Jason Aldean's 'Night Train' Rolls To No. 1 On Billboard 200
Brandy's 'Two Eleven' debuts at No. 3, her first top 10 in more than eight years.
As forecast last week, Jason Aldean's Night Train chugs to a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart, opening atop the ranking with 409,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The Broken Bow release not only secures the country superstar his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 but also the second-largest debut of the year. Only Mumford & Sons' Babel, which moved 600,000 in its first week (Oct. 13), started with a bigger number. (The staff at RED Distribution can celebrate both achievements, as both Babel and Night Train are distributed by the indie company.)
As Night Train pulls into the No. 1 spot, Aldean bests his previous biggest sales week, tallied when his last album, My Kinda Party, debuted with 193,000 in November 2010. The set bowed and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, blocked from No. 1 by Taylor Swift's Speak Now, which was in its second week at No. 1.
Aldean doesn't have Swift to deal with this time around, as his album arrives one week before Swift's new Red, which hit retail Monday night (Oct. 22). Aldean is, however, set to step aside next week when Red makes its expected massive debut, possibly breaking the 1 million sales barrier in its first week.
Night Train also stations itself atop Billboard's Country Albums chart, marking Aldean's third leader on the list, following My Kinda Party (12 weeks at No. 1 in 2011) and Relentless (one week in 2007). The new album is led by first single "Take a Little Ride," which spent two weeks at No. 1 on Country Songs earlier this month. New track "The Only Way I Know How," with Luke Bryan and Eric Church, enters Country Airplay this week at No. 47.
As Aldean arrives, Mumford & Sons' Babel slips to No. 2 (74,000, down 23%) after three weeks atop the Billboard 200. The set has sold 938,000 in its first four frames.
Brandy scores her first top 10 on the Billboard 200 in more than eight years, as Two Eleven debuts at No. 3 (65,000). The R&B singer, who first appeared on the list 18 years ago this month, had last ranked in the top 10 with Afrodisiac, which also began at No. 3 the week of July 17, 2004. Two Eleven is Brandy's fourth Billboard 200 top 10. It opens as her second No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, following 2002's Full Moon. Current single "Put It Down," featuring Chris Brown, has reached No. 3 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
2011 American Idol winner Scotty McCreery enters the Billboard 200 at No. 4 with Christmas With Scotty McCreery (41,000). The teen country singer debuted at No. 1 with his first studio album, Clear As Day, a year ago. And, a have-you-started-your-holiday-shopping-yet alert: The new set marks the first top 10 holiday album this season.
A third country singer starts in the Billboard 200 top five this week, as Jamey Johnson bows at No. 5 with Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran (32,000). Johnson's second top five, following 2010's The Guitar Song (No. 4), includes such high-profile guests as Elvis Costello, Alison Krauss and Willie Nelson and serves as an ode to the late Cochran, who penned such country classics as Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces."
P!nk's former No. 1 The Truth About Love rises 8-6 (31,000, down 15%) on the Billboard 200, followed by Miguel's Kaleidoscope Dream (11-7; 22,000, down 28%) and Little Big Town's Tornado (14-8; 22,000, down 6%).Adele's former 24-week leader 21 (the longest reign for a set by a woman in the chart's 56-year history) rebounds 15-9 (21,000, down 5%), marking the album's return to the top 10 after six weeks between Nos. 12 and 15, while Dethklok's Metalocalypse: Dethalbum III soundtrack debuts at No. 10 (20,000). The first two soundtrack editions of the Adult Swim series peaked at Nos. 21 and 15 in 2007 and 2009, respectively.
On the Digital Songs chart, PSY's "Gangnam Style" returns for a second week at No. 1 after three weeks ranked between Nos. 2 and 4. The song registers a 1% decline to 229,000 downloads sold. Taylor Swift roars in at No. 2 with "State of Grace" (209,000). The song is the fifth and final track that the country/pop star has released in advance of "Red." Three of those titles entered Digital Songs at No. 1 ("We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," "Begin Again" and "I Knew You Were Trouble"), while the title cut began at No. 2.
Swift's "Trouble" falls 1-4 (156,000, down 62%), above Ke$ha's "Die Young," which lifts 5-3 (156,000, up 13%), while Maroon 5's "One More Night" descends 4-5 (151,000, down 6%). Fun.'s "Some Nights" holds at No. 6 on Digital Songs (125,000, down 9%), followed by Rihanna's "Diamonds" (118,000, up 10%) and Swift's "Never" (112,000, down 10%). Following his well-received double duties as host and musical guest on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (Oct. 20), Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" ascends 22-9 with Greatest Gainer honors (106,000, up 99%). The lead single from Mars' sophomore album, "Unorthodox Jukebox," due Dec. 11, debuted at No. 11 two weeks ago.
T.I.'s "Ball," featuring Lil Wayne, enters Digital Songs at No. 10 (94,000). The song's video premiered on VH1 on Monday (Oct. 22). "Ball" previews T.I.'s album "Trouble Man," due Dec. 18.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Oct. 21) totaled 5.3 million units, up 3% compared with last week's sum (5.1 million) and up 9% compared with the comparable sales week of 2011 (4.8 million).
Year-to-date album sales stand at 234.1 million, down 4% compared with the same total at this point last year (243.7 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 22.07 million downloads, essentially flat compared with last week (22.08 million) and up 8% stacked next to the comparable week of 2011 (20.5 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 1.1 billion, up 6% compared with the same total at this point last year (1 billion).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2011 when Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto launched at No. 1 (447,000), followed by new arrivals in Kelly Clarkson's Stronger at No. 2 (163,000) and Michael Buble's Christmas (141,000). Twitter: @billboardbiz
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