A trio of artists set new career benchmarks in the top 10 of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, led by Eli Young Band’s first No. 1 and best career sales week. The group’s fifth album, “10,000 Towns,” opens with 36,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band set its previous best rank and sum with its fourth set, “Life at Best,” which debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Sept. 3, 2011, chart with 35,000 sold.
The band, named for members Mike Eli (on vocals and guitar) and James Young (guitar), sent first “10,000 Towns” single “Drunk Last Night” to No. 1 on Country Airplay and No. 3 on the airplay/sales/streaming-hybrid Hot Country Songs chart. Second single “Dust” kicks up 40-36 on Country Airplay and 48-38 on Hot Country Songs.
“We really wanted to record songs that would be fun for our fans,” Young says of the new set. “We’ve also learned to follow our gut when it comes to song selection and recording. We wrote a lot more for this record.”
Eli Young Band is currently touring Australia with Darius Rucker and will tour the U.S. later this year with Jake Owen and the Cadillac Three.
David Nail’s “I’m a Fire” debuts at No. 3 on Top Country Albums with 23,000 sold, marking his highest rank and best sales week, surpassing his No. 8 arrival with “The Sound of a Million Dreams” (Dec. 3, 2011; 13,000). “Fire” lead single “Whatever She’s Got” rose to No. 1 on Country Airplay and No. 2 on Hot Country Songs.
Meanwhile, Texas regional star Kevin Fowler’s “How Country Are Ya?” marks his top rank, opening at No. 9 with 5,000 sold (his third-biggest sales week). He’d previously charted as high as No. 14 with “Bring It On” seven years ago.
HOT ‘ROLL’: Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll” (featuring Luke Bryan) rockets 13-2 on Hot Country Songs, sweeping the chart’s Streaming, Digital and Airplay Gainer honors. Due in part to the track’s March 8 video premiere, combined YouTube plays account for 46% of its 641,000 U.S streams (up 40%), according to Nielsen BDS. “Roll” roars 22-11 on Country Streaming Songs. The cut holds at No. 2 on Country Digital Songs with 58,000 downloads sold (up 24%) and swipes the biggest audience gain on the BDS-based Country Airplay tally (23-17; 19 million impressions, up 42%). It ranks at No. 2 on Country Streaming Songs.
HOT ‘DRINK’: Jerrod Niemann returns to the Hot Country Songs top 10 after nearly three years, as “Drink to That All Night” lifts 11-9. Niemann previously reached the region with the No. 1 “Lover, Lover” in 2010 and the No. 4-peaking “What Do You Want” in 2011.
‘BOTTOMS’ ON TOP: Brantley Gilbert’s “Bottoms Up” crowns Hot Country Songs for a second straight week, bulleting with gains in all three chart metrics. The track tops Country Streaming Songs for a third week (1.3 million, up 3%), and rules Country Digital Songs for a fifth consecutive (and sixth cumulative) week. It sold 67,000 downloads, the biggest weekly sum since the track debuted atop the Jan. 4 tally. On Country Airplay, “Bottoms” bumps 18-14 (21 million, up 13%).
‘REWIND’ FORWARD: Rascal Flatts land their first Country Airplay top 10 in more than a year, as “Rewind” jumps 13-10. Their 29th top 10 is their first since “Come Wake Me Up” climbed to No. 4 in December 2012. Dating to their first week in the top tier, with “Prayin’ for Daylight” (July 1, 2000), Rascal Flatts and Brad Paisley boast the third-most Country Airplay top 10s. In that span, only Kenny Chesney (37), Tim McGraw and Keith Urban (30 each) have posted more.
“Rewind” has reached No. 8 so far on Hot Country Songs.