Chart Beat

Leonard Cohen Remembered on Billboard 200, Sting Debuts in Top 10

Leonard Cohen
Frans Schellekens/Redferns

Leonard Cohen performs at the Muziektheater in Amsterdam, Netherlands on April 18, 1988.

As A Tribe Called Quest bows at No. 1 on the new Billboard 200 albums chart with We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service — marking the act’s first No. 1 in over 20 years — the rest of the top 10 gets shaken up by holiday tunes, a late legend, and a returning rock icon.

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 Dec. 3-dated chart (where A Tribe Called Quest starts at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Penatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas hits a new high, rising from No. 4 to No. 2. The set earned 56,000 units in the week ending Nov. 20, according to Nielsen Music (up 21 percent) and moved 50,000 in traditional album sales (up 21 percent).

The vocal group has now tallied three top two-charting albums: the new set, their self-titled chart-topper from 2015, and then That’s Christmas to Me, which peaked in the runner-up slot in 2014.

The Trolls soundtrack holds at No. 3 with 48,000 units (up 2 percent), while Rae Sremmurd’s Sremmlife 2 climbs one notch to No. 4 — a new high — with 43,000 units (up 9 percent). The album is now the duo’s highest charting set, surpassing the No. 5 peak of their debut effort, 2015’s Sremmlife.

Drake’s Views rises three spots to No. 5, with 32,000 units (though it’s down 2 percent).

The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton jumps 9-6 with 30,000 units (down less than 1 percent). Any impact that the album may receive from the news of vice president-elect Mike Pence’s visit to the show on Nov. 18 will not be felt until next week’s chart (reflecting the tracking week of Nov. 18-25).

The late Leonard Cohen is remembered on the chart, as his most recent studio album, You Want It Darker, flies from No. 48 to No. 7 with 30,000 units (up 197 percent) and 28,000 in traditional album sales (up 188 percent). Cohen died on Nov. 7, but his death was not announced until Nov. 10.

You Want It Darker debuted at No. 10 on the Nov. 12-dated list. It marked his second top 10 effort, following 2012’s Old Ideas, which reached No. 3. Just outside the top 10, Cohen’s greatest hits album The Essential Leonard Cohen, debuts at No. 13 with 20,000 units (up 686 percent) and with 11,000 albums sold (up 588 percent).

The ChainsmokersCollage descends two spots to No. 8 with 29,000 units (down 25 percent). The bulk of its units were generated by streaming equivalent album units: 17,000 – thanks to the five-song EP’s multiple previously released hits (including “Closer” and “Don’t Let Me Down”).

Sting notches his 11th solo top 10 album, as his new studio effort, 57th & 9th, bows at No. 9 with 28,000 units (27,000 in traditional album sales). He last visited the top 10 with 2010’s Symphonicities, which debuted and peaked at No. 6. Sting claimed his first solo top 10 with his debut effort, The Dream of the Blue Turtles, which spent six weeks lodged at No. 2 (its peak) in 1985.

Of course, Sting also racked up a string of hit albums with his band The Police: the group scored four top 10s, including the blockbuster No. 1 set Synchronicity (which ruled for 17 weeks in 1983).

Rounding out the new top 10 on the Billboard 200 is the Suicide Squad soundtrack, which ascends 12-10 with 24,000 units (down 3 percent).

Just outside the top 10 is Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s new holiday collaboration album, Christmas Together, which debuts at No. 11 with 21,000 units (essentially all from traditional album sales). The set also launches at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, giving the Brooks his 15th No. 1 on the tally, and Yearwood her fourth. The album came out on the same day (Nov. 11) as Brooks’ new 10-CD box set, which was exclusively available through Target for $29.99. The set is ineligible to chart on Nielsen and Billboard’s charts, as its price falls below the minimum required price to chart ($3.49 for a single disc, or $3.49 times the amount of discs in a multi-disc box set, in the title’s first four weeks of release).