Brad Paisley's Love and War bounds in atop Billboard's Top Country Albums chart (dated May 13), earning 29,000 equivalent album units (26,000 in pure sales) in its first week (ending April 27), according to Nielsen Music. On the all-genre Billboard 200, the set starts at No. 12.
Love and War marks Paisley's ninth Top Country Albums No. 1, all of which have launched at the summit. He first ruled with his third album, Mud on the Tires, which bowed at No. 1 on Aug. 9, 2003 (with 86,000 sold). He has followed with the leaders Time Well Wasted (2005; 193,000), 5th Gear (2007; 197,000), Play (2008; 54,000), American Saturday Night (2009; 130,000), This Is Country Music (2011; 153,000), Wheelhouse (2013; 100,000) and Moonshine in the Trunk (2014; 53,000).
Paisley's first set, Who Needs Pictures, debuted on the Top Country Albums chart dated June 19, 1999, at No. 29 (selling 4,000 copies) and peaked at No. 13 that November. His sophomore LP, Part II, opened and peaked at No. 3 in 2001 (38,000 sold).
Paisley co-produced Love and War with Luke Wooten and co-wrote all 16 of the LP's songs. Collaborators on the album range from Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson ("Dying to See Her") to rock legends Mick Jagger ("Drive of Shame") and John Fogerty (the title track), and pop/R&B-hip-hop luminary Timbaland ("Grey Goose Chase").
Meanwhile, the set's "Gold All Over the Ground" is based on a poem Johnny Cash wrote in 1967 as a tribute to his wife, June Carter Cash. The song's video, filmed at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn., includes footage of the legendary couple.
The first track from Love and War, "Today," reached No. 7 on Hot Country Songs (March 11) and No. 3 on Country Airplay (March 25). Current single "Last Time for Everything" re-enters Hot Country Songs at No. 42 and jumps 54-42 on Country Airplay, increasing 108 percent to 2.6 million audience impressions.
HUNT'S NEW PERSONAL BEST: Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" tops Hot Country Songs for a 12th week, marking his longest-leading No. 1 on the list (which combines streaming, airplay and sales). His fourth No. 1 surpasses the 11-week reign of "Take Your Time" in 2015.
Further, "Body" leads Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Digital Song Sales and Country Streaming Songs, simultaneously dominating all four country song charts for a second week. It's just the fourth song to top all four tallies at the same time.
"Body" commands Country Airplay for a second week, gaining 7 percent to 47.1 million in audience. It leads Country Digital Song Sales for a 13th frame (57,000 downloads sold, down 18 percent) and Country Streaming Songs for a 12th week (14.7 million U.S. streams, down 1 percent).
NEW TOP 10s: Dan + Shay bank their third Country Airplay top 10, as "How Not To" (Warner Bros./WAR) lifts 12-9 in its 31st week, increasing 9 percent to 27.1 million.
Meanwhile, Kenny Chesney notches his 52nd Country Airplay top 10, as "Bar at the End of the World" bumps 11-10 in its 20th week, up 2 percent to 25.5 million. He passes Alan Jackson (51) for a solo share of the third-most top 10s, dating to the Country Airplay chart's Jan. 20, 1990, launch. George Strait leads with 61, followed by Tim McGraw with 57.
MAYER MAKES COUNTRY DEBUT: John Mayer logs his first visit to a Billboard country chart, as "In the Blood" enters Country Airplay at No. 59 with 1.1 million impressions. Rock singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow contributes background vocals, but is not officially credited as an artist in the song's billing. Crow has made 10 credited trips to the chart as performer, between 2003 and 2014.
The track is from Mayer's new LP The Search for Everything, which leads the Americana/Folk Albums chart for a second week (20,000 units). It debuted a week earlier with 132,000.