Chart Watch Extra: Getting A Jump On The Year-End Album Chart
This is pitiful: Just three albums have topped the 1 million mark in U.S. sales so far this year. But the tally will be more like 12 before the year ends, which would nearly equal the tally of 13 in each of the last two years. The three albums that have sold 1 million or more copies already this year are Adele's sophomore album, 21 (4,027,000); One Direction's debut album, Up All Night (1,254,000) and Lionel Richie's surprise comeback hit, Tuskegee (1,020,000).
Four albums that have already been released will probably make it over the 1 million threshold before the year is out. They are Justin Bieber's Believe (which has sold 902K copies so far this year), Carrie Underwood's Blown Away (823K), Luke Bryan's 2011 release Tailgates & Tanlines (802K) and Mumford & Sons' Babel, which sold 600K this week and will probably sell another 155K next week.
Five upcoming albums have a good chance of selling 1 million copies before the year is out. They are Jason Aldean's Night Train (due Oct. 16), Taylor Swift's Red (due Oct. 22), Lady Antebellum's Christmas album On This Winter's Night (due Oct. 22), One Direction's Take Me Home (due Nov. 13) and Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston (due Nov. 13).
Swift's last two albums both sold millions of copies very quickly. Fearless sold 2,112,000 copies in the last seven weeks of 2008. Speak Now sold 2,960,000 copies in the last 10 weeks of 2010.
Aldean's last album, 2010's My Kinda Party, has sold 2,768,000 copies. It debuted and peaked at #2—kept out of the top spot by Speak Now. Night Train is vying to become his first #1 album. Aldean has four songs that have each sold 2 million or more digital copies, which is more than any other male solo artist in country music.
Lady Antebellum's last two albums both entered The Billboard 200 at #1. Need You Now sold 1,647,000 copies in its first 10 weeks in 2010. Own The Night sold 1,204,000 in the last 16 weeks of 2011. The country trio's broad-based appeal and low-key charisma make a Christmas album a natural.