John Mayer’s rendition of Beyoncé’s “XO” starts at No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart with 46,000 downloads sold in the week ending June 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (The sum accounts for 90 percent of the song’s chart points.) After covering “XO” while on tour in Australia in April, Mayer released a studio version of his folk-rock interpretation (complete with quilted artwork) on May 13.
Mayer had last appeared on Hot Rock Songs with a duet with former flame Katy Perry, “Who You Love,” from his last album, “Paradise Valley,” which entered the Sept. 7, 2013, Top Rock Albums chart at No. 1. The original “XO” (co-written by Beyoncé, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and The-Dream) peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February and has sold 356,000 downloads.
Also on Hot Rock Songs, Foster the People jumps 44-21 with Streaming Gainer honors for “Best Friend.” Its streaming points increase by 289 percent, according to Nielsen BDS, with nearly 70 percent of its total from VEVO views, after the release of its official video on May 29. (The clip’s content? It tells a psychedelic horror story of a pill-popping model that eats other models.) The band’s second album, “Supermodel,” debuted at No. 1 on Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums on April 5.
On Top Rock Albums, Neil Young’s acoustic covers set “A Letter Home” debuts at No. 3 with 15,000 sold. The set marks Young’s milestone 50th charted title on the Billboard 200, where it opens at No. 13. It also blasts 16-1 on Folk Albums. Previously released on vinyl for Record Store Day (April 19), “Home” arrives on Top Rock Albums thanks to its CD and deluxe box set release on May 27. (It sold 4,000 LPs before its wide release.) It also debuts at No. 1 on Vinyl Albums, with vinyl accounting for 14 percent of sales in the week ending June 1.
Young recorded the collection of live acoustic covers of songs by Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers and others directly to vinyl in a 1947 Voice-O-Graph machine at Jack White’s Third Man Records in Nashville. (Young and White demonstrated the unique recording method live on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on May 12.)
Speaking of White, his “Lazaretto” rises 11-9 on Alternative Songs to become his first top 10 as a solo artist. He boasts nine Alternative Songs top 10s with the White Stripes and the Raconteurs combined. His second solo album of the same name, the follow-up to “Blunderbuss,” which crowned the Billboard 200 dated May 12, 2012, is due Tuesday (June 10).
Sharon Van Etten scores the second-highest debut on Top Rock Albums (No. 7) with her fourth studio album, “Are We There,” which marks her highest rank and best sales week (9,000). Physical copies account for 57 percent of its debut-week sales, with vinyl, 24 percent. The title also bows at No. 2 on both Vinyl Albums and Folk Albums. Her 2012 album “Tramp” peaked at No. 20 on Top Rock Albums with 8,000 first-week copies sold. It’s moved 45,000 to date.