On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Feb. 18), Migos’ Culture arrived atop the chart, scoring the first No. 1 for the hip-hop trio. The set earned 131,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 2, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 44,000 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 latest Billboard 200 chart:
— New Edition, All the Number Ones – No. 37 — Following New Edition’s well-received BET biographical mini-series (Jan. 24-26) The New Edition Story, the group returns to the top 40 of the Billboard 200 for the first time in more than 10 years.
The vocal group’s hits compilation All the Number Ones, released in 2000, debuts at No. 37 on the tally, earning 12,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 2, according to Nielsen Music. The set boasts not just New Edition hits, but also solo smashes from the group’s individual members and spin-off trio Bell Biv DeVoe.
New Edition was last in the top 40 back in 2004 with One Love (debuting and peaking at No. 12). The act also rises 195-85 with its 1988 album Heartbreak (7,000 units; up 79 percent).
According to BET, the three-part movie collected 29 million total viewers through Jan. 30, counting premiere telecasts and encores, across BET and Centric.
Those viewers translated into big music gains, as New Edition sold 20,000 albums in the two weeks ending Feb. 2 — up 1,345 percent compared to the two weeks ending Jan. 19 (a little more than 1,000). Further, the act sold 87,000 song downloads in the Jan. 20-Feb. 2 span (up 1,460 percent) and generated 34.95 million on-demand streams (up 652 percent).
In related New Edition news, Bell Biv DeVoe also capitalizes on the mini-series: the trio’s first album in 15 years, Three Stripes, bows at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 after its release on Jan. 27. They last debuted on the tally with 1993’s Hootie Mack (No. 19).
— Various Artists, Now 61 & Now That’s What I Call 90’s Pop – Nos. 5 & 154 — The Now That’s What I Call Music brand continues to find success on the Billboard 200, as the series notches its 125th and 126th charting titles with the arrivals of Now 61 (No. 5) and Now That’s What I Call 90’s Pop (No. 154).
The former title starts with 37,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Feb. 2 (all from traditional album sales), according to Nielsen Music. The 90’s Pop title launches with 5,000 units (again, all from sales).
All 61 of the main, numbered Now albums have reached the top 10, and volumes 2-61 have all debuted in the region.
Remarkably, since the first Now album debuted on the list dated Nov. 14, 1998, Now-branded albums account for 11.2 percent of all various artists titles that have reached the list (1,127 in all). Also something for Now to crow about: since the first Now compilation hit the top 10 (on Jan. 23, 1999), the franchise totals 54 percent of the various artist titles that have visited the top 10.
Back in the golden days of the Now series, in the 2000s, the line was regularly topping the chart with titles selling in excess of 200,000 copies in a single week. While Now albums don’t sell anything near that amount in 2017, they are one of the few bright spots on the compilation landscape. In the past year, the only titles to move more than 20,000 in a week have been Now titles (Now 57-61), The Hamilton Mixtape, and the 2016 Grammy Nominees effort.
— Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway – No. 33 — The band’s latest album release re-enters the chart at No. 33 with a 251 percent gain in units (and a 427 percent jump in sales) thanks to a concert ticket/album sale promotion.
— Beyoncé, Beyoncé – No. 100 — News of Beyoncé’s pregnancy (on Feb. 1 she announced, via Instagram, that she’s expecting twins with husband Jay Z) perhaps urges gains for some of her albums on the chart: Beyoncé was up 20 percent in units (climbing 122-100) and I Am…Sasha Fierce gains 6 percent (moving 171-166).