Don’t tell Kanye West, but Drake's new album, Nothing Was The Same, sold slightly more than twice as many copies as West's Yeezus sold (327K) when it debuted in June. Drake's 658K opening constitutes the fattest one-week total for a hip-hop album since Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV sold 964K in its first week in September 2011. That puts Drake's album ahead of not only Yeezus, but also Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail (528K).
Among all 2013 albums, Nothing Was The Same trails only Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, which sold 968K copies when it debuted in March.
Nothing Was The Same sold even more copies this week than Drake's last album, Take Care, which bowed with sales of 631K in November 2011 (when it was boosted by Thanksgiving sales). Drake is one of only two artists who have released two albums since January 2010 that got off to 500K+ starts. The other is Taylor Swift, who towers over everybody with her fast starts for Speak Now (1,047,000) and Red (1,208,000).
This is Drake's third album in a row to enter The Billboard 200 at #1. It follows Thank Me Later and Take Care.
Drake, who will turn 27 on Oct. 24, was born in Toronto. Only one other Canadian artist has ever sold more copies of an album in one week than Drake did this week. That's Shania Twain, whose 2002 album Up! opened with sales of 874K copies.
Nothing Was The Same is the fourth album so far this year to sell more than 500K copies in its first week. It follows the aforementioned Timberlake and Jay Z albums and Luke Bryan's Crash My Party (528K). This is the first year since 2007 that four albums debuted with sales of 500K in the first nine months of the year.
Nothing Was The Same is also #1 on Top Digital Albums. It sold 387K digital copies, which allows it to set a new one-week digital sales record for a hip-hop album. The old record was held by Tha Carter IV, which sold 362K digital copies in its first week.
Twelve songs from the album enter Hot Digital Songs this week. Drake has the top six new entries on that chart and eight of the top 10 new entries.
Drake's new album enters the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart at #2. That's Drake's highest ranking to date in the U.K.
Kings of Leon’s sixth studio album, Mechanical Bull, debuts at #2. It’s the band’s second album in a row to debut at #2. Mechanical Bull enters the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart at #1. It's the band's fourth #1 in the U.K., following Because Of The Times, Only By The Night and Come Around Sundown. The Nashville-based rock band has yet to land a #1 in its home country. Incidentally, previous top 10 albums with the word "bull" in their titles include Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' The Lonely Bull (#10 in 1966) and Cat Stevens' Catch Bull At Four (#1 in 1972). And that's no bull.
Cher’s Closer To The Truth debuts at #3. It's her highest-charting solo album ever, surpassing Believe and The Very Best Of Cher, both of which peaked at #4. Sonny & Cher had one higher-charting album, Look At Us, which spent eight weeks at #2 in September and October 1965. (It spent that entire time behind the Beatles' Help! soundtrack.)
This gives Cher top five albums spanning just over 48 years. (Look At Us moved into the top five on Sept. 4, 1965.) That sets a new record for a female artist. Barbra Streisand's top five albums span just under 48 years, from The Second Barbra Streisand Album in October 1963 to What Matters Most in September 2011.
(Streisand still holds the record for the longest span of top 10 albums. Hers span more than 49 years, from The Barbra Streisand Album in July 1963 to Release Me in October 2012.)
Closer To The Truth is Cher's first studio album since Living Proof , which was released in the U.S. in March 2002. That's the longest gap between studio albums in Cher's long career.
Cher hasn't appeared on the Hot 100 since May 2002, when "Song For The Lonely" wound up a six-week stay. That's her longest absence from the chart since she began her career. Her previous longest shut-out was a little more than eight years, between "Hell On Wheels" in October 1979 and "I Found Someone" in November 1987. Will Cher's new "I Hope You Find It" end that shut-out? Place your bets.
Elton John’s 31st studio album, The Diving Board, debuts at #4. It’s his 18th top 10 album. He's one of only 10 artists in chart history to have amassed 18 or more top 10 albums. The only other male artists to have done so are Frank Sinatra (39), Elvis Presley (27), Bob Dylan (20), Paul McCartney (18) and George Strait (18).
The Diving Board is Elton's second top 10 album in a little less than three years. The Union, a collabo with Leon Russell, reached #3 in October 2010. This marks the first time that Elton has had two top 10 albums within a three-year period since his 1971-1976 heyday.
Elton sang "Home Again," a song from the album, on the Emmys on Sept. 22. Will the song crack the Hot 100? It would be Elton's first Hot 100 entry since July 2000, when "Someday Out Of The Blue (Theme From El Dorado)" wound up a 15-week stay. Again, place your bets.
This marks the first time that Cher and Elton have each had albums in the top 10 at the same time. Elton was a guest on a rather famous Cher TV special on Feb. 12, 1975. They performed "Bennie And The Jets" together. (Bette Midler and Flip Wilson were also guests on the show, which aired back when network TV specials constituted event television.)
Luke Bryan's Crash My Party holds at #6 for the second week. In addition, it returns to #1 on Top Country Albums. This is its fifth week on top. That ties Blake Shelton's Based On A True Story… for the most weeks at #1 so far this year for an album by a male solo artist. Next week, it will become the sixth album to sell 1 million copies in 2013.
Dream Theater's Dream Theater debuts at #7. It's the "progressive metal" band's 12th studio album; its third in a row to debut in the top 10.
Metallica's Metallica: Through The Never debuts at #9. It's the band's ninth top 10 album. The band first cracked the top 10 in October 1988 with …And Justice For All. The new album is the soundtrack to the band's IMAX concert feature film of the same name. ("Through The Never" is the title of a song on the band's 1991 album Metallica, which is the best-selling album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking U.S. music sales in 1991.) Metallica: Through The Never enters Top Soundtracks at #1, displacing Teen Beach Movie. It's the first soundtrack from a rock band's movie to top that chart since Pearl Jam Twenty in September 2011.
Lorde's "Royals" holds at #1 for the second week on Hot Digital Songs (294K, the first time since June 2 that the #1 seller has sold fewer than 300K.) Will "Royals" also move up to #1 on the Hot 100, dethroning Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball"? 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: Drake's Nothing Was The Same debuts at #1 (658K). It's his fourth top 10 album or EP… Kings of Leon’s Mechanical Bull debuts at #2 (110K). It's the group's third top 10 album…Cher’s Closer To The Truth debuts at #3 (63K). It's her fifth top 10 album (counting one with Sonny & Cher)…Elton John’s The Diving Board debuts at #4 (47K). It’s his 18th top 10 album… Jack Johnson's From Here To Now To You drops from #1 to #5 in its second week (37K).
The Second Five: Luke Bryan's Crash My Party holds at #6 for the second week its seventh week (36K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…Dream Theater’s Dream Theater debuts at #7 (34K). It’s the group’s third top 10 album…Krewella's Get Wet debuts at #8 (27K). It's the dance music trio's first top 10 album… Metallica's Metallica: Through The Never debuts at #9 (26K). It's the band's ninth top 10 album…Justin Moore’s Off The Beaten Path drops from #2 to #10 in its second week (25K).
Seven albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Chris Young's A.M. drops from #3 to #18. MMG: Self Made 3 drops from #4 to #19. Avicii's True drops from #5 to #16. 2 Chainz's B.O.A.T.S. 2# METIME drops from #7 to #15. Keith Urban's Fuse drops from #8 to #14. The Weeknd's Kiss Land drops from #9 to #21. Billy Currington’s We Are Tonight dives from #10 to #51.
Alan Jackson’s The Bluegrass Album debuts at #11. The title echoes Barbra Streisand's 1985 smash, The Broadway Album. In both cases, superstar artists were reaching back to their roots. Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs have previously charted with albums with the word "bluegrass" in their titles. This is Jackson's first studio album to fall short of the top 10 since 2000's When Somebody Loves You, but it's a special project, so let's not make too much of that.
Chvrches' The Bones Of What You Believe debuts at #12. This is the debut album by the Scottish synth-pop trio.
Sting’s The Last Ship debuts at #13. It's Sting's first studio album to miss the top 10 since Songs From The Labyrinth in 2006. And that was a special case: a classical album of music by composer John Dowland. This is Sting's first full-length album of original material to fall short of the top 10 since The Police's sophomore album Reggatta de Blanc in 1979. Ouch.
Sammy Hagar's Sammy Hagar & Friends debuts at #23. It's one of two "& Friends" collections on this week's chart. Alabama & Friends, which debuted at #8 four weeks ago, is #101. Hagar first charted in May 1974 as a member of Montrose.
Imagine Dragons' Night Visions, which holds at #25 for the second week, tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. It's only the seventh album in digital history to sell 1 million digital copies. It's the third debut album to achieve this feat, following Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More (1,656,000) and Lady Gaga's The Fame (1,076,000).
Glee Cast's Glee Sings The Beatles debuts at #38. It's the first full-length Glee album devoted to the music of one artist. Two Glee EPs were devoted to the music of one artist: Glee: The Music, The Power Of Madonna, which hit #1 in April 2010, and Britney 2.0, which hit #43 in September 2012.
What was the first "tribute album" to the Beatles to make The Billboard 200? The Hollyridge Strings' The Beatles Song Book, which charted in June 1964. Two more charted the same week in September 1964: The Chipmunks with David Seville's The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles' Hits and Beatles' producer George Martin's Off The Beatle Track.
Nirvana's In Utero re-enters the chart at #46 in the wake of the release of a 20th anniversary edition. It enters Top Catalog Albums at #1, displacing Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Nirvana's music video, Live & Loud, enters Top Music Videos at #1, displacing Madonna's MDNA World Tour. In Utero was Nirvana's third of three studio albums. It was the trio's follow-up to Nevermind. It's never easy to follow such an iconic album, but In Utero did well. It sold 180K copies in its first week, which allowed it to interrupt Garth Brooks' run at #1 with In Pieces. (Sales to date: 4,258,000.) Just six months after the album was released, Kurt Cobain died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.
Coming Attractions: Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2 will debut at #1 next week with first-week sales in the 350K range. Lorde's debut album, Pure Heroine, will open at #3 with sales around 110K. Tyler Farr's Redneck Crazy will open around #6 (24K); HAIM's Days Are Gone around #8 (20K). Also due: Hillsong Young & Free's We Are Young & Free (12K), Nelly’s M.O. (12K) and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' Unvarnished (10K).