Week Ending May 5, 2013. Albums: Kenny Closes In On Garth

Kenny Chesney

lands his seventh #1 album on The Billboard 200 with Life On A Rock. Only one other country artist, Garth Brooks, has topped the chart seven or more times. Brooks lassoed eight #1 albums between 1991 and 2001. Chesney has amassed all seven of his #1 albums since Brooks released his most recent studio album, Scarecrow.

Chesney pulls ahead of Brooks in one respect: His #1 albums span a longer period of time (a little more than 11 years). Chesney first topped the chart in April 2002 with No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. Brooks’ #1 albums spanned 10 years and two months, from Ropin’ The Wind in September 1991 to Scarecrow in November 2001.

Chesney has already tied another of Brooks’ most prized records. These are the only two performers to have won the Country Music Assn.’s award for Entertainer of the Year four times. Brooks, like many top artists, has a strong competitive streak. As he sees Chesney approach his old records, he may get back in the game and seek to add to his hit tallies.

Life On A Rock enters Top Country Albums at #1, displacing Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story…. It’s Chesney’s 12th #1 country album.

Life On A Rock sold 66K digital copies (out of 153K total), which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. Chesney first topped the Digital Albums chart in January 2005 with Be As You Are: Songs From An Old Blue Chair. It sold just 4K digital copies that week, but that was all it took to reach #1 in those early days of digital.

Michael Buble’s To Be Loved dips to #2 in both the U.S. and the U.K. this week. In the U.K. it falls behind Rudimental’s Home. Expect another big week for Buble’s album next week. The tracking week ends on Mother’s Day.

Justin Timberlake’s

The 20/20 Experience holds at #3 for the fourth straight week. It has spent its first seven weeks inside the top three. By way of comparison, Timberlake’s solo debut album, Justified, spent just one week in the top three. His sophomore album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, spent three weeks in the top three. 20/20 is also out front in terms of raw sales. It has sold 1,741,000 copies in its first seven weeks. At the same point in its chart life, Justified had sold 1,490,000. FutureSex had sold 1,457,000. It’s still early, but The 20/20 Experience is the front-runner to win the Grammy for Album of the Year. Timberlake announced last week that a sequel to the album will be released on Sept. 30.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’

The Heist rebounds from #11 to #5. The album tops the 500K mark in digital sales this week. Digital accounts for 77% of the album’s total sales of 673K copies. Of the 47 albums that have sold 500K or more digital copies, there is only one where digital accounts for an equal or higher percentage of its total sales. That’s the Pitch Perfect soundtrack, where digital accounts for 79% of its total sales.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are only the second ongoing duo, following the Black Keys, to with an album that has hit the 500K mark in digital sales. The Black Keys have scored with both El Camino (633K) and Brothers (615K).

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis made a winning appearance last week on The Colbert Report, where they performed “Same Love” (featuring Mary Lambert). The pair’s “Can’t Hold Us” (featuring Ray Dalton) holds at #1 for the second week on Hot Digital Songs (262K). Will it finally dethrone “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess on the Hot 100? You’ll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.

Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.

The Top Five: Kenny Chesney’s Life On A Rock debuts at #1 (153K). It’s his 11th top five album…Michael Buble’s To Be Loved dips from #1 to #2 in its second week (96K)… Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience holds at #3 for the fourth week in its seventh week (68K). It has been in the top five the entire time…Fantasia’s Side Effects Of You drops from #2 to #4 in its second week (36K)… Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist rebounds from #11 to #5 in its 30th week (35K). This is its fifth week in the top 10.

The Second Five: Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story… holds at #6 for the second week in its sixth week (35K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…P!nk’s The Truth About Love rebounds from #10 to #7 in its 33rd week (26K). This is its 14th week in the top 10…Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox rebounds from #13 to #8 in its 21st week (26K). This is its 18th week in the top 10…Randy Rogers Band’s Trouble debuts at #9 (26K). It’s the country band’s second top 10 album in a row…Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions rebounds from #15 to #10 in its 35th week (25K). This is its eighth week in the top 10.

Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Phoenix’s Bankrupt! drops from #4 to #19. Fall Out Boy’s Save Rock And Roll drops from #5 to #11. Rob Zombie’s Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor drops from #7 to #21. Kid Cudi’s Indicud drops from #8 to #17. will.i.am’s #willpower plummets from #9 to #40.

HIM’s eighth studio album Tears On Tape debuts at #15. It’s the Finnish band’s third top 20 album.

Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall

debuts at #16. This is an album of music “inspired by” the Robert Downey Jr. movie, which was #1 at the box-office over the weekend with a near-record gross of $175.3 million. The album features such artists as Imagine Dragons, AWOLNATION and Neon Trees. The official soundtrack album, featuring Brian Tyler’s score, debuts at #134. The soundtrack to the initial Iron Man reached #158 in 2008. AC/DC’sIron Man 2 album hit #4 in April 2010. Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall enters Top Soundtracks at #1, displacing Pitch Perfect. (Iron Man 2 was #1 on Top Soundtracks for three weeks. It was the top soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for nine weeks.)

LL Cool J’s

Authentic debuts at #23. It’s his first album to fall short of the top 20 since his debut album, Radio, peaked at #46 in 1985…Rittz’s debut album, The Life & Times Of Jonny Valiant, debuts at #25…Jessica Sanchez’s debut album Me, You & The Music debuts at #26. Sanchez was the runner-up on Season 11 of American Idol. Phillip Phillips, who was the winner for the season, reached #4 with The World From The Side Of The Moon The Airborne Toxic Event’s third studio album Such Hot Blood debuts at #27…Of Monsters And Men’sMy Head Is An Animal rebounds from #73 to #33 in its 57th week in the wake of the group’s performance on Saturday Night Live. The album debuted and peaked at #6 in April 2012.

Two EPs debut this week. Fleetwood Mac’s Extended Play debuts at #48. Andrew McMahon’s The Pop Underground EP debuts at #53. Fleetwood Mac’s self-released EP is the band’s first new material since 2003. In 1979, the band released a double-disk, 20-song studio album, Tusk. Now, it’s putting out a four-song EP. Our attention spans are shrinking by the minute. McMahon has released albums with Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin.

George Jones’

16 Biggest Hits drops from #42 to #59 in its second week. It’s #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the second week. The album has sold 1,188,000 copies, which makes it the third best-selling edition in the 16 Biggest Hits series. It trails a Johnny Cash album with the same title (3,203,000) and one by Willie Nelson (1,852,000). Here’s #4 through #10, per Nielsen SoundScan: Merle Haggard (955K), Roy Orbison (830K), Waylon Jennings (747K), Alan Jackson (446K), Alabama (384K), Marty Robbins (364K) and Johnny Cash & June CarterCash (333K).

I told you last week that 2Pac’s 1998 album Greatest Hits topped the 5 million mark in sales. I might have added that it’s the best-selling greatest hits album in hip-hop history. Eminem’s 2005 album Curtain Call: The Hits is in second place, with sales of 3,710,000. The two artists are in reverse order on the list of best-selling rappers in Nielsen SoundScan history. Eminem is #1, with sales of 42,183,000. 2Pac is second with 28,962,000.


History Of The Eagles, a three-disk documentary/concert video, enters Top Music Videos at #1. It sold 23K copies this week, which is the greatest first-week tally for a video since One Direction’sUp All Night—The Live Tour started with sales of 76K in June 2012. It’s the greatest one-week tally for a video by a rock band since Rush’sBeyond The Lighted Stage started with 34K in July 2010.

It’s Eagles’ third music video to reach #1. It follows Hell Freezes Over (four weeks at #1 in 1995) and Farewell I Tour: Live From Melbourne (14 weeks in 2005-2006 and a 15th week on top in March). Farewell I Tour: Live From Melbourne got off to a much stronger start. It sold 114K copies in its first week in June 2005, but music video sales were stronger then in general.

In History Of The Eagles, Jack Nicholson offers an apt one-word explanation for the band’s lasting impact: “Repertoire.”

Incidentally, the title, History Of The Eagles, represents a small capitulation by the band. They always insisted on being called just Eagles. I guess they finally decided to let the fans have their way.

Coming Attractions: Lady Antebellum’s Golden is expected to debut at #1 next week with sales in the 145K range. Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film The Great Gatsby will probably open at #2 with sales of 90K. Now 46 (80K) and Pistol Annies’ Annie Up (80K) are looking good for #4 and #5, respectively. Rod Stewart’s Time is set for a #8 debut (40K). Also due: She & Him’s Volume 3 (#15, 19K), The Music Of Nashville, Vol. 2 (#17, 19K), Natalie Maines’ Mother (#20, 17K), Talib Kweli’s Prisoner Of Conscious and Fitz & the Tantrums’ More Than Just A Dream.