Coldplay Headed for Year's Biggest Sales Week Total
Look for first-week sales totals in the 350-375k range, which would top Eric Church's "The Outsiders" for the year's biggest total, easily debuting at No. 1.
All that foreplay -- including one of the most impressive set-ups in a long time -- looks like it will pay off in a spectacular climax.
Coldplay's new album, Ghost Stories, is on track to score the largest sales week of the year.
Industry sources suggest the album, which was released on Monday, may sell upwards of 350,000 to 375,000 copies by the end of the tracking week this Sunday. That figure would easily surpass the current largest week of 2014 set by the debut of Eric Church's The Outsiders, which sold 288,000 in the week ending Feb. 16, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
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Ghost Stories should easily bow at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, landing the British rock band its fourth chart-topper (and fourth No. 1 studio effort in a row). It follows 2011's Mylo Xyloto, which entered atop the list with 447,000. The group previously hit No. 1 with 2008's Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends and 2005's X&Y.
Ghost Stories is the first release from Coldplay since the band moved to Warner Music Group's Atlantic Records, following Warner's acquisition of Parlophone in 2013. That deal included all of Parlophone's artists.
In second place on next week's Billboard 200 chart will likely be country singer Brantley Gilbert, with the arriving Just As I Am. The set should secure the artist his best sales week yet -- with between 175,000 and 200,000 -- and his highest-charting album. He previously topped out at No. 4 in 2011 with Halfway to Heaven, after the formerly independently distributed 2010 set was picked up and reissued by Valory Records.
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Gilbert recently hit No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart with the Just As I Am single "Bottoms Up" and enters the latest tally (dated May 31) with "Small Town Throwdown" at No. 28. The latter track also features fellow Valory acts Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett.
Other albums in the hunt for a high debut on next week's Billboard 200 include former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips' sophomore set, Behind the Light, with maybe 35,000, and the Atlantic Records soundtrack to The Fault In Our Stars, with around 30,000.
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.