Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Neil Young Earns 40th Top 40 Album With 'Hitchhiker'
On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Sept. 30), Thomas Rhett collects his first No. 1 album as Life Changes debuted atop the list with 123,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Sept. 14, according to Nielsen Music. The set also brought country music back to No. 1 for the first time in a year.
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:
— Gregg Allman, Southern Blood – No. 11 — The late singer/songwriter achieves his fourth top 40-charting album with this release, his final studio album, which starts with 29,000 units (28,000 in traditional album sales). Allman died May 27, and last hit the top 10 with his highest-charting solo effort, 2011's No. 5-peaking Low Country Blues.
— Neil Young, Hitchhiker – No. 20 — Neil Young achieves his 40th top 40-charting solo album, as Hitchhiker bows at No. 20 with 19,000 units (nearly all from traditional album sales). In total, Young has notched 56 entries on the list as a soloist. Of course, as part of the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, he managed another nine charting efforts between 1969 and 2014.
Hitchhiker was originally recorded in a single night on Aug. 11, 1976, but was shelved until 2017.
— Tori Amos, Native Invader - No. 39 — Tori Amos arrives at No. 39 with her latest album, Native Invader, which grants the singer/songwriter her 13th top 40-charting set. The album launches with 12,000 units (11,000 in traditional album sales). Amos first visited the top 40 back in 1994 with Under the Pink (her second charting effort), when it debuted and peaked at No. 12. (Amos premiered on the list in 1992 with Little Earthquakes, starting at No. 176 on the April 4, 1992-dated list, on its way to a No. 54 peak the following month, on May 30.)
— LCD Soundsystem, American Dream – No. 56 — One week after LCD Soundsystem celebrated its first No. 1 album with American Dream, the album collapses on the list, falling from No. 1 to No. 56 in its second week (earning just 9,000 units; down 89 percent). Just two weeks earlier, another act that scored its first No. 1, Brand New -- with the Science Fiction album -- fell hard as well, dropping from No. 1 to No. 97.
The huge second-week declines are owed to how their first week sales figures were amplified by a concert/ticket album bundle sale redemption promotion with each act's respective tours. In general, ticket/album redemption offers boost the debut frame of an album, but then there aren't many sales to help prop up an album's second week, so the set traditionally sees a large second-week sales erosion. The same sort of second-week decline has also impacted recent debuts at No. 1s that were also aided by ticket/album redemption offers such as Arcade Fire's Everything Now (which fell 1-38) and Bon Jovi's This House Is Not For Sale (1-43).
— Don Williams, 20 Greatest Hits – No. 85 — The late country star, who died Sept. 8, claims his highest-charting album since 1980, as 20 Greatest Hits bows at No. 85 (8,000 units). Williams was last higher on the tally with I Believe In You, which peaked at No. 57 on the Dec. 20, 1980 list -- powered by the album's title cut, which marked his only top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The single climbed to No. 24 on the Hot 100 in the same week the album peaked.
— Jonny Lang, Signs – No. 153 — Jonny Lang starts at No. 153 with his newest set, Signs, which also earns the singer/songwriter/guitarist his fifth No. 1 on the Blues Albums chart. He previously led the Blues tally with Fight For My Soul (No. 1 for one week in 2013), Long Time Coming (No. 1 for one week; 2003), Wander This World (No. 1 for 22 weeks; 1998-1999) and Lie to Me (No. 1 for 20 weeks; 1997).