Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Elton John Earns 40th Top 40 Album With 'Diamonds'
On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Nov. 25), Taylor Swift’s Reputation rocked the top of the chart, debuting at No. 1 with 1.238 million equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 16, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, a whopping 1.216 million were in traditional album sales -- the largest sales week for any album since 2015, and the 10th-largest sales week since Nielsen Music began tracking data in 1991.
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:
— Elton John, Diamonds - No. 23 — Elton John notches his 40th top 40-charting album with the arrival of his latest greatest hits collection, Diamonds. The set -- which is also John’s 48th charting effort overall -- enters at No. 23 with 18,000 units (12,000 from traditional album sales).
Among all artists with the most top 40 albums, John ties Neil Young for the seventh-most. Ahead of them: Frank Sinatra (56 top 40 albums), Elvis Presley (54), Barbra Streisand (51), Bob Dylan (47), The Rolling Stones (46) and The Beatles (41).
Diamonds is John’s sixth greatest hits album to reach the Billboard 200. It follows Greatest Hits (No. 1 for 10 weeks, debuting in 1974), Elton John’s Greatest Hits, Volume II (No. 21, 1977), Greatest Hits, Vol. III 1979-1987 (No. 84, 1987), Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (No. 12, 2002) and Rocket Man: Number Ones (No. 9, 2007). John has additionally charted compilations like the archival box set To Be Continued… (No. 82, 1990), a Duets set (No. 25, 1993), a ballads collection titled Love Songs (No. 24, 1996), and the live hits album One Night Only — The Greatest Hits (No. 65, 2000).
— Walk the Moon, What If Nothing – No. 40 — The rock band’s new album What If Nothing debuts at No. 40, earning 14,000 units (9,000 in traditional album sales). It’s the third top 40-charting effort for the act, which previously visited the region with Talking is Hard (No. 14, 2015) and its self-titled album (No. 36, 2012). The album is currently enjoying a hit single with “One Foot,” which debuts at No. 31 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart and climbs 19-8 on the Hot Rock Songs chart.
— Metallica, Master of Puppets – No. 46 — Metallica’s third studio album returns to the chart, following its deluxe reissue on Nov. 10. The set was remastered and re-released in a number of new editions, including a single CD, a vinyl LP and a three-CD set. Those versions are tracked together with the original release from 1986 for sales and charting purposes, and together, they re-enter at No. 46 with 13,000 units (12,000 in traditional album sales). In addition, a further super deluxe version of the set, which boasts 10 CDs, three LPs, a cassette and two DVDs tracks separately due to its large amount of bonus content. The super deluxe permutation bows at No. 165 with 5,000 units, nearly all from traditional album sales.
— Various Artists, Cities 97 Sampler, Volume 29 – No. 89 — The long-running charity compilation series from KTCZ Minneapolis (Cities 97) debuts its 29th volume at No. 89, earning 8,000 units (all from traditional album sales). The set features live tunes recorded at the radio station by the likes of James Blunt, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Andy Grammer. The album was exclusively available for purchase through the radio station’s web site and at Minneapolis-area Target stores. The first 28 editions of the series raised $12.5 million for hundreds of local charitable organizations.
— R.E.M., Automatic for the People – No. 118 — The band’s 1992 album returns following its 25th anniversary deluxe reissue, re-entering the chart at No. 118 with 7,000 units (5,000 in traditional album sales). The set was re-released in a variety of new versions: a remastered digital album, a vinyl LP, a 2-CD set and a 3-CD/1-Blu-ray offering. The multi-disc versions include live tracks and demo recordings. All editions of the album are tracked together with the original 1992 release.
Automatic for the People was R.E.M.’s third top 10 album, and followed their first No. 1 set, 1991’s Out of Time. (Automatic spent two weeks at No. 2, stuck behind Garth Brooks’ The Chase.) In total, R.E.M. scored 10 top 10 albums, most recently with its final studio effort, 2011’s Collapse Into Now (No. 5).
— Lil Peep, Call Me When You’re Sober (EP) – No. 168 — The late artist, who died on Nov. 15, debuts on the chart with his first album, Call Me When You’re Sober (EP). It bows on the list with 5,000 units (up 458 percent) and 1,000 in traditional album sales (up 2,543 percent). Overall, in the tracking week ending Nov. 16, Lil Peep’s total on-demand streams (audio and video combined) rose by 386 percent to 11.2 million.
— Various Artists, Now That’s What I Call Merry Christmas (2017) – No. 170 — The Now That’s What I Call Music compilation brand collects its 132nd charting album with the No. 170 bow of Now That’s What I Call a Merry Christmas (2017). The set is different from the 2016 edition which was also titled That’s What I Call a Merry Christmas, which peaked at No. 54. The new volume is the 11th Christmas-themed Now album to chart.