Week Ending June 10, 2012. Albums: Older Artists Rock!
The surprise success this year of Lionel Richie's Tuskegee (which is the #2 best-seller so far this year) shows that veteran artists have an advantage in the chart wars. Older fans are probably the most loyal and reliable album buyers. This week, two albums debut in the top five by acts that have been around even longer than Richie. The Beach Boys' That's Why God Makes The Radio enters The Billboard 200 at #3. Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Americana debuts at #4. The Beach Boys first charted in November 1962; Young (with The Buffalo Springfield) in March 1967.
This week's lofty debut gives the Beach Boys a 49-year span of top five albums. The group first made the top five on the mono chart with Surfin' U.S.A. on June 22, 1963. (The current chart will appear in the Billboard issue dated June 23, 2012.) Only Frank Sinatra has had a longer span of top five albums. Sinatra's top five albums span 62 years and two months, from The Voice Of Frank Sinatra (March 23, 1946) to Nothing But The Best (June 7, 2008). FYI, Tony Bennett is in third place, just a couple of weeks behind the Beach Boys. His top five albums span nearly 49 years, from I Left My Heart In San Francisco (Nov. 24, 1962) to Duets II (Nov. 5, 2011).
The Beach Boys first hit the top five when John F. Kennedy was President. They're still going strong under Barack Obama. Sinatra's run was even more impressive. He first made the top five when Harry Truman was President. He made it most recently under George W. Bush.
That's Why God Made The Radio is the Beach Boys' highest-charting album since the hits compilation Endless Summer reached #1 in October 1974. It's the group's highest-charting album of new material since Summer Days (And Summer Nights!) hit #2 in September 1965.
Americana is Young's 12th career top 10 album (counting three albums with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). It's his highest-charting album since CSNY's hits compilation So Far hit #1 in November 1974. It's his highest-charting album apart from CSNY since Harvest hit #1 in March 1972. Young's album features such beloved folk standards as Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susanna" and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land." It's the instant front-runner to win a Grammy as Best Americana Album.
This is the second album titled Americana to reach the top five. The Offspring hit #2 in January 1999 with an album by that title.