On the latest Billboard 200 chart (dated July 25), Meek Mill ruled the No. 1 slot again with Dreams Worth More Than Money. It was the first chart directly impacted by the music industry’s shift to Friday as the release day for new albums. The July 25-dated chart reflects a one-time only 11-day tracking frame (ending on July 9) as we transition from the normal Monday-Sunday week to a Friday-Thursday week. Next week’s Billboard 200 chart, dated Aug. 1, will be the first on a Friday-Thursday schedule, reflecting the week ending July 16.
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 July 25 chart:
— Sam Hunt, Montevallo: No. 5 — Sam Hunt’s Montevallo album captures its highest chart rank since its debut last year, as it climbs 8-5 (44,000 units). It was last higher on the tally when it debuted at No. 3 on the list dated Nov. 15, 2014. Hunt is crossing over from country to pop audiences, as his single “Take Your Time” climbs 28-27 on the latest Pop Songs airplay chart (known as Mainstream Top 40 on Billboard.biz). The song is a former No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, where he’s also claimed a chart-topper with “Leave the Night On.”
— Soundtrack, Magic Mike XXL: No. 8 — The Magic Mike XXL soundtrack continues to dance up a storm in the top 10, as the album hops 10-8 (39,000 units earned in the 11-day frame ending July 9). XXL is the sequel to Magic Mike, which saw its corresponding soundtrack top out at No. 167 in 2012. The new album also marks the fifth top 10 set for WaterTower Music, following Rock of Ages (No. 5 peak in 2012), The Dark Knight Rises (No. 8; 2012), The Great Gatsby (No. 2; 2013) and Man of Steel (No. 9; 2013).
— Luke Bryan, Crash My Party: No. 69 — The country star’s album spends a milestone 100th week on the chart, holding steady at No. 69. It’s his third set to spend at least 100 frames on the list, following Doin’ My Thing (released in 2009; 103 weeks total) and Tailgates & Tanlines (released in 2011; 197 weeks).
— Amy Winehouse, Back to Black: No. 96 — The July 3 release of the documentary film Amy — about the life of Amy Winehouse — no doubt stirs interest in her Back to Black album. It rises 127-96 on the tally (9,000 units) to visit the top 100 for the first time in more than a year. It was last in the region back on the Feb. 15, 2014-dated chart, when it also ranked at No. 96. Back to Black peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 — in the wake of Winehouse’s multiple wins at the 2008 Grammy Awards (including trophies for record of the year, song of the year and best new artist).
— Jake Miller, Rumors (EP): No. 119 — Instead of waiting until the new Friday release day (July 10), Jake Miller opted to drop his new EP on July 8 to capitalize on his tour launch the same day. The set shifted 8,000 units in two days (nearly all from pure sales).
— Various Artists, 21 Throwback Jams: No. 179 — This groovy budget-priced compilation (which boasts 21 songs like TLC’s “Creep” for only $9.99) enters off the strength of pure album sales (6,000 in the 11-day frame ending July 9). On R&B Albums, it also climbs 6-4.