Chart Watch: Bruce Tops Elvis, But Sales Sag

Paul Grein
Yahoo Music

Bruce Springsteen's "High Hopes" enters The Billboard 200 at #1 this week. It's The Boss' 11th #1, which enables him to pull ahead of Elvis Presley to become the solo rock star with the most #1 albums. That's the good news. The bad news: The album sold just 99K copies in its first week. That's Springsteen's lowest first-week tally for a studio album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. It sold even less in its first week than Springsteen's famously uncommercial "The Ghost Of Tom Joad," which debuted with sales of 107K in November 1995.

Of course, album sales have been declining industry-wide for years. And it's natural for sales of veteran artists to taper off over time. But this drop-off was sudden: "High Hopes" sold a little more than half as many copies in its first week as Springsteen's last studio album, "Wrecking Ball," which opened with sales of 196K in March 2012.

Even so, having a #1 album is an always an achievement. And it allowed Springsteen to set some records, chiefly pushing ahead of Presley (who amassed 10 albums). Only two other artists in the rock era have had 10 or more #1 albums. The Beatles lead the pack with 19. Jay Z is second with 13.

"High Hopes" also enters the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart at #1. It's Springsteen's 10th #1 in the U.K. It's his ninth album to reach #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. Only the Beatles have had more transatlantic #1 albums (10).

"High Hopes" was the title of a 1959 hit by fellow music legend and New Jersey native Frank Sinatra. The song won an Oscar for Original Song.

The "Frozen" soundtrack dips to #2. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks for the eighth week. The movie also logged its eighth weekend in the top five at the box-office. The movie picked up two Oscar nominations last week: Animated Feature Film and Original Song for "Let It Go."

"Frozen" sold 50K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums for the third week. "Frozen" has sold 411K digital copies, which is the third highest tally for a soundtrack in digital history. It trails only "Pitch Perfect" (743K) and "Twilight" (739K).

Kidz Bop Kids' "Kidz Bop 25" debuts at #3. This is the 18th volume in this series to reach the top 10. Only one franchise in music history has spawned more top 10 albums. That’s the "Now" franchise, which has sent 53 volumes into the top 10. The first "Kidz Bop" installment to reach the top 10 was "Kidz Bop 7" in February 2005. All but one installment since then has made the top 10 (though none have reached #1.)

Jennifer Nettles' first solo album, "That Girl," debuts at #5. Nettles amassed four Top 10 albums with Sugarland. "That Girl" enters Top Country Albums at #1. Nettles had three #1 country albums with Sugarland. Nettles is just the fourth artist to top the country chart both as a solo artist and as a member of a group or duo. She follows Ronnie Dunn (Brooks & Dunn), Wynonna (The Judds) and Miranda Lambert (Pistol Annies). (Note: I’m not counting collaborations involving solo artists as groups or duos.)

"Dark Horse" by Katy Perry featuring Juicy J holds at #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the second week (261K). Will it jump from #4 to #1 on the Hot 100 or will "Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha (202K) hold on for a third week? You'll find out later today when we post my Songs blogs.

Here's a recap of this week's top 10 albums.

The Top Five: Bruce Springsteen's "High Hopes" debuts at #1 (99K). It's his 18th top 10 album…The "Frozen" soundtrack dips to #2 in its eighth week (87K). This is its sixth week in the top 10… Kidz Bop Kids' "Kidz Bop 25" debuts at #3 (65K). It's the 18th album in the franchise to reach the top 10… Beyonce's "Beyonce" drops from #2 to #4 in its sixth week (61K). It has been in the top five the entire time…Jennifer Nettles' "That Girl" debuts at #5 (54K). It's her first top 10 album as a solo artist.

The Second Five: Switchfoot's "Fading West" debuts at #6 (39K). It's the band's third top 10 album…Lorde's "Pure Heroine" drops from #5 to #7 in its 16th week (31K). This is its 11th week in the top 10… Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" drops from #4 to #8 in its 11th week (29K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Katy Perry's "PRISM" drops from #7 to #9 in its 13th week (22K). This is its 12th week in the top 10… Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" dips from #9 to #10 in its 72nd week (20K). This is its 23rd week in the top 10

Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Kid Ink's "My Own Lane" drops from #3 to #21. One Direction's "Midnight Memories" drops from #6 to #13. Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" drops from #8 to #15. R. Kelly's "Black Panties" drops from #10 to #17.

Roseanne Cash's "The River & The Thread" debuts at #11. This is the first top 20 album of Cash's 33-year career. Two previous albums came close. "Seven Year Ache" reached #26 in 1981. "The List" hit #22 in 2009. Her dad, Johnny Cash, first cracked the top 20 with 1958's "The Fabulous Johnny Cash."

Jon Pardi's debut album, "Write You A Song," debuts at #14. It enters Top Country Albums at #3. "Up All Night" climbed to #64 on last week's Hot 100…Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings' fifth studio album, "Give The People What They Want," debuts at #22. (The Kinks took an album with that same title to #15 in 1981.) Elevation Worship's third (and highest-charting) album, "Only King Forever," debuts at #23. Elevation Worship is a worship band from Charlotte, N.C.

Lucinda Williams' 1988 album "Lucinda Williams" finally enters the chart at #39. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the first time.

Eric Clapton's "Crossroads Guitar Festival" logs its fifth week at #1 on Top Music Videos.

Coming Attractions: "2014 Grammy Nominees" and A Great Big World's "Is There Anybody Out There?" are expected to be next week's top debuts. Also due: In This Moment's "Blood" and The Beatles' "The U.S. Albums," a digital bundle of the group's albums.