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Lizzo lands her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated July 30), as her latest studio effort, Special, starts atop the list. The set sold 39,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending July 21, according to Luminate. It’s the second top 10 for the performer, who previously reached No. 2 with Cuz I Love You in 2019.
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Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now Luminate. Pure album sales were the sole measurement utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. The new July 30, 2022-dated Top Album Sales chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Tuesday, July 26. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of the 39,000 copies sold of Special, physical format sales comprise 23,000 (16,000 on vinyl, 6,000 on CD, and 1,000 on cassette) and digital album sales comprise 16,000. Special also starts atop the Vinyl Albums chart (her first No. 1 there) and at No. 2 on Tastemaker Albums. The former ranks the top-selling vinyl albums of the week across all sellers, while the latter tally lists the top-selling albums at independent and small chain record stores (where Special sold 5,000 across all formats).
Special’s first-week sales were enhanced by its availability across more than 15 different physical-format versions of the album – including nine vinyl LPs. All variants contained the same audio, but each had different packaging elements. Among them were editions exclusively sold via Target, Walmart, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lizzo’s official webstore and indie record stores.
At No. 2 on Top Album Sales, ITZY’s Checkmate debuts with 31,000 copies sold. It’s the second top 10-charting effort for the South Korean quintet and its best sales week yet. The group previously logged a visit to the top 10 with the No. 1 debut of Crazy In Love in 2021.
Like many K-pop releases, the CD configuration of Checkmate was issued in collectible deluxe packages (17 total, including exclusive versions for Target and Barnes & Noble) each with a standard set of items and randomized elements (such as photocards and posters); 98% of the album’s first-week sales were on CD. The other 2% were digital album sales. (The set was not released in any other format, such as vinyl or cassette.)
A pair of former No. 1s are next up on Top Album Sales, as Harry Styles’ Harry’s House falls 2-3 with 13,000 sold (up 7%) and Aespa’s Girls: The 2nd Mini Album drops 1-4 in its second week with 11,000 (down 80%).
J-Hope notches his second top 20-charting effort, and first top 10, on Top Album Sales, as Jack In the Box debuts at No. 5 with 10,000 sold. The BTS member previously charted on the tally with the No. 16-peaking Hope World in 2018. Unlike most of BTS’ releases, as well as many K-pop albums, Jack In the Box was not available to purchase in the CD format – only as a digital download album. (BTS is a strong seller on the CD format – the group’s CD album sales account for 3.6% of all CD albums sold in the U.S. year-to-date in 2022.)
Tyler, the Creator’s chart-topping Call Me If You Get Lost falls 4-6 on Top Album Sales with 9,000 sold (down 10%) while TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s former leader Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child is a non-mover at No. 7 with 8,000 sold (up 4%).
British rock band Black Midi scores its first top 10 on Top Album Sales as its new album Hellfire launches at No. 8 with nearly 8,000 sold. Of that sum, vinyl sales comprise 77% — equaling about 6,000. The set also starts at No. 4 on the Vinyl Albums chart. (Over on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, Hellfire starts at No. 22 – granting the group its first top 40-charting set there.)
Rounding out the new top 10 on Top Album Sales are NAYEON’s former No. 1 IM NAYEON: The 1st Mini Album (which falls 5-9 with nearly 7,000 sold; down 23%) and the debut of Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp’s collaborative album 18, which starts at No. 10 with nearly 7,000 sold. It’s the first top 10 for both Beck and Depp on the 31-year-old Top Album Sales chart.
In the week ending July 21, there were 1.845 million albums sold in the U.S. (up 3.2% compared to the previous week). Of that sum, physical albums (CDs, vinyl LPs, cassettes, etc.) comprised 1.456 million (up 1.5%) and digital albums comprised 388,000 (up 10.3%).
There were 665,000 CD albums sold in the week ending July 21 (down 1.1% week-over-week) and 781,000 vinyl albums sold (up 3.6%). Year-to-date CD album sales stand at 18.818 million (down 9.9% compared to the same time frame a year ago) and year-to-date vinyl album sales total 21.634 million (down 0.3%).
Overall year-to-date album sales total 52.26 million (down 8.5% compared to the same year-to-date time frame a year ago). Year-to-date physical album sales stand at 40.737 million (down 4.9%) and digital album sales total 11.522 million (down 19.4%).