Billboard 200 Chart Moves: John Legend & Pentatonix Debut in Top 40 With New 'Christmas' Albums

Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Art of Elysium
John Legend performs onstage at The Art Of Elysium's 11th Annual Celebration with John Legend at Barker Hangar on Jan. 6, 2018 in Santa Monica, Calif.

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Nov. 10), Andrea Bocelli claimed his first No. 1 with Si. The set starts with 126,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 1, according to Nielsen Music. Of that figure, 123,000 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:

John Legend, A Legendary Christmas No. 26  John Legend’s first holiday album, A Legendary Christmas, rings in the season at No. 26 on the Billboard 200. The set, which includes new tunes and familiar holiday favorites like “Silver Bells,” starts with 20,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 1, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 19,000 were in album sales, boosted by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with his upcoming tour. Legendary is Legend’s eighth top 40-charting effort. 

Pentatonix, Christmas Is Here! No. 33 The vocal group’s latest holiday effort starts with 17,000 units (15,000 in album sales). Their first three seasonal offerings all reached the top 10, including the chart-topping A Pentatonix Christmas.

Cher, Dancing Queen No. 36 The diva’s ABBA covers album is back on the list thanks to a surge in sales driven by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer. It earned 16,000 units (up 252 percent), of which nearly all were in album sales (up 284 percent).

Michael Jackson, Thriller – No. 42 With the Halloween holiday (Oct. 31) falling on a Wednesday in 2018, the latest Billboard 200 reflects a robust amount of impact from the holiday, as the chart’s tracking week ended on Nov. 1.

An obvious benefactor of the spooky holiday is Michael Jackson’s former No. 1 Thriller, which bolts up the list 102-42 with 14,000 equivalent album units earned (up 83 percent). Most of its gain is owed to streaming, thanks in large part to the popularity of the set’s title track in the days leading up to Halloween. Incredibly,Thriller hasn’t been this high on the chart since Sept. 15, 1984, when it placed at No. 39. (Thriller was on the chart from its debut on Dec. 25, 1982 through April 20, 1985. Due to Thriller’s age, it was ineligible to chart until the list began allowing catalog titles to chart on Dec. 5, 2009.)

— Soundtrack, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – No. 64 — The soundtrack to Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas — the rare album that doubles both as a Halloween and Christmas-themed effort — re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 64. It tallied 11,000 units, up 130 percent. Over on the Soundtracks chart, it rises 11-4, while on the Top Holiday Albums chart it gets pushed back 2-3 despite its gain as John Legend and Pentatonix’s new Christmas efforts, A Legendary Christmas and Christmas Is Here!, debut at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.

Thom Yorke, Suspiria: Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film (Soundtrack) – No. 79 Thom Yorke’s soundtrack to Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria scares up debuts on multiple charts. The set, which is Yorke’s first film score, debuts at No. 79 on the Billboard 200 with 10,000 equivalent album units earned (with 9,000 of that sum in album sales). It also takes a bow at No. 5 on Soundtracks and No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums chart (4,000 LPs sold). It was also a hot seller at independent and small chain stores, as it enters at No. 2 on the Tastemakers chart, which is fueled by sales from those retailers.

Yorke has previously visited the Billboard 200 once before as a soloist, with 2006’s No. 2-peaking The Eraser

— Original Broadway Cast Recording, Wicked – No. 182 — The original Broadway cast recording of Wicked flies back onto the Billboard 200 for the first time in nearly four years. The set — which has sold 2.8 million copies in the U.S. — re-enters at No. 182 with 5,000 units (up 147 percent) thanks to buzz generated by NBC’s one-hour special A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years on Broadway. The show aired on Oct. 29, one day before the musical’s 15th anniversary on Broadway, and featured performances of tunes from the show by its original stars, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, as well as guests Ariana Grande, Adam Lambert, Ledisi and Pentatonix. 

Wicked was last on the Billboard 200 dated Jan. 24, 2015 (No. 198).


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