Josh Groban has yet to score a top 40 hit on the Hot 100, but that hasn’t held him back in album sales. This week, he lands his third #1 album on The Billboard 200 with All That Echoes. He’s only the second solo artist in chart history to land three or more #1 albums before landing a top 40 single. He follows Garth Brooks, who had amassed seven #1 albums before he finally cracked the top 40 in 1999 with “Lost In You.” (The artist billing, you may remember, was Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines.)
Two groups—both hard rock bands—have, like Groban, amassed three or more #1 albums without yet scoring a top 40 hit. Disturbed has amassed four #1 albums. Godsmack has had three.
Groban’s highest-charting single to date is “The Prayer,” a collabo with Celine Dion, which reached #70 in 2008. (It was a cover of the Oscar-nominated ballad from 1998’s Quest For Camelot.) The fact that, even partnered with such a prolific hit-maker, Groban fell short of the top 40 suggests the resistance there is to him at pop radio. Groban has a booming, classically-influenced singing style which many stations think would sound out of place amid the pop and dance hits they favor.
Disturbed’s highest-charting single, by weird coincidence, had a very similar title: “Prayer.” It reached #58 in 2002. Godsmack’s highest-charting single is “Straight Out Of Line,” which hit #73 in 2003.
Rob Cavallo produced Groban’s new album, picking up the reins from Rick Rubin, who produced his previous album, Illuminations. David Foster produced Groban’s first four studio albums. All three of these producers have won the Grammy for Producer of the Year. Groban has been lucky to work with such top-flight producers.
Groban’s previous #1 albums were Closer, which spent one week on top in January 2004, and Noel, which spent five weeks on top in November and December 2007.
Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes Of Freedom debuts at #2. This is his 15th top 10 album, which is the second highest total ever for a country artist. George Strait has had 17 top 10 albums. McGraw pulls ahead of Garth Brooks, who has had 14 top 10 albums. (Brooks’ last studio album, Scarecrow, came out in November 2001. C’mon, Garth. Back to work.)
In addition, McGraw's album debuts at #1 on Top Country Albums. It's McGraw's 14th #1 on that chart. All but one of his studio albums has topped the country chart. His only studio album to fall short was Tim McGraw And The Dancehall Doctors, which debuted and peaked at #2 in December 2002. What album was hot enough to block its path? Shania Twain's Up!
Two Lanes Of Freedom sold 41K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. It’s McGraw’s first #1 album on the digital chart, which reflects country fans’ increasing comfort level with digital.
Now 45 debuts at #3. It’s the 50th Now album to reach the top 10. The tally consists of all 45 regular Now volumes, two Christmas albums, two country albums and a #1s collection. Now is most successful franchise in the history of the music business. Kidz Bop Kids’ Kidz Bop series is in second place with 16 top 10 albums, followed by Glee (14 top 10 albums and EPs) and Grammy Nominees (12 top 10 albums).
Mumford & Sons’ Babel surges from #7 to #4 in the wake of winning the Grammy for Album of the Year. (The Grammys were presented on the final night of the sales tracking week.) This is the second time in three years that the British folk-rock band has experienced the biggest post-Grammy sales spike. Two years ago, its debut album, Sigh No More, shot from #11 to #2 in the immediate aftermath of the show. (The following week, it held tight at #2.)
Four other albums in this week’s top 20 move up due to Grammy spikes. The Various Artists compilation Grammy Nominees 2013 rebounds from #14 to #11 in its third week…fun.’s Some Nights, which contains Song of the Year champ “We Are Young,” rebounds from #25 to #14 in its 51st week. The album, which has never slipped out of the top 50, also tops the 1 million mark in sales this week…Rihanna’s Unapologetic inches up from #19 to #17 in its 12th week…Maroon 5’s Overexposed rebounds from #32 to #20 in its 33rd week.
We’ll get a much fuller picture of post-Grammy sales spikes next week, after fans have had a full week to buy music they heard on the telecast.
This week’s surge allows Babel to jump from #4 to #1 on Nielsen SoundScan’s running list of the best-selling albums so far in 2013 (displacing the Les Miserables soundtrack, which tumbles to #7 on the year-to-date chart). Babel has sold 274K copies so far this year. (It also sold 1,463,000 copies in 2012.)
Mumford & Sons’ live album, Roads To Red Rocks, debuts at #54. A related DVD, The Road To Red Rocks, enters Top Music Videos at #1. Details below.
Red’s Release The Panic debuts at #7. This is the Christian rock band’s second top 10 album. Until We Have Faces hit #2 in 2011…Coheed & Cambria’s The Afterman: Descension debuts at #9. The Afterman: Ascension hit #5 last year. This is the band’s fifth top 10 album.
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the fifth week. It sold 389K copies this week. It’s the first song in the history of Hot Digital Songs to experience a jump in sales in each of its first five weeks at #1. It’s a lock to hold at #1 on the Hot 100 for the fourth straight week, as you will see later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.
The Top Five: Josh Groban’s All That Echoes debuts at #1 (145K). This is Groban’s seventh top 10 album…Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes Of Freedom debuts at #2 (107K). This is McGraw’s 15th top 10 album…Now 45 debuts at #3 (87K). This is the 50th Now album to make the top 10… Mumford & Sons’ Babel rebounds from #7 to #4 in its 20th week (54K). This is its 14th week in the top 10… Andrea Bocelli’s Passione drops from #2 to #5 in its second week (51K).
The Second Five: Justin Bieber’s Believe Acoustic drops from #1 to #6 in its second week (43K)… Red’s Release The Panic debuts at #7 (41K). It’s the Christian rock band’s second top 10 album.…Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox drops from #6 to #8 in its ninth week (41K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…Coheed & Cambria’s The Afterman: Descension debuts at #9 (41K). This is the band’s fifth top 10 album…The Lumineers’ The Lumineers dips from #9 to #10 in its 45th week (39K). This is its seventh week in the top 10.
The Pitch Perfect soundtrack drops from #5 to #13 this week. This is the 10th time it has been the week’s highest-charting soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie. Four other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob plummets from #3 to #45…Charlie Wilson’s Love, Charlie drops from #4 to #25…Gary Allan’s Set You Free drops from #8 to #16… Taylor Swift’s Red drops from #10 to #12.
Joe Budden’s No Love Lost debuts at #15. This is Budden’s second top 20 album as a solo artist. Joe Budden reached #8 in 2003. In addition, he climbed to #2 as a member of Slaughterhouse with Welcome To: Our House in 2012.
I mentioned earlier that Maroon 5’s Overexposed rebounds from #32 to #20. The album tops the 500K mark in digital sales this week. It’s the group’s first album to reach 500K in digital sales. But three of its previous albums have come close. It Won’t Be Soon Before Long has sold 479K digital copies. Hands All Over has sold 475K. Songs About Jane has sold 347K. Now, I’ll tell you the percentage that digital albums represent of these albums' total sales. And I’ll put the albums in chronological order (so you can track the growing importance of the digital marketplace): Songs About Jane (digital represents just 7% of its total sales), It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (21%), Hands All Over (37%) and Overexposed (46%).
The Les Miserables soundtrack drops from #17 to #35 in its eighth week. The album returns to #1 on the Official U.K. chart. This is its third week on top.
Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 blockbuster Rumours drops from #40 to #64 in its 152nd week on the chart. It’s #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the third week; the second week in a row.
Identity Thief was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.
Mumford & Sons’ new DVD, The Road To Red Rocks, enters Top Music Videos at #1. The group’s Big Easy Express won a Grammy on Sunday for Best Long Form Music Video. (Many previous music videos were filmed at Red Rocks, a stunning outdoor venue near Morrison, Colo. They include U2’s Live At Red Rocks: Under A Blood Red Sky, Stevie Nicks’ Live At Red Rocks and Dave Matthews Band’s Live At Red Rocks 8.15.95.)
Coming Attractions: Bullet For My Valentine’s Temper Temper is expected to be next week’s top new entry with sales in the 30K range. The Bombshell: The New Musical From Smash soundtrack will probably have sales in the 15K range. Also due: Foals’ Holy Fire. Also expect a resurgence for Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions, due to the release of a deluxe edition. The album has climbed as high as #2.