On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Aug. 19), Arcade Fire tops the list with its third straight No. 1, Everything Now. The set earned 100,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Aug. 3, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 93,000 were in traditional album sales. Everything Now is the only album to debut in the top 10, as the next highest new entry is way down at No. 27: Vic Mensa’sThe Autobiography.
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 latest Billboard 200 chart:
— Michael Jackson, Thriller - No. 126 — Michael Jackson’s landmark Thrilleralbum becomes just the 16th album to spend 300 weeks on the Billboard 200. The former No. 1, which was released in 1982, climbs from No. 165 to No. 126 in its 300th week on the tally. Thriller debuted on the list dated Dec. 25, 1982 at No. 11, and rose to No. 1 on the Feb. 26, 1983-dated tally. It spent 37 weeks at No. 1 – the most weeks at No. 1 for an album by an artist. (Only the soundtrack to West Side Story spent more weeks atop the list: 54.)
Thriller is easily Jackson’s longest-charting album. It’s well ahead of his second-longest running effort, the 2003 greatest hits album Number Ones, with 220 weeks.
The album with the most weeks on the chart continues to be Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, with 931 weeks on the list. Following it are Johnny Mathis’ Johnny’s Greatest Hits (490), Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley and the Wailers (481), the original Broadway cast recording of My Fair Lady (480) and Journey’s Greatest Hits (472).
— Vic Mensa, The Autobiography - No. 27 — As noted above, Arcade Fire leads a quiet chart, as the band’s Everything Now is the only debut within the top 25 of the list. It’s the first time the top 25 has only had one debut since the Feb. 4-dated tally. Comparatively, a week ago (on the Aug. 12 list), there were eight debuts in the top 25, including five in the top 10 (and the entire top three).
The next highest debut on the new chart, after Arcade Fire, belongs to Vic Mensa’s The Autobiography, which launches at No. 27 with 16,000 equivalent album units earned (of which, 8,000 were in traditional album sales).
— Grateful Dead, Dave’s Picks, Volume 23 — McArthur Court, U. of Oregon, Eugene, OR – 1/22/78 - No. 30 — The Grateful Dead continues its robust chart presence on the Billboard 200 as the band’s newest archival release debuts at No. 30. The album, Dave’s Picks, Volume 23, arrives with 15,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 3. All of that sum comes from traditional album sales.
The new set is the Dead’s fifth album to bow on the Billboard 200 in 2017, and all have launched inside the top 40. All told, the group has logged 35 top 40 albums in its career, with 20 of those occurring since 2010 (the most of any act this decade).
So far this year, the Grateful Dead has sold 225,000 albums. Of that sum, 99,000 come from its five archival sets that have arrived on the Billboard 200 in 2017. Notably, the group has sold more albums in 2017 than such acts as Pearl Jam(84,000), Frank Sinatra (126,000) and Elton John (117,000), though less than The Beatles (560,000), The Rolling Stones (234,000) and Pink Floyd(312,000).
On the Top Album Sales chart, the Dead’s Dave’s Picks, Volume 23 starts at No. 4. It’s the highest-charting album for the band on the Nielsen Music-driven sales tally since the list launched in 1991.
— Alice Cooper, Paranormal – No. 32 — Alice Cooper scores back-to-back top 40-charting albums on the Billboard 200 for the first time in more than 40 years, as his new effort, Paranormal, arrives at No. 32. The set — which earned 14,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Aug. 3 — follows 2011’s No. 22-peaking Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Cooper last notched consecutive top 40 albums with a string of eight efforts between April 1971 and August 1976.
— Julia Michaels, Nervous System (EP) – No. 48 — The singer-songwriter (who has written 10 top 40-charting hits on the Billboard Hot 100) arrives with her debut album, which earned 10,000 units. On the Hot 100, the set’s “Issues” moves 35-39 in its 28th chart week.
— Future, HDRXX - No. 52 — The former No. 1 vaults back up the list (115-52) with a 67 percent unit gain (rising to 10,000) thanks to the addition of “You Da Baddest,” featuring Nicki Minaj, to the streaming edition of the album. Meanwhile, “You Da Baddest” debuts at No. 38 on the Hot 100, securing Future his 16th top 40 hit and Minaj her 41st.