Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Taylor Swift Gains After Politics Post & AMAs, John Lennon's 'Imagine' Returns
On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Oct. 20), the A Star Is Born soundtrack debuted atop the list, giving Lady Gaga her fifth leader and Bradley Cooper his first. The pair star in the movie of the same name, which bowed in theaters on Oct. 5. The soundtrack enters with 231,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 11, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 162,000 were in 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:
— Taylor Swift, reputation – No. 26 — In a week where Taylor Swift made a rare statement about politics and also opened the American Music Awards, the pop star collected a 27 percent gain in album sales in the week ending Oct. 11, according to Nielsen Music.
Swift shared a lengthy post via her Instagram account on Oct. 7 about the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6, remarking that in the past she had been “reluctant to publicly voice” her political opinions. She endorsed a pair of candidates and urged fans to register to vote. On Oct. 9, Swift opened ABC’s live broadcast of the AMAs with a performance of “I Did Something Bad” from her reputation album. Following her fourth win of the evening, for artist of the year, she told viewers to “get out and vote” on Nov. 6.
The AMAs and the buzz that her politics post generated spurred a 27 percent gain in album sales for Swift’s catalog of releases (rising to 9,000 sold). The reputation album rises 30-26 on the Billboard 200 with 19,000 equivalent album units earned (up 17 percent). Her overall equivalent album unit total for the week, across all her albums, increased 11 percent to 41,000 units earned.
Swift’s total track sales climbed 28 percent to 24,000, while her on-demand streams rose 8 percent to 56.5 million.
— Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes – No. 39 & Camila Cabello, Camila — No. 61 — Speaking of the AMAs, some other notable AMA-related gainers on the Billboard 200 include performers/winners Shawn Mendes (his self-titled set, 50-39 with 15,000 units; up 19 percent) and Camila Cabello (Camila darts 66-61 with 11,000 units; up 18 percent).
— Queen, Greatest Hits – No. 49 — Queen -- which was saluted at the AMAs with a performance of the band’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Panic! at the Disco -- sees its Greatest Hits ascend 54-49 (13,000 units; up 16 percent). The album also is goosed from general promotion around the biopic film about the band, Bohemian Rhapsody, due out in theaters in Nov. 2. (Panic!’s performance was introduced by three cast members of the movie, including Rami Malek, who plays Queen’s former front man, Freddie Mercury.)
— Lindsey Buckingham, Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham – No. 53 — His first retrospective collection bows with 12,000 units earned. It comes a little more than a year after his collaborative set with Christine McVie (the aptly titled Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie) peaked at No. 17 on the list dated July 1, 2017. Meanwhile, his old band Fleetwood Mac (which is being sued by Buckingham), moves 96-99 with Rumours (8,000 units; up 1 percent).
— Quavo, Quavo Huncho – No. 66 — Quavo’s solo debut album, Quavo Huncho, gets an early start on the Billboard 200, as it arrives at No. 66 from less than a day of activity. The Migos member’s album was released at 9 p.m. ET on Oct. 11, giving it a partial day of chart activity in the tracking week ending Oct. 11. It bows with 11,000 equivalent album units earned. Industry forecasters expect the set to jump into the top three on the Oct. 27-dated tally, with perhaps around 100,000 units earned in the week ending Oct. 18.
— Journey, Journey’s Greatest Hits – No. 79 — Following the flurry of publicity surrounding Journey’s former singer Steve Perry releasing his new album, Traces (a debut at No. 6), the band’s Journey’s Greatest Hits climbs the chart. It motors 86-79 with 9,000 units earned, up 10 percent. The album also rises 7-4 on Top Catalog Albums.
— John Lennon, Imagine – No. 83 — Following the former No. 1 album’s deluxe reissue on Oct. 5 (in a variety of formats, some with oodles of bonus material), it returns with 9,000 units earned (8,000 in album sales, up from a negligible figure the week previous). On Top Catalog Albums, it re-enters at No. 5.
— The Notorious B.I.G., Greatest Hits – No. 95 — The Notorious B.I.G.’s Greatest Hits drives 109-95 thanks to sale pricing and promotion in the iTunes Store. The former No. 1 album was discounted to $4.99 and climbs with 8,000 units earned (up 32 percent), of which album sales comprised 2,000 of that sum (up 208 percent).