Sept. 22 (with 14,000 of that in traditional album sales). The earlier release debuted and peaked at No. 21, and spent 20 weeks on the list.
— Meat Loaf, Braver Than We Are - No. 31 — The rocker returns to the top 40 of the chart for the first time since 2010, as his new album Braver Than We Are bows at No. 31. Meat Loaf has previously visited the top 40 with Hang Cool Teddy Bear (No. 27 in 2010), Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose (No. 8, 2006), Welcome to the Neighborhood (No. 17, 1995), Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (No. 1, 1993) and Bat Out of Hell (No. 14, 1978).
— The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness - No. 40 — The Weeknd’s last album, 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness, jumps back into the top 40 (46-40), likely owed to excitement surround the release of his new single “Starboy.” The track is the title cut of his Beauty follow-up, which is slated for release on Nov. 25.
Beauty Behind the Madness earned 11,000 units in the week ending Sept. 22 (up 2 percent) – mostly from streaming equivalent album units (8,000; up 2 percent).
— Ed Sheeran, X - No. 59 — A $5.99 sale tag in the iTunes Store helps lift the set by 26 percent in units earned (to 9,000 for the week) and by 113 percent in sales (to 3,000 copies sold). This is the highest rank for the album since April 16 (No. 55).
— My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade - No. 143 — As the 10th anniversary of the album’s release nears (Oct. 23), it gains by 23 percent in weekly units earned (to 5,000). A new deluxe version of the set, issued on Sept. 23, will boost the album up the chart in the coming weeks.
— George Carlin, I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die - No. 176 — George Carlin is back on the chart for the first time since 1984, as the new album I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die debuts at No. 176. It’s the comedy legend’s first charting set since Carlin on Campus peaked at No. 136 on Oct. 6, 1984, and spent its last week on the list dated Oct. 13 of that year. (Carlin died in 2008.)
The new mostly live album was mostly recorded on Sept. 9 and 10, 2001 during Carlin’s stand-up shows at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. However, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Carlin shelved the performance -- which was slated to be his next HBO concert special. Two months later, Carlin reworked the show into the Complaints and Grievances TV special (recorded on Nov. 17, 2001 in New York), but altered much of the content -- removing some of the material entirely. The new album contains the previously unreleased material from the Sept. 2001 performances.
On the Comedy Albums chart, I Kinda Like it When a Lotta People Die debuts at No. 1 -- Carlin’s first No. 1 on any Billboard chart. (The Comedy Albums chart launched on Oct. 2, 2004 -- decades after Carlin began charting on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, back in 1972.)
— Willie Nelson, For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price - No. 84 — The legend scores a second debut on the Billboard 200 in 2016 – and both have been tribute albums. The new effort, saluting Ray Price, bows at No. 84 with 7,000 units (nearly all in traditional album sales). It follows Nelson’s Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, which debuted and peaked at No. 40 on the March 19-dated list.