The surprise success this year of Lionel Richie's Tuskegee (which is the #2 best-seller so far this year) shows that veteran artists have an advantage in the chart wars. Older fans are probably the most loyal and reliable album buyers. This week, two albums debut in the top five by acts that have been around even longer than Richie. The Beach Boys' That's Why God Makes The Radio enters The Billboard 200 at #3. Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Americana debuts at #4. The Beach Boys first charted in November 1962; Young (with The Buffalo Springfield) in March 1967.
This week's lofty debut gives the Beach Boys a 49-year span of top five albums. The group first made the top five on the mono chart with Surfin' U.S.A. on June 22, 1963. (The current chart will appear in the Billboard issue dated June 23, 2012.) Only Frank Sinatra has had a longer span of top five albums. Sinatra's top five albums span 62 years and two months, from The Voice Of Frank Sinatra (March 23, 1946) to Nothing But The Best (June 7, 2008). FYI, Tony Bennett is in third place, just a couple of weeks behind the Beach Boys. His top five albums span nearly 49 years, from I Left My Heart In San Francisco (Nov. 24, 1962) to Duets II (Nov. 5, 2011).
The Beach Boys first hit the top five when John F. Kennedy was President. They're still going strong under Barack Obama. Sinatra's run was even more impressive. He first made the top five when Harry Truman was President. He made it most recently under George W. Bush.
That's Why God Made The Radio is the Beach Boys' highest-charting album since the hits compilation Endless Summer reached #1 in October 1974. It's the group's highest-charting album of new material since Summer Days (And Summer Nights!) hit #2 in September 1965.
Americana is Young's 12th career top 10 album (counting three albums with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). It's his highest-charting album since CSNY's hits compilation So Far hit #1 in November 1974. It's his highest-charting album apart from CSNY since Harvest hit #1 in March 1972. Young's album features such beloved folk standards as Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susanna" and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land." It's the instant front-runner to win a Grammy as Best Americana Album.
This is the second album titled Americana to reach the top five. The Offspring hit #2 in January 1999 with an album by that title.
Adele's 21 jumps from #2 to #1 in its 68th week. This is its 24th week on top. That's the longest run at #1 by any album since Prince & the Revolution's Purple Rain soundtrack also had 24 weeks on top in 1984-1985. The last album to spend more weeks on top was Michael Jackson's Thriller, which spent 37 weeks on top in 1983-1984.
21 is the first album to rank #1 this deep into its chart run since Paula Abdul's Forever Your Girl ranked #1 for the final time in its 89th week on the chart in March 1990. The Fine Print: Michael Jackson's Number Ones was 6-1/2 years old when it was the best-selling album for six weeks following his death in 2009. Catalog albums were barred from The Billboard 200 at the time.
21 is doing better these days in the U.S. than it is in the U.K. The album drops to #12 in its 72nd week on the Official U.K. Chart. This is its first week outside of the top 10.
21 is likely to become the first album to wind up at #1 on Nielsen SoundScan's year-end sales recaps two years running. Moreover, it's likely to become the first album to rank #1 on Billboard's year-end chart twice since Michael Jackson's Thriller, which achieved the feat in 1983 and 1984. Three other albums have achieved this feat: the My Fair Lady original cast album with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews (1957 and 1958), The Sound Of Music original cast album with Mary Martin (1960 and 1961) and the West Side Story soundtrack (1962 and 1963).
aAlan Jackson's Thirty Miles West debuts at #2. (If it had sold just 3,000 more copies, it would have become Jackson's fifth #1 album.) It's Jackson's 12th top 10 album. He scored his first, Who I Am, in July 1994. It's #1 on Top Country Albums. It's Jackson's 13th #1 country album.
Big K.R.I.T's debut album, Live From The Underground, debuts at #4. Big K.R.I.T. is the fourth solo artist whose name begins with the word "Big" to land a top 10 album. He follows Big Boi, Big Pun and Big Sean.
One Direction's Up All Night drops from #4 to #6. Next week, it will surpass Whitney Houston's Whitney: The Greatest Hits to become the #3 best-seller so far this year. In addition, the boy band's DVD, Up All Night: The Live Tour, is #1 for the second week on Top Music Videos. It sold 37,000 copies this week, bringing its two-week total to 113K.
Curren$y's The Stoned Immaculate debuts at #6. It's the rapper's fifth studio album since 2010. (How's that for a work ethic?) The album features Wiz Khalifa, Wale, 2 Chainz and Big K.R.I.T.
Brandi Carlile's Bear Creek debuts at #10. It's her first top 10 album. Her previous best mark was #26 for 2009's Give Up The Ghost.
Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" logs it fourth week at #1 on Hot Digital Songs. That's the longest run by an unassisted female solo artist since Adele's "Someone Like You" had four weeks on top in September and October. Will "Call Me Maybe" finally jump to #1 on the Hot 100? I think so. Its sales increased by 4% this week. Sales of the record it's trying to dethrone, "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye featuring Kimbra, declined by 14%. You'll find out for sure later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
The Top Five: Adele's 21 jumps from #2 to log its 24th week at #1 (75K). This is the album's 68th week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Alan Jackson's Thirty Miles West debuts at #2 (73K). It's Jackson's 12th top 10 album…The Beach Boys' That's Why God Made The Radio debuts at #3 (61K). It's the group's 14th top 10 album… Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Americana debuts at #4 (44K). This is Young's 12th career top 10 album… Big K.R.I.T's debut album, Live From The Underground, debuts at #5 (41K).
The Second Five: One Direction's Up All Night drops from #4 to #6 in its 13th week on the chart (40K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time… John Mayer's Born And Raised drops from #1 to #7 in its third week (39K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time. The tally includes 20K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums for the third straight week…Curren$y's The Stoned Immaculate debuts at #8 (36K). It's the rapper's first top 10 album… Carrie Underwood's Blown Away drops from #6 to #9 in its sixth week (27K). The album has been in the top 10 the entire time…Brandi Carlile's Bear Creek debuts at #10 (27K). This is her first top 10 album.
Six albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Regina Spektor's What We Saw from the Cheap Seats drops from #3 to #22, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' Here drops from #5 to #27, Sigur Ros' Valtari plummets from #7 to #56, Now 42 drops from #8 to #13, Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines drops from #9 to #11, and Lionel Richie's aforementioned Tuskegee drops from #10 to #16.
Joe Walsh's Analog Man debuts at #12. This is Walsh's sixth solo album to make the top 20. Surprisingly, this matches the number of top 20 albums he had as a member of Eagles, a band he joined in 1975. (His first album with the group was 1976's Hotel California.) Walsh first cracked the top 20 in 1970 as a member of The James Gang.
The Rock Of Ages soundtrack debuts at #15. It's the week's #1 soundtrack. Tom Cruise stars in the movie adaptation of a Broadway show that received a Tony nomination as Best Musical of 2009. The cast album reached #118.
Adele's 2008 album 19 jumps from #26 to #21 in its 138th week on the chart. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 41st week.
Victorious Cast's Victorious 2.0 TV soundtrack debuts at #18…Jana Kramer's Jana Kramer debuts at #19… Emeli Sande's Our Version Of Events bows at #28. The album has spent three weeks on top in the U.K. this year. Adele's 21 is the only other album that has logged three or more weeks on top in the U.K. so far this year.
Eric Benet's One debuts at #32. It's Benet's fourth album to crack the top 40…The Very Best Of Daryl Hall & John Oates re-enters at #34. The album was first released in 2001. The duo first cracked the top 40 in May 1976 with Daryl Hall & John Oates (the album that spawned "Sara Smile").
Two vintage albums re-enter the chart. Paul Simon's Graceland re-enters at #51. The album peaked at #3 in April 1987 and won a Grammy as Album of the Year…The Beatles' Yellow Submarine soundtrack re-enters at #55. The album peaked at #2 in March 1969. (It was blocked from the top spot by another Beatles album—the White Album).
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. The first two movies in the series, Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, also debuted at #1.
Coming Attractions: Look for Usher's Looking 4 Myself to open at #1 next week with sales in the 120K range. That's a mediocre first-week tally for a superstar like Usher. Four other albums are eyeing top 10 debuts. Rush's Clockwork Angels will probably debut at #2, Ed Sheeran's + at #4, Josh Turner's Punching Bag at #6 and Waka Flocka Flame's Triple F Life: Fans, Friends & Family at #8. Also due: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals' The Lion The Beast The Beat, Now Country 5, Jimmy Fallon's Blow Your Pants Off and Metric's Synthetica.