Sometimes knowing what song or album will be on the top of the charts in the coming week is a no-brainer (for example, if Kanye West has a new album planned, you can bet it will be in the top spot), while other times it can be a bit of a guessing game.
When it’s unknown who is going to reach first place, speculating and trying to figure out who will win can be a lot of fun, except perhaps for those waiting to see where they settle.
This past week was a guessing game, with superstars Lana Del Rey and Linkin Park battling it out with Sam Smith to see who would be first, second, and third. Every industry professional had their own ideas and reasoning, but in the end, it can be impossible to know sometimes.
It looks like congratulations go to Ms. Del Rey, who this week earns her first number one album with "Ultraviolence", only her second full length. Previously, she made it to the runner-up slot with "Born To Die", the LP that helped her become the household name she is today. The album sold 182,000 copies in the past seven days, which interestingly enough is more than "Born To Die" and other top ten title "Paradise" (her Grammy-nominated EP) combined.
Right behind her is UK newcomer Sam Smith with "In The Lonely Hour", a fact that surprised many in the music business. While his single “Stay With Me” just reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, he is still a fairly unknown name, whereas Linkin Park has notched five number one albums. In fact, with their #3 placement, this makes "The Hunting Party" the rock band’s lowest charting regular release of their career. Smith and Linkin Park sold 166,000 and 110,000, respectively.
After that, there are an additional three new albums that found their way into the top ten this week. Country legend Willie Nelson places "Band of Brothers" at #5, making it only his third to reach the upper tier of the chart.
Band sold 37,000, just four thousand more than Jennifer Lopez, whose eighth LP A.K.A. sells a disappointing 33,000. This is actually the lowest first week sales count for the diva pop star, including her Spanish-language album "Como Ama Una Mujer", which outsold A.K.A. by at least 15,000.
The last new title in the register is by Canadian electro maven Deadmau5 and his new (oddly-titled) "while1<2", which sold 30,000. While Deadmau5 isn’t exactly a well-known name in many circles around the country, his album may not see a drastic dip in charting position next week, as it was only available in digital form during the first week, with the physical copy being released this week.
That’s it for new titles in the top 10 of this week’s Billboard 200, and the end of an exciting race to number one!