Pentatonix Has the Highest-Charting Christmas Album by a Group Since 1962


Pentatonix's That’s Christmas To Me jumps from #3 to #2 its sixth week on The Billboard 200.  It’s the highest-charting Christmas album by a group or duo since Mitch Miller & The Gang topped the chart with Holiday Sing Along With Mitch in January 1962. That was the sing-a-long ensemble’s second holiday album to reach #1, following Christmas Sing-Along With Mitch in 1958.

By climbing to #2 this week, That’s Christmas To Me pulls ahead of Mannheim Steamroller's highest-charting Christmas album, 1995's Christmas In The Aire, which reached #3. Two albums by TV “groups” also reached #3:  Glee Cast's Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album (in 2010) and The Robertsons's Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas (last year).

Seven other groups or duos have landed top 10 albums since 1955. Working backwards, they are Lady Antebellum, *NSYNC, Hanson, New Kids on the Block, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Robert Shaw Chorale and Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians. (Unfortunately, Christmas albums weren’t allowed on The Billboard 200 from 1963 to 1973, which helps explain the gap between New Kids and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I believe Scrooge was the Chart Director at the time.)

That’s Christmas To Me is Pentatonix’s second Christmas album or EP to make the top 10. PTXmas reached #7 last year.

That’s Christmas To Me moved 227K units (of which 217K were pure sales). Let me explain: Starting this week, The Billboard 200 is based on a new formula that takes into account both sales and streaming. Under the new methodology, 10 digital song sales equals one album and 1,500 audio streams equals one album. I reported on the new formula two weeks ago. If you missed that blog, here’s a link.)

Taylor Swift's 1989 returns to #1 after a one-week interruption by One Direction's Four. This is the fourth week on top for 1989. It’s the first album to spend four of its first five weeks at #1 since Susan Boyle's The Gift in late 2010. None of Swift’s previous albums have done this. Fearless and Speak Now each spent just two of their first five weeks at #1. Red spent three of its first five weeks at #1. 1989 moved 339K units this week (281K pure sales).

Shady XV is the week’s top new entry at #3 (148K units, 138K pure sales). The double-disk release is the third Various Artists album to feature Eminem. All have cracked the top five. The 8 Mile soundtrack logged four weeks at #1 in 2002-2003. Eminem Presents: The Re-Up hit #2 in December 2006.

One Direction's Four drops from #1 to #4 (125K units, 105K pure sales). Each of the group’s four #1 albums has had just a single frame on top.

Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour rebounds from #11 to #5 in its 24th week (123K units, 97K pure sales). The album has climbed as high as #2.

Rick Ross's seventh studio album, Hood Billionaire, debuts at #6 (79K units; 74K pure sales). This is Ross’s lowest-charting studio album to date. The first six all reached #1 or #2. This is Ross’s second studio album of 2014. Mastermind debuted at #1 in March, with first-week sales of 179K.

Ariana Grande's My Everything rebounds from #39 to #7 in its 14th week (72K units; 47K pure sales).  The album debuted at #1 in August.

Beyoncé's Beyoncé More Only debuts at #8 (71K units; 43K pure sales). The digital-only EP consists of the new bonus material (songs, remixes, videos) that was added to the Platinum Edition of Beyoncé. That album spent the last three weeks of 2013 at #1. It rebounds from #199 to #39 this week. It has sold 2,128,000 copies.

The Frozen soundtrack rebounds from #13 to #9 in its 53rd week (71K units). The album logged 13 weeks at #1 from January to May. It’s #1 on Top Soundtracks for the 43rd week.

Maroon 5's V rebounds from #32 to #10 in its 13th week (68K units). The album debuted at #1 in September. It was boosted by sale pricing, including a $6.99 sale in the iTunes store.

Garth Brooks's Man Against Machine drops from #5 to #11.  The album holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for the third week.

Michael Bublés 2011 album Christmas drops from #9 to #15. Incidentally, last week I said that Christmas is the first holiday album to crack the top 10 in four different holiday seasons. I meant in the Nielsen SoundScan era (which begins in 1991). Going back in time, it’s the first holiday album to crack the top 10 in four different holiday seasons since Mitch Miller & The Gang's Christmas Sing-Along With Mitch, which scored in four consecutive holiday seasons starting in 1958.

Bublé’s album holds at #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 18th non-consecutive week. Bublé’s fourth annual NBC Christmas special, Michael Bublé’s Christmas In New York, airs Dec. 17. Bublé’s all-female guest list consists of Barbra Streisand, Ariana Grande, Miss Piggy and The Rockettes.

Pitbull's eighth studio album, Globalization debuts at #18. This is Pitbull’s third studio album in a row with a title that shows that he thinks big. It follows Planet Pit and Global Warming.

Coming Attractions: Look for AC/DC's Rock Or Bust to be next week’s top new entry. Also due: Mary J. Blige's The London Sessions, Walk The Moon's Talking Is Hard, Wu-Tang Clan's A Better Tomorrow and She And Him's Classics.