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Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Classic David Bowie Albums Hit New Highs

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart, some of David Bowie's classic albums hit a new peak position, J. Cole's '2014 Forest Hills Drive' climbs in the wake of his HBO special, the 'Straight Outta…

On the most recent Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Jan. 30, 2016; but reflecting data for the week ending Jan. 14, 2015), David Bowie’s Blackstar debuted at No. 1, giving the late legend his first chart-topping album. The set was released on Jan. 8, two days before he died on Jan. 10 of cancer.

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).

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Let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the chart:

— David Bowie, Best of Bowie — No. 4 — With the re-entry of David Bowie’s greatest hits album Best of Bowie at No. 4, it marks the highest charting hits package in over a year. The last hits album to reach the top four was Carrie Underwood‘s Greatest Hits: Decade #1, which debuted and peaked at No. 4 on the Dec. 24, 2014-dated chart.

Ten of Bowie’s albums are on the Billboard 200 chart this week, the most concurrently charting titles for an artist since the Beatles racked up 13 on the March 1, 2014 chart. Bowie’s haul is the most for a soloist since Whitney Houston landed 10 on the March 10, 2012 chart, following her death.

Among Bowie’s titles on the latest Billboard 200, two of his classic studio albums that achieve new chart peaks: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and Hunky Dory. The former initially debuted on the chart in 1972 and peaked at No. 75 the following year. It re-enters the chart at No. 21 (19,000 units; up 3,096 percent). It was last on the list in 1990.

As for Hunky Dory, the set returns to the chart at No. 57, easily surpassing its original peak of No. 93, achieved back in 1975. The album debuted on the chart in 1972.

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Bryson Tiller, Trapsoul — No. 8 — The R&B artist continues his chart climb with Trapsoul, as the album climbs 9-8 to a new peak (33,000 units; down 8 percent). Though it’s down in units earned, the album still moves up the chart, as most of the titles around it on the list have a larger erosion. (Out of the entire top 40, only two non-debuting/re-entering albums post a unit increase: J. Cole‘s 2014 Forest Hills Drive at No. 16 and the ChainsmokersBouquet at No. 31.)

Notably, 48 percent of Trapoul’s total units for the week were generated by SEA. It’s thus not a surprise to see Tiller has six titles on the 25-position R&B Streaming Songs chart, including the Nos. 1, 3 and 7 titles.

— J. Cole, 2014 Forest Hills Drive — No. 16 — The rapper’s album vaults 31-16 with a 21 percent unit gain (rising to 21,000 units) following the premiere of his HBO concert film/documentary Forest Hills Drive: Homecoming on Jan. 19. It’s the highest rank for the album since last March.

— The Chainsmokers, Bouquet (EP) — No. 31 — The dance act zips 41-31 (13,000 units; up 2 percent) as the EP’s single “Roses” continues to bloom in popularity. On the Radio Songs chart, “Roses” ascends 17-14 with an 18 percent gain in audience for the week ending Jan. 17. The cut is on the verge of breaking into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, as it ascends 13-11.

— Soundtrack, Straight Outta Compton — No. 39 — The N.W.A biopic’s compilation soundtrack, released on Jan. 8, arrives at No. 39 with 11,000 units (all from pure album sales). The N.W.A-led album also boasts tracks from Funkadelic, Parliament and solo cuts from N.W.A’s Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. The album arrived in stores shortly before the film made its home video debut on Jan. 19.