Chart Watch: J.J. Cale Tribute, 'Galaxy' Soundtrack Soar


Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers finally land their first #1 album this week, Hypnotic Eye. The breakthrough comes nearly 37 years after the band first cracked The Billboard 200 with their eponymous debut album. That constitutes a new record for the longest slog to #1 for an American band. We posted a Chart Watch blog on that topic this morning. If you missed it, here’s a link.

Petty is also featured on Eric Clapton & Friends’s The Breeze—An Appreciation Of J.J. Cale, a tribute album which debuts at #2 (61K). Clapton co-produced and is featured on the album, which also features John Mayer, Mark Knopfler and Willie Nelson, among others.

Cale, who died a year ago, wrote two of Clapton’s most famous hits: “After Midnight,” the 1970 song that was Clapton’s first solo hit, and “Cocaine,” which was a key track from his 1977 album Slowhand. In addition, Cale and Clapton teamed in 2006 for a hit album, The Road To Escondido.

The title of the new album derives from “Call Me the Breeze,” which was the opening track on Cale’s 1972 debut album, Naturally. Such artists as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bobby Bare, Johnny Cash, John Mayer and Alan Price have covered the song.

This is the highest-charting tribute album since Natalie Cole's Unforgettable With Love, a tribute to her father, Nat “King” Cole, logged five weeks at #1 in 1991. Other tribute albums to have cracked the top five include So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute To Luther Vandross (#4 in 2005), Common Thread: The Songs Of The Eagles (#3 in 1993), Frank Sinatra's I Remember Tommy, a tribute to his mentor, Tommy Dorsey (#3 in 1961) and Mario Lanza's Mario Lanza Sings Caruso Favorites, a tribute to Enrico Caruso (#4 in 1960).

This is the 21st top 10 album of Clapton’s career. That tally includes 15 solo albums (one of them a collabo with B.B. King), four albums as a member of Cream, one as a member of Blind Faith and one as a member of the Plastic Ono Band (Live Peace In Toronto 1969).

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 debuts at #3 (60K). The album includes nine top 10 hits from the ’70s, stretching from the Jackson 5's “I Want You Back”(#1 in January 1970) to Rupert Holmes's “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (#1 in December 1979). Guardians Of The Galaxy was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. The album enters Top Soundtracks at #1, ending a 35-week run in the top spot by the Frozen soundtrack. Look for the album to vie for #1 on The Billboard 200 next week.

Notice a theme here? Each of this week’s top three albums harkens back to the 1970s. Petty and his band landed their first top 40 hit, “Breakdown,” in February 1978. Cale landed his only top 40 hit as an artist, “Crazy Mama,” in March 1972. And then there’s the ’70s-soaked Guardians soundtrack.

5 Seconds Of Summer's first full-length album drops from #1 to #4 (54K).

Shawn Mendes's digital-only, four-song EP Shawn Mendes debuts at #5 (48K). Mendes, 15, had a top 30 hit earlier this summer with “Life Of The Party.” This is the fourth EP to hit the top 10 this year, following EPs by 5 Seconds Of Summer, Luke Bryan and Austin Mahone. Mendes is the second artist with that surname to land a top five album. The first was Sergio Mendes, who led Brasil ‘66 to a pair of top five albums in the late 1960s, Look Around and Fool On The Hill.

Theory Of A Deadman's fifth studio album, Savages, debuts at #8 (28K). It’s their second top 10 album in a row.

Jenny Lewis lands her first top 10 album as her third solo album, The Voyager, debuts at #9 (24K). Before going solo, Lewis was the lead singer of the band Rilo Kiley, which climbed as high as #22 with its 2007 album Under The Blacklight. As a child star in the 1980s, Lewis acted in such movies as Troop Beverly Hills and such TV shows as Life With Lucy and The Golden Girls. (On a memorable 1987 episode of the latter show, she played a bratty “Sunshine Cadet” who held Rose’s teddy bear for ransom.)

Ed Sheeran's x drops out of the top 10, but holds at #1 for the sixth straight week on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart. It's the longest continuous run at #1 there since Adele's 21 spent its first 11 weeks on top in 2011.

Brantley Gilbert's Just As I Am is again just shy of the top 10. It’s #1 on Top Country Albums for the fourth week.

Coming Attractions: Now 51 will vie for #1 next week with the aforementioned Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtrack. Both albums are expected to sell in the 85K range. Godsmack's 1000HP will probably open at #3 (45K). Spoon's They Want My Soul may open around #5 (35K). The Vamps's Somebody To You EP will either just make or just miss the top 10 (18K).

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