On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated March 18), Future claimed his fifth No. 1, as HNDRXX arrived in the top slot with 121,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending March 2, according to Nielsen Music. Future is the first act to earn back-to-back No. 1 debuts on the chart in successive weeks.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week's most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let's take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:
- Journey, Journey's Greatest Hits - No. 100 - The band's mega-selling album collects a whopping 450th nonconsecutive week on the chart, as it rises from No. 103 to No. 100. The set - bolstered with Billboard Hot 100-charting hits like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Open Arms" - continues to hold the distinction as the album with the fifth-most weeks on the chart. (The all-time longevity champ is Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, with 927 weeks.) The album was released in 1988 and is certified at 15 million copies sold in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
The album peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 back on the Feb. 11, 1989-dated chart, and has been a near-constant feature on the list since late 2009.
- Metallica, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct - No. 14 - The band's former No. 1 surges (28,000 units) with a 108 percent gain, driven by sales of the set with a concert ticket/album promotion. Hardwired sold 26,000 copies (up 140 percent). It's expected the set will vault back into the top 10 next week, as further sales are generated by the successful ticket/album campaign.
- Garth Brooks, The Ultimate Collection - No. 15 - Garth Brooks' Target-exclusive 10-CD box set, The Ultimate Collection, has gained a second life on the chart - thanks to clearance pricing. The title, which initially sold for $29.99, saw its price drop to $8.98 in recent weeks. In turn, after a four-week vacation from the chart, the set returned on the Feb. 18-dated list and has spent the last two weeks in the top 20. With another 27,000 copies sold in the week ending March 2, Ultimate's sales stand at 523,000 - Brooks' 18th album to sell a half-million since Nielsen Music began tracking sales data in 1991.
- Thundercat, Drunk - No. 50 - The producer/guitarist/singer returns to the chart with his first solo album since 2013, as Drunk debuts with 11,000 units. Of that sum, 6,000 were in traditional album sales - his best sales week yet.
- Original Broadway Cast Recording, Dear Evan Hansen - No. 67 - The Dear Evan Hansen original Broadway cast recording vaults from No. 172 to No. 67 after its CD was released on Feb. 24. The set earned 9,000 units for the week (up 95 percent) with 7,000 of that from traditional album sales (up 171 percent), of which about 5,000 were of the CD. The set was previously only available as a download and a stream.
- Leon Bridges, Coming Home - No. 98 - Leon Bridges' Coming Home returns to the Billboard 200 at No. 98, thanks to the new HBO series Big Little Lies. The show's Feb. 26 episode prominently featured the album's "River," and that helps spur renewed interest in the set: it earned 7,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 2 (up 354 percent). The song itself sold 14,000 downloads - up 8,260 percent (from a negligible figure in the week previous).