On the latest Billboard 200 chart (dated July 4), singer/songwriter James Taylor earned his first No. 1 album — 45 years after debuting on the tally — with Before This World. Other new arrivals in the top 10 included Adam Lambert’s The Original High (No. 3), Hilary Duff’s Breathe In. Breathe Out. (No. 5) and Nate Ruess’ Grand Romantic (No. 7).
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).
Let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the chart:
— Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill – No. 160 — Just over 20 years after Alanis Morissette’s breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill was released, the set surpasses 15 million in U.S. sales, according to Nielsen Music. The album, which spent 12 weeks at No. 1, sold another 4,000 copies in the week ending June 21 (its best sales frame since it moved 5,000 in the week ending Nov. 25, 2012), bringing its to-date total to just over 15 million. In turn, the set re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 160 — its first week on the chart since the Feb. 15, 2014-dated tally. Jagged Little Pill was released on June 13, 1995 and went on to generate three No. 1 singles on the Alternative chart (“You Oughta Know,” “Hand In My Pocket” and “Ironic”) and won the Grammy Award for album of the year. The set is now one of only three albums to have sold at least 15 million in the U.S. since Nielsen Music began tracking data in 1991. The others are Metallica’s self-titled album (16.1 million) and Shania Twain’s Come On Over (15.6 million).
— Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour – No. 15 — Sam Smith’s debut full-length album, In the Lonely Hour, celebrates its one-year anniversary on the Billboard 200. It debuted on the July 5, 2014-dated list at No. 2 — its peak (so far). The album has sold 1.98 million copies in the U.S. through June 21. Since its debut, it has yet to sell less than 10,000 copies in a week, and has consistently been among the week’s top 30 sellers. Smith’s album has churned out mega-selling hits like “Stay With Me” (4.1 million downloads sold) and “I’m Not the Only One” (2.3 million). Collectively, Smith’s songs from Hour have sold 9.2 million.
— Ryn Weaver, The Fool – No. 30 — A year after Weaver arrived out of the blue with the buzzy single “OctaHate,” she bows on the Billboard 200 with her first full-length album (16,000 units). “OctaHate” peaked at No. 1 on Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks.
— Matt Redman, Unbroken Praise: At Abbey Road Studios – No. 50 — Matt Redman scores his fifth charting album on the Billboard 200 — and third No. 1 on Top Christian Albums — as Unbroken Praise: At Abbey Road Studios drives in atop the list with 12,000 sold in the week ending June 21, according to Nielsen Music.
— Mika, No Place In Heaven – No. 117 — It’s the fourth charting effort for the pop singer/songwriter, who has previously logged three top 30 albums on the Official UK Albums Chart (including his chart-topping debut, 2007’s Life in Cartoon Motion).
— The Willis Clan, Heaven – No. 157 — The family group The Willis Clan debuts at No. 157 with Heaven (4,000 sold; up 95 percent) following the June 16 season finale of their TLC reality series The Willis Family. Heaven has sold 15,000 copies in total in its five weeks of release.