Another tweak to Billboard’s chart rules last year made it harder to score big opening-week numbers. In recent years, it became common for artists to “bundle” their album, often in download form, with the sale of merchandise or concert tickets. Last year, in acknowledgment that these practices distorted the charts’ “intended goal of accurately reflecting consumer intent,” Billboard stopped counting sales from those deals on its chart.
Adele’s “30” has been intensely anticipated by fans since at least early last year, when Adele said at a party that her album could be expected that fall. And the rollout of the album has been as high-profile as any artist could want, with a prime-time television special; special editions of the album sold by Target and Walmart; and a radio single, “Easy on Me,” that was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks straight. (“Easy on Me” returns to No. 1 on the Hot 100 this week, displacing Swift’s “All Too Well,” which moves to No. 4.) On Tuesday, Adele announced a weekend residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, running from Jan. 21 to April 16.
Of the 692,000 copies of “30” that were sold as complete packages — albums, in other words — 205,000 were digital downloads and 487,000 were on physical formats, including 378,000 CDs, 108,000 vinyl LPs and fewer than 2,000 cassettes. The vinyl sales for “30” were the second-most recorded in a single week since at least 1991, when SoundScan, the predecessor of MRC, began keeping accurate count of record sales. The top seller? Swift’s new “Red (Taylor’s Version),” which sold 114,000 copies on vinyl just a week before, when it opened at No. 1.
This week, that version of “Red” falls to second place on the chart. “Certified Lover Boy” is No. 3, “An Evening With Silk Sonic,” the new project by Silk Sonic — a.k.a. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — is No. 4, and Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” is in fifth place.
Summer Walker’s “Still Over It” is in sixth place, and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s “Raise the Roof” opens at No. 7.
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