On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Sept. 9), Brand New landed its first No. 1 with Science Fiction, earning 58,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Aug. 24, according to Nielsen Music. Elsewhere in the top 10, rapper Kodak Black started in the No. 2 slot with Project Baby Two, rock band Neck Deep debuted at No. 4 with The Peace and the Panic and rapper Dave East launched at No. 9 with Paranoia: A True Story.
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:
Original Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton: An American Musical – No. 24 — The original Broadway cast recording notches its 100th consecutive week on the list, and also surpasses the total album sales of the original Broadway cast album to Rent.
In the latest tracking week (ending Aug. 24), Hamilton sold another 7,000 copies, bringing its total sales to 1.285 million – slightly more than the 1.284 million of Rent (released in 1996).
Hamilton is now the sixth largest selling cast album of the Nielsen Music era (which started in 1991, when the company began electronically tracking music sales).
The top selling cast album in Nielsen Music’s history is the highlights edition of the original London cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera, with 4.97 million sold. (The complete recording of The Phantom of the Opera — which is tracked and charts separately — has sold 503,000 since 1991.)
The Phantom of the Opera (Highlights) is followed by the original Broadway cast recording of Wicked (2.7 million), the original cast recording of Mamma Mia! (1.72 million), the original Broadway cast recording of Les Miserables (1.66 million), the original Broadway cast recording of Jersey Boys (1.44 million) and Hamilton.
Further, Hamilton has sold 297,000 in 2017. It is one of only two cast albums to sell 100,000 copies this year; Dear Evan Hansen, at 116,000, is the other. Those totals also make 2017 the first calendar year since 2011 where two cast albums have cleared 100,000. That year, The Book of Mormon and Wicked respectively sold 182,000 and 133,000.
Taylor Swift, 1989 – No. 64 — Certainly, interest in Taylor Swift spiked during the tracking week, as the superstar cleared her social networks and began teasing fans with cryptic postings. Ultimately, those messages led to a new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” which was released on Aug. 25. It’s the first single from her upcoming album, Reputation, due out on Nov. 10. Her previous studio set, 1989, climbs from No. 80 to No. 64 with 9,000 units (up 9 percent).
Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon – No. 89 — The total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 boosts Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon album, as it climbs from No. 173 to No. 89 – its highest rank in nearly two years. It last was higher on the Oct. 17, 2015-dated list, when it placed at No. 76. The album climbs on the latest list with 7,000 equivalent album units (up 56 percent).
Shania Twain, Greatest Hits – No. 119 — As promotion ramps up for Twain’s upcoming studio album (Now, due Sept. 29), her Greatest Hits album jumps onto the list at No. 119 (6,000 units; up 88 percent) – its highest rank in more than five years (May 5, 2012; No. 114).
Bonnie Tyler, The Very Best of Bonnie Tyler – No. 180 — Bonnie Tyler returns to the Billboard 200 for the first time in more than 30 years, thanks to the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The eclipse generated interest in Tyler’s hit single “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which in turn moves Tyler’s The Very Best of Bonnie Tyler (which features “Total”) to a debut on the chart at No. 180. It enters with nearly 5,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 24 – nearly all from TEA and SEA generated by “Total.” In the tracking week, “Total” sold 31,000 downloads and earned 1.4 million on-demand audio streams.
Tyler has been absent from the Billboard 200 since 1986, when Secret Dreams & Forbidden Fire spent eight weeks on the list, peaking at No. 106. Tyler has notched two top 40-charting albums with 1978’s It’s a Heartache (No. 16) and 1983’s Faster Than the Speed of Night (No. 4). The latter set is the studio album that houses “Total,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.