The calendar says 2018, but the top 10 on the Billboard 200 suggests otherwise. Of the five albums that debut in the top 10 this week, three are by artists who have been turning out albums for more than 40 years.
David Byrne lands his first top 10 album — either solo or fronting his legendary group, Talking Heads — as American Utopia debuts at No. 3. The album arrives more than 40 years after the release of Talking Heads’ debut album, Talking Heads: 77. Byrne’s album was boosted by a concert ticket/album sale redemption promotion, similar to the one that sent Bon Jovi’s 2016 album This House Is Not for Sale back to No. 1 two weeks ago.
Talking Heads’ highest-charting album was Speaking in Tongues, which reached No. 15 in October 1983. Byrne’s highest-charting album as a solo artist before this week was Love This Giant, a collaboration with St. Vincent, which debuted and peaked at No. 23 in September 2012.
Judas Priest land their first top five album, as Firepower debuts at No. 5. The heavy metal band’s last studio album, Redeemer of Souls, debuted and peaked at No. 6 in July 2014. These are the first two top 10 albums for Priest, who released their first album in 1974. As with Byrne’s album, Judas Priest’s debut was boosted by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer.
Jimi Hendrix lands his 10th top 10 album, as Both Sides of the Sky debuts at No. 8. The rock icon has now had as many top 10 albums (five) since he died in 1970 as he did while he was alive. This week’s debut puts Hendrix back in the top 10 47 and a half years after he died at age 27. No other artist in chart history has cracked the top 10 this long after his death. Hard to imagine, but Hendrix would be 75 now, had he lived. If he was 75, would he still be popular? Or is part of his appeal that he is eternally young?
In addition, this week’s debut pushes Hendrix’s span of top 10 albums past the 50-year mark. The Jimi Hendrix Experience first cracked the top 10 the week of Oct. 7, 1967, with Are You Experienced?. Among rock artists, only the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan have had longer spans of top 10 albums.
Both Sides of the Sky contains 10 previously unreleased recordings made between 1968 and 1970. It’s the third in a trilogy of albums that house, according to Hendrix’s record labels, the “best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining” in Hendrix’s vault. The album was preceded by 2010’s Valleys of Neptune (No. 4) and 2013’s People, Hell and Angels (No. 2).
Byrne’s album was this week’s top seller in traditional album sales, but lost out to rapper Logic’s mixtape Bobby Tarantino II when streaming and digital track sales were factored in. The vast majority of the points that the Byrne, Judas Priest, and Hendrix albums accrued this week came from traditional album sales. By contrast, several hip-hop albums in the top 10 received the vast majority of their points from streaming. Since late 2014, both sales and streaming have counted toward placement on the Billboard 200.
Logic’s Bobby Tarantino II mixtape enters the Billboard 200 at No. 1. Logic’s initial Bobby Tarantino mixtape reached No. 12 in July 2016. Bobby Tarantino II is the third No. 1 in the past seven months that was a sequel. Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2, which debuted at No. 1 in September 2017, was the sequel to a 2015 mixtape. Migos’s Culture II, which debuted at No. 1 in February, was the sequel to a full-length album that debuted at No. 1 in February 2017.
Sequels have long dominated the film industry. Now we’re starting to see more sequels in the music field. It makes eminent sense, even if the titles are less creative than a new and original one would be.
Speaking of sequels, Lil Yachty lands his highest-charting album to date, as Lil Boat 2 debuts at No. 2. His initial Lil Boat mixtape peaked at No. 106 in 2016. Lil Yachty’s first full-length album, Teenage Emotions, peaked at No. 5 in June 2017.
Black Panther: The Album drops from No. 1 to No. 4 in its fifth week. The album has spent three weeks on top. The album is No. 1 on Top Soundtracks for the fifth week. The film was No. 1 at the box office for the fifth consecutive weekend. It’s the first film since Avatar to top the weekend box office five weekends in a row. (Avatar was No. 1 for seven consecutive weekends in 2009-10).
The Greatest Showman soundtrack drops from No. 2 to No. 6 in its 14th week. The album is No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart for the 10th consecutive week.
Migos’s Culture II drops from No. 4 to No. 6 in its seventh week. The album debuted at No. 1. Ed Sheeran’s ÷ drops from No. 5 to No. 9 in its 54th week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1. Post Malone’s Stoney drops from No. 6 to No. 10 in its 66th week. The album peaked at No. 4.
Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Torey Lanez’s Memories Don’t Die drops from No. 3 to No. 16. Imagine Dragons’ Evolve drops from No. 7 to No. 12. Camila Cabello’s Camila drops from No. 8 to No. 13. Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. drops from No. 9 to No. 15. 6ix9ine’s DAY69 drops from No. 10 to No. 20.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats land their second top 20 album, as Tearing at the Seams debuts at No. 11. An eponymous album by the ensemble reached No. 17 in 2015.
Taylor Swift’s Reputation rebounds from No. 29 to No. 23 in its 18th week. The album tops the 2 million mark in traditional album sales this week. It sold most of that total (1,216,000) in its first week, and took the next 17 weeks to claw its way to 2 million.
Kane Brown’s Kane Brown drops from No. 24 to No. 27 in its 67th week. The album peaked at No. 5. The album logs its ninth week at No. 1 on Top Country Albums.
Drake’s Take Care drops from No. 48 to No. 56 in its 263rd chart week. The album debuted at No. 1 in December 2011. The album logs its third week at No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums.
Drake’s “God’s Plan,” which entered the Hot 100 at No. 1 seven weeks ago, sits tight in its eighth week. “God’s Plan” is the first song to spend its first eight weeks at No. 1 since Adele’s “Hello” spent its first 10 weeks on top in 2015-16. It’s the first song by a male artist to spend its first eight weeks at No. 1 since Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” which spent its first 14 weeks on top in 1997-98.
“God’s Plan” seems likely to log 10 or more weeks at No. 1. It would be Drake’s second song to do so, following his 2016 smash “One Dance,” which spent 10 weeks on top. Drake is vying to become the second male solo artist with two singles that have logged 10 or more weeks at No. 1. Pharrell Williams was the first, but only combining lead and featured roles. He was featured on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (12 weeks on top in 2013) and followed up with his own “Happy” (10 weeks in 2014).
Drake’s “God’s Plan” sold 49K digital copies last week, which allows it to log its sixth week at No. 1 on Top Digital Songs.
“God’s Plan” logs its eighth week at No. 1 on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the Official U.K. Singles Chart. Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” holds at No. 2 in its 29th week. The song logged six weeks at No. 1. Bruno Mars & Cardi B’s “Finesse” holds at its No. 3 peak in its 11th week.
“Meant to Be” by Bebe Rehxa & Florida Georgia Line jumps from No. 5 to No. 4 in its 21st week. This equals the peak position of Florida Georgia Line’s breakthrough hit, “Cruise” (featuring Nelly), which reached No. 4 in July 2013. “Meant to Be” holds at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs for the 16th consecutive week. Will it match “Cruise” for weeks at No. 1 on the country chart? The song topped the country chart for 24 weeks, which was the all-time record until Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” logged 34 weeks at No. 1 last year.
Post Malone’s “Psycho” (featuring Ty Dolla $ign) dips from No. 4 to No. 5 in its third week. The song debuted and peaked at No. 2. “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey jumps from No. 8 to No. 6 in its sixth week. Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (featuring Young Thug) dips from No. 6 to No. 7 in its 31st week. The song reached No. 1.
“Pray for Me” by the Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar inches up from No. 9 to No. 8 in its sixth week. The song has climbed as high as No. 7. Another hit from Black Panther: The Album, Lamar & SZA’s “All the Stars,” rebounds from No. 11 to No. 10 in its 10th week. The song peaked at No. 7.
BlocBoy JB’s “Look Alive” (featuring Drake) drops from No. 7 to No. 9 in its fifth week. The song peaked at No. 5. Migos’s “Stir Fry” drops out of the top 10 this week.
Camila Cabello’s “Never Be the Same” jumps from No. 19 to No. 16 in its 13th week. If it makes the top 10, this will be the first time that Cabello has had back-to-back top 10 hits.
Imagine Dragons’ “Whatever It Takes” jumps from No. 34 to No. 24 in its seventh week. It’s vying to become the group’s seventh top 20 hit.
Rich the Kid’s “Plug Walk” vaults from No. 48 to No. 25 in its fifth week. It’s the 25-year old rapper’s first top 40 hit. Logic and Marshmello’s “Everyday” jumps from No. 43 to No. 29 in its second week. It’s Logic’s fourth top 30 hit; Marshmello’s third.
Bad Wolves’ cover version of the Cranberries’ 1994 hit “Zombie” sold 44K digital copies, which allows it to zoom from No. 27 to No. 2 on Top Digital Songs. Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer of the Cranberries (and the writer of “Zombie”), died on Jan. 15.
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