Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell And Angels enters The Billboard 200 at #2, just behind Luke Bryan’s Spring Break…Here To Party. This puts the rock legend back in the top five 42-1/2 years after he died at age 27. No other artist in chart history has cracked the top five this long after his death. Elvis Presley is in second place. His Elvis: 2nd To None debuted at #3 in October 2003, a little more than 26 years after his death.
This is the highest ranking for an album by a performer who had passed away since Whitney Houston’s Whitney: The Greatest Hits logged three weeks at #2 in the weeks following her death in February 2012. The last album by a deceased performer to reach #1 was Michael Jackson’s This Is it soundtrack, which debuted at #1 in November 2009.
People, Hell And Angels is, incredibly, Hendrix’s 35th posthumous album to make The Billboard 200. The album consists of 12 previously-unreleased studio recordings which Hendrix recorded between 1968 and 1970.
Hendrix was a star for just three years, from June 1967, when he played the Monterey International Pop Festival, to September 1970, when he died in London of a drug overdose. Here’s a sign of just how long Hendrix has been gone: All of the other artists in this week’s top 10 were born after Hendrix died.
Only one other Hendrix album has climbed as high as #2: Electric Ladyland, which spent two weeks at #1 in November 1968. (Electric Ladyland interrupted an eight-week run on top by Big Brother & the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills. Less than two years after the albums dueled for #1, both Hendrix and Big Brother’s lead singer Janis Joplin were dead.)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience first cracked the top five in February 1968 with Axis: Bold As Love. This week’s debut gives Hendrix a more than 45-year span of top five albums.
This is Hendrix’s fourth top five album since his death. (It follows The Cry Of Love, which hit #3 in 1971, Crash Landing, which reached #5 in 1975, and Valleys Of Neptune, which hit #4 in 2010.) This equals the number of top five albums he had in his lifetime.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was voted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Hendrix was voted a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that same year.
Hard to imagine, but the guitar god would be 70 now, had he lived. If he was 70, would he still be popular? Or is part of his appeal that he is eternally young?
Luke Bryan’s Spring Break…Here To Party enters both The Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums at #1. It’s Bryan’s first #1 album on The Billboard 200; his second on the country chart. (It follows Tailgates & Tanlines, which spent four weeks at #1.) Spring Break…Here To Party is a compilation of 12 songs from Bryan’s four Spring Break EPs, plus two new songs. The album sold 150K copies, which is a little more than the combined total of the four EPs (144K). While the EPs were digital-only, the album is available both as a CD and a digital album. (The album sold 75K digital copies, which was enough to make it #1 on this week’s Top Digital Albums chart.)
Two songs from the album, “Buzzkill” and “Just A Sip,” are the two highest new entries on this week’s Hot Digital Songs chart. They sold 50K and 21K copies, respectively.
Bryan’s Spring Break EPs, which have carried such subtitles as Hangover Edition and Suntan City, demonstrate Jimmy Buffett’s influence in contemporary country music. The pun-loving Buffett probably wishes he’d thought of one of Bryan’s subtitles: It’s A Shore Thing.
Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox drops from #1 to #3 in its 13th week. The album tops 1 million in sales this week. Mars’ previous album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, took 32 weeks to top the 1 million mark. It hit that milestone in May 2011.
Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s To The Good Times and Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions both return to the top 10 after being featured in the iTunes store for $7.99. Here’s To The Good Times jumps from #18 to #7 in its 14th week. Night Visions rebounds from #15 to #8 in its 27th week. This is the highest ranking to date for Here’s To The Good Times. The album debuted at #10 in December and has remained in the top 40 ever since. The album’s first single, “Cruise,” was #1 on Hot Country Songs for five weeks. Its follow-up, “Get Your Shine On,” is in the country top 10.
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz, which last week became the first song in digital history to top 300K in weekly sales eight times, sets a new record this week, topping 300K for a ninth week. (It sold 306K this week.) Also, “Thrift Shop” is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the ninth straight week. It’s the first song to top the digital sales chart for nine weeks since the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling,” which held on for 10 weeks in 2009.
Shameless Plug: Where will “Thrift Shop” rank on the Hot 100? It deserves to be #1, but Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” may well wind up on top for the fourth straight week. You’ll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.
The Top Five: Luke Bryan’s Spring Break…Here To Party debuts at #1 (150K). It’s his fourth top 10 album or EP…Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell And Angels debuts at #2 (72K). It’s his ninth top 10 album…Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox drops from #1 to #3 in its 13th week (51K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Mumford & Sons’ Babel dips from #3 to #4 its 24th week (35K). This is its 18th week in the top 10… Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist dips from #4 to #5 in its 22nd week (29K). This is its third week in the top 10.
The Second Five: Rihanna’s Unapologetic rebounds from #9 to #6 in its 16th week (29K). This is its sixth week in the top 10… Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s To The Good Times rebounds from #18 to #7 in its 14th week (26K). This is its second week in the top 10…Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions rebounds from #15 to #8 in its 27th week (26K). This is its fourth week in the top 10… Now 45 drops from #6 to #9 in its fifth week (24K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…The Lumineers’ The Lumineers drops from #7 to #10 its 49th week (24K). This is its 11th week in the top 10.
Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Atoms for Peace’ Amok drops from #2 to #24. Hillsong United’s Zion dives from #5 to #48. Josh Groban’s All That Echoes drops #8 to #16. Adele’s 21 drops from #10 to #13.
Andrea Bocelli’s Passione rebounds from #24 to #15 in its sixth week. The surge is due to PBS’ airing of a new concert special starring Bocelli and his producer, David Foster.
Boz Scaggs’ Memphis debuts at #17. It’s Scaggs’ highest-charting album since Middle Man hit #8 in June 1980. Scaggs first charted in April 1971 with Moments. Scaggs’ biggest album, 1976’s Silk Degrees, logged five weeks at #2 and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. (It lost to one of the two albums that kept it out of the #1 spot—Stevie Wonder’s landmark Songs In The Key Of Life. What was the other album that kept it out of the #1 spot? Peter Frampton’s blockbuster Frampton Comes Alive!)
The Pitch Perfect soundtrack dips from #17 to #18 in its 20th chart week. This is the 13th time it has been the week’s highest-charting soundtrack from a theatrically-released movie.
Josh Ritter’s The Beast In Its Tracks debuts at #22. It’s Ritter’s highest-charting album to date. It beats his previous album, So Runs The World, which peaked at #41 in May 2010…Of Monsters And Men’s My Head Is An Animal rebounds from #51 to #23 in its 49th week. The album has climbed as high as #6.
The Shake It Up 3 soundtrack debuts at #26. It’s the third album from the Disney Channel series. The first two both made it a little further. Shake It Up: Break It Down reached #22 in July 2011. Shake It Up: Live To Dance hit #13 in 2012.
How To Destroy Angels’ Welcome Oblivion debuts at #30. How To Destroy Angels is headed by Trent Reznor, whose Nine Inch Nails had five top 10 albums from 1992 to 2007….Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans rebounds from #66 to #52 in its 125th week. The album returns to #1 on Top Catalog Albums. This is its fifth week on top.
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, stars of an upcoming Liberace bio-pic on HBO, are on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly. Liberace had five top 10 albums from 1952 to 1954, including Liberace at the piano, which spent two weeks on top in the fall of 1952. The album included the standards “Stardust” and “As Time Goes By.”
Adele’s Live At The Royal Albert Hall returns to #1 on Top Music Videos, displacing Eagles’ Farewell I Tour: Live From Melbourne. This is its 27th week on top.
Oz The Great And Powerful was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.
Coming Attractions: Bon Jovi’s What About Now is likely to debut at #1 next week, with first-week sales of 85K. David Bowie’s The Next Day will probably bow at #2 (75K). The “praise-and-worship” collection Passion: Let The Future Begin will probably debut at #5 (40K). Eric Clapton’s Old Sock and the Sound City—Real To Reel soundtrack will probably open at #6 and #7 (35K each). Mindless Behavior’s All Around The World will probably open at #8 (30K). The week after next, look for Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience to debut at #1 with a total that may be in the 600K range.