Week Ending Aug. 12, 2012. Albums: Sinatra Lives!
Frank Sinatra's Nothing But The Best re-enters The Billboard 200 at #3. The 2008 hits compilation is the latest beneficiary of a 99-cent sale at AmazonMP3. This extends Sinatra's all-time record as the artist with the longest span of top five albums. Sinatra first cracked the top five the week of March 23, 1946 with The Voice Of Frank Sinatra. (The chart was a just a top-five ranking at that point.)
Nothing But The Best debuted and peaked at #2 in May 2008. It was released to mark the 10th anniversary of Sinatra's death. The album has sold 1,111,000 copies.
Nothing But The Best vaults from #161 to #1 on Top Catalog Albums. It's Sinatra's first album to top the catalog chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era. It's also #1 on Top Digital Albums. All but 1K of the album's 40K sales this week were digital. The album has sold 278K digital copies to date, which is a little more than one-quarter of its total. (The digital percentage is a little higher than I would have expected, but Sinatra has broad appeal to fans of all ages.)
This is the third time in the past four weeks that a greatest hits album has rocketed to #1 on the catalog chart (and the top 10 on The Billboard 200) as a result of a 99-cent sale at AmazonMP3. It happened last week with Bee Gees' Number Ones and three weeks ago with Phil Collins' …Hits. (Alas, these 99-cent boosts tend to be short-lived sugar spikes. Once the album goes back to regular price, sales plummet. Bee Gees' Number Ones drops from #5 to #195 on this week's Billboard 200. Sales dropped from 32K to 2K.)
Sinatra's album includes the master's last three top 10 hits on the Hot 100: the sumptuous "Strangers In The Night," "That's Life" and "Somethin' Stupid," a history-making duet with daughter Nancy Sinatra. (In April 1967, it became the first collaboration of two individual stars to reach #1 on the Hot 100.)
The album also includes "Theme From New York, New York," which in May 1980 became Sinatra's final top 40 hit. In 2009, Sinatra and the song were saluted in the chart-topping "Empire State Of Mind" by Jay-Z & Alicia Keys. "I'm the new Sinatra," Jay-Z boasted, "and since I made it here, I can make it anywhere." That unexpected homage is just one indication of Sinatra's eternal cool.
Sinatra's unmatched career peaked circa 1966, 25 years before Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard. Even so, he has sold 28,679,000 albums since 1991. Sinatra is the only artist whose career dates back to the 1940s to rank among the 200 best-selling artists in Nielsen SoundScan history.