John Coltrane’s Blue Train, first released in 1957, charges in at No. 1 on multiple Billboard album charts (dated Oct. 1) following its 65th-anniversary expanded reissue on Sept. 16.
The album debuts at No. 1 on both the overall Jazz Albums chart and Traditional Jazz Albums chart (Coltrane’s seventh leader on both). It also scores the jazz legend, who died in 1967, his first leader on the 11-year-old Vinyl Albums chart. It’s also the first jazz title to reach No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums tally in nearly five years.
The set earned 11,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 22, according to Luminate. Essentially all of that sum was driven by traditional album sales. Further, that 11,000 sold marks the largest sales week for any Coltrane album in 2022.
Coltrane’s album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Coltrane received a posthumous lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 1992.
Blue Train was reissued in two versions as part of Blue Note Records’ Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series: a mono edition of the original five track album, and an expanded stereo edition (dubbed Blue Train: The Complete Masters). The latter adds seven alternate and incomplete takes (four of which are previously unreleased). The mono set was reintroduced on vinyl, while the Complete edition was reissued on two-LP vinyl, a double CD and digital download.
All versions of the album, old and new, are combined for tracking and charting purposes.
Of the album’s 11,000 in total sales for the week, essentially all were physical sales – with just over 10,000 on vinyl and a little under 1,000 on CD. (A negligible number of digital download albums were also sold.)
Notably, Blue Train logs the largest sales week for a jazz album on vinyl in 2022. The last larger week for a jazz set was registered by the evergreen soundtrack to the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, when it sold 20,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 23, 2021.
Further, Blue Train is the first jazz album to lead the Vinyl Albums chart in nearly five years – since A Charlie Brown Christmas topped the tally on the Dec. 16, 2017-dated list.
Jazz Albums, Traditional Jazz Albums and the Billboard 200 rank the week’s most popular jazz, traditional jazz, and overall albums, respectively, by equivalent album units. Tastemaker Albums ranks the week’s best-selling albums at independent and small chain record stores. Vinyl Albums tallies the top-selling vinyl albums of the week.
Equivalent album units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.