Monday, October 29, 2018

Rock & Roll in the NEWS: Where New Rock Meets Old Rock...October 29, 2018 (Eric Clapton's 'Happy Xmas' Debuts, Leads Holiday Albums Chart + Other Action on the Billboard 200)

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Eric Clapton's 'Happy Xmas' Debuts, Leads Holiday Albums Chart
Eric Clapton

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Oct. 27), the A Star Is Bornsoundtrack tallied a second week at No. 1, earning 143,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Oct. 18 (down 38 percent from its bow of 231,000 units), according to Nielsen Music. Of its second-week sum, 86,000 were in album sales (down 47 percent).

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the rest of the Billboard 200:

— Eric Clapton, Happy Xmas – No. 168 — The rock legend is getting the Christmas season started early, as his first holiday effort, Happy Xmas, debuts at No. 168. The set earned 6,000 units, of which nearly all of that sum was in album sales. The title also debuts at No. 1 on the Holiday Albums chart, which ranks the most popular seasonal efforts of the week. The Holiday Albums list is published weekly from mid-October through early January each season.

— Usher & Zaytoven, “A” – No. 31 — Usher’s surprise album, a collaboration with Zaytoven, debuts at No. 31 with 15,000 units (4,000 from album sales). The set was announced on Oct. 11, and released the following day. It marks Usher’s 11th charting album, and Zaytoven’s third. Usher was last on the tally with Hard II Love(No. 5 in 2015) and Zaytoven notched a pair of debuts earlier in 2018 (Trapholizay, No. 78 and Let the Trap Say Amen, No. 49).

— Cher, Dancing Queen – No. 32 — Cher’s all-ABBA covers album Dancing Queenhops back into the top 40 (rising 43-32) with 15,000 units (up 5 percent), following the release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again on digital home video on Oct. 9. Cher has a supporting role in the ABBA-inspired film, and performs two songs in the film. The Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again soundtrack also jumps up the list, climbing 154-135 with 6,000 units (up 3 percent). Expect further gains following the movie’s DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release on Oct. 23.

— Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Look Now – No. 46 — Costello claims his 32nd charting effort with the arrival of Look Now (13,000 units, nearly all from album sales). He made his Billboard 200 chart debut on Dec. 3, 1977 with My Aim Is True, which peaked at No. 32 on the March 18, 1978-dated list.

— System of a Down, Toxicity – No. 179 — The album returns to the list for the first time since 2015, following its vinyl reissue on Oct. 12. The album re-enters with 5,000 units earned (up 83 percent), with nearly 3,000 of that sum in album sales (up 428 percent). The bulk of its sales came from the vinyl LP set (2,000 copies sold), which debuts at No. 4 on the Vinyl Albums chart. Two more System of a Down sets hit the Vinyl Albums chart: the band’s self-titled album bows at No. 10 (1,000 sold) while Mezmerize starts at No. 16 (1,000).

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