Week Ending Oct. 21, 2012. Albums: Aldean’s Fast Train To #1
Jason Aldean's Night Train sold 409K copies in its first week. That's the second biggest opening of the year, trailing only Mumford & Sons' Babel, which opened three weeks ago with sales of 600K. But another, faster train is coming down the track. Taylor Swift's Red, which was released on Monday, is on target to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week.
Night Train is Aldean's first #1 album on The Billboard 200. It's his fourth to crack the top five, following Relentless (#3 in 2007), Wide Open (#4 in 2009) and My Kinda Party (#2 in 2010).
The tally for Night Train constitutes the biggest sales week for a country album since Swift's previous album, Speak Now, opened with sales of 1,047,000 in October 2010. It's the biggest sales week for a country album by a male solo artist since Kenny Chesney's The Road And The Radio sold 469K in its first week in November 2005.
Aldean's total is more than twice as many copies as he sold in his previous best sales week, set when My Kinda Party debuted with sales of 193K in November 2010. That album has sold 2,787,000 copies, which is more than all but one "current" album (as distinct from albums that have become catalog titles.) That album, of course, is Adele's 21 (which has sold 9,918,000 copies.)
So with such potent sales, what kept My Kinda Party from the #1 spot? Speak Now, which was then in its second week at #1.
Night Train sold 199K digital copies. Only one country album has ever sold more digital copies in one week. That's also Speak Low, which sold 278K digital copies in its opening week. Will Red set a new record next week? I'll say that's a safe bet.
Night Train also enters Top Country Albums at #1. It's Aldean's third #1 on that chart. Relentless topped the chart for one week; My Kinda Party for 12 weeks in 2012 (after Speak Now had receded).
Brandy's Two Eleven debuts at #3. It's her fourth album to reach #2 or #3; she has yet to hit #1. All six of Brandy's studio albums have made the top 20. She first cracked the top 20 in March 1995 when her debut album, Brandy, peaked at #20. Brandy, 33, has been a star most of her life. She was just 15 when she landed her first top 10 hit song, "I Wanna Be Down," in November 1994.
Scotty McCreery's Christmas With Scotty McCreery debuts at #4. It's his third top 10 album, following American Idol Season 10 Highlights (#10 in 2011) and Clear As Day (#1 in 2011). McCreery is the second American Idol alum to crack the top 10 with a holiday album. He follows Clay Aiken, who took Merry Christmas With Love to #4 in 2004. (David Archuleta's 2009 album Christmas From The Heart stalled at #30.) This is the first holiday album to crack the top 10 this season, but it won't be the last. Lady Antebellum's On This Winter's Night is due on next week's chart. Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas Baby and Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night) are other upcoming releases with a shot at the top 10.