Week Ending April 14, 2013. Albums: Keeping Brad Paisley Humble
Right about now, Brad Paisley is probably wondering what he has to do to land a #1 album. His new Wheelhouse enters The Billboard 200 at #2 (behind Paramore’s new album). Unless it moves up to #1 in a subsequent week, which rarely happens, it will be his fourth album to peak at #2, following Time Well Wasted, American Saturday Night and This Is Country Music. Only one other artist in chart history has had as many as four #2 albums without reaching #1. Sheryl Crow reached the runner-up spot with four consecutive releases from 2002 through 2008: C’mon, C’mon, The Very Best Of Sheryl Crow, Wildflowers and Detours.
“Accidental Racist,” a track from Wheelhouse, has stirred considerable buzz and controversy. (The consensus is that it was a well-intentioned, but clumsy, attempt to start a conversation about race.) The track, a collabo with LL Cool J, enters Hot Digital Songs at #50 (based on sales of 43K copies). That puts it ahead of “Beat This Summer,” the second single from the album, which sold 32K copies.
Sting is runner-up among artists who have had the most #2 albums without ever reaching #1. As a solo artist, he has had three #2 albums: The Dream Of The Blue Turtles, The Soul Cages and Ten Summoner’s Tales. (He did land a #1 album with The Police.)
The Fine Print: Kidz Bop Kids has amassed five #2 albums without a #1, but that’s a franchise rather than an identifiable artist with a consistent line-up of members.
Paisley has of course has had better luck on Top Country Albums. Wheelhouse becomes his seventh #1 on that chart, displacing The Band Perry’s Pioneer.
Paramore’s Paramore debuts at #1. Each of the band’s four studio albums has fared better on the chart than the one before it. The band’s debut album, All We Know Is Falling, failed to chart in 2005. Its sophomore album, Riot!, peaked at #15 in its 10th week on the chart in 2007. Its third album, Brand New Eyes, debuted and peaked at #2 in October 2009. (It was kept out of the top spot by Barbra Streisand’s debuting Love Is The Answer.)
Paramore is the first eponymous album to reach #1 since Evanescence’s Evanescence in October 2011.