Latin Music Week

Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Pentatonix's 'Christmas' Album Returns to Top 40

Vijat Mohindra
Pentatonix

Plus: George Michael’s “Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1” is back on the chart.

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Nov. 11), Niall Horan debuts at No. 1 with his first album, Flicker, which starts with 152,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 26, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 128,000 were in traditional album sales.

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:

Lindsey Stirling, Warmer in the Winter – No. 32The violinist notches her fourth top 40-charting effort, as her first holiday album, Warmer in the Winter, debuts at No. 32 (15,000 units – nearly all from traditional album sales). It also starts at No. 1 on the Holiday Albums chart, and No. 1 on the Classical Crossover Albums chart. It’s her fourth leader on the latter tally.

Pentatonix, A Pentatonix Christmas – No. 35Pentatonix’s former No. 1, A Pentatonix Christmas, re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 35 with 14,000 equivalent album units (up 895 percent). Of that sum, 12,000 were traditional album sales (up 2,367 percent). The huge gain is owed to the album’s deluxe reissue on Oct. 20, with five bonus tracks.

The set -- which topped the Billboard 200 (charts dated Jan. 7-14, 2017) -- finished 2016 as the No. 5 biggest-selling album of the year and the biggest selling title by a group, with 904,000 copies sold. In total, it has sold 938,000 copies.

George Michael, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 - No. 41 — George Michael’s 1990 album, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1, is back on the Billboard 200 for the first time since 1991, as the set re-enters at No. 41 following its expanded reissue on Oct. 20. Listen returns with 12,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 10,000 were traditional album sales (up from a negligible sum). The set also re-enters the Top Album Sales chart at No. 14.

Listen Without Prejudice, which peaked at No. 2 in 1990 (behind MC Hammer’s Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ’Em), was reissued with a host of bonus tracks, as well as an MTV Unplugged concert from 1996. The set also features a new remix of the previously released “Fantasy,” featuring Nile Rodgers. The original version first arrived in the United States as the B-side to album single “Freedom.” Michael and Rodgers worked together on the remix in 2016, before Michael’s death on Dec. 25 that year.

Listen also returns to the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, where it re-enters at No. 22 -- a new high. That surpasses its initial peak of No. 61 in late 1990. (Michael’s first two solo releases charted on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, with debut set Faith spending six weeks at No. 1.)

Brand New, Science Fiction – No. 50The former chart-topping set returns following its CD and vinyl LP release on Oct. 20 (11,000 units; up 656 percent, with 10,000 in album sales; up 1,805 percent). It previously was available as only a download and stream. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Sept. 9 chart, fell to No. 97 in its second week (the largest positional drop from No. 1 in the history of the chart) and then fell off the chart entirely until returning this week at No. 50.

The Smiths, The Queen is Dead – No. 122 The Smiths’ classic 1986 album, The Queen Is Dead, is revived on multiple charts, as a deluxe remastered reissue of the album pushes it back onto the Billboard 200 at No. 122 (6,000 units; up 1,053 percent; 5,000 in album sales; up 4,339 percent). The set peaked at No. 70 the year it was released. The 10-track album has been remastered and features 13 B-sides, demos, alternative takes and a previously unreleased live concert. The set also enters Top Catalog Albums at No. 22 on and re-enters Vinyl Albums at No. 9.

Willie Nelson, Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash, Vol. 2 – No. 134 The prolific 84-year-old legend, who made his Billboard 200 chart debut in 1975, has charted 20 albums in the last 10 years on the tally -- including this new one. That’s more than any other country act in the past 10 years. (George Strait has the second-most in that span, with 15.)