Billboard 200 Chart Moves: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Soundtrack & The Beatles' 'Christmas' Debut
On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Jan. 3), Eminem notches an unprecedented eighth consecutive No. 1 debut, as his new studio effort Revival opens atop the list. The title earned 267,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 21, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 197,000 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 rest of the Billboard 200:
— Soundtrack, Star Wars: The Last Jedi – No. 12 — The soundtrack to Star Wars: The Last Jedi bows at No. 12 with 44,000 units (41,000 in traditional album sales). All eight of the main Star Wars saga films have seen their companion soundtracks reach the top 20. The lowest-charting title of the bunch is Return of the Jedi, peaking at No. 20 in 1983. The remaining six Star Wars film soundtracks have all hit the top 10, though none have reached No. 1. (The closest the series came was with the first film, Star Wars, which saw its album spend three consecutive weeks at No. 2 in 1977. It was stuck behind Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which ruled the list for 31 nonconsecutive weeks.)
The last Star Wars saga film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, saw its soundtrack debut and peak at No. 5 in January of 2016.
Following The Force Awakens, the soundtrack to the stand-alone film Rogue One: A Star Wars story, reached No. 29 in January of 2017.
— Linkin Park, One More Light: Live – No. 28 — The rock band claims its 15th charting album with this new live set, recorded before the death of the group’s singer, Chester Bennington. The set was recorded during Linkin Park’s tour of Europe in June and July of 2017. Bennington died on July 20.
Earlier in 2017, Linkin Park notched its sixth No. 1 album with the studio effort One More Light.
— Alan Jackson, Precious Memories Collection – No. 33 — The country king scores his 25th top 40-charting album with this compilation of inspirational songs, as Precious Memories Collection rises 162-33 with 22,000 units (up 255 percent). The album — which is a collection of the tunes found on his two earlier Precious Memories albums — is supported nearly entirely by traditional album sales (22,000; up 272 percent). The rise is owed to a big gain in sales through mail order and internet retailers, powered by direct-response TV ads that have been airing over the holiday season.
The Precious Memories Collection features all 36 songs that were included on Jackson’s 2006 set Precious Memories, and its sequel, 2013’s Precious Memories: Volume II. The Collection title also includes two new tracks: “It’s All About Him” and “That’s the Way.”
— Soundtrack, Pitch Perfect 3 – No. 61 — The soundtrack to the third installment of the Pitch Perfect film series debuts at No. 61 with 15,000 units (14,000 in traditional album sales). As the film arrived in U.S. theaters on Dec. 22 — the day after the chart’s tracking week ended — the soundtrack could rise on next week’s tally. The first Pitch Perfect soundtrack peaked at No. 3 in February 2012, while Pitch Perfect 2 debuted at No. 1 in 2015.
— The Beatles, The Christmas Records – No. 199 — The Beatles’ new box set of colored vinyl singles, The Christmas Records, arrives at No. 199 with 7,000 units (all from traditional album sales). The archival box has reproductions of the seven flexi-disc vinyl singles the band sent to its fan club members each Christmas between 1963 and 1969. The set, which has a total combined running time of about 44 minutes, features a smattering of music from the band (including the original tune “Christmas Time [Is Here Again]”), comedic skits and messages from the group. The Christmas Records also debuts at No. 4 on the Vinyl Albums chart and, due to the nature of the box’s contents, at No. 38 on the Holiday Albums tally.