Sunday, 31 March 2013

Country Billboard Chart News March 14, 2013

Country Billboard Chart News March 14, 2013

Luke Bryan logged his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as his new compilation, "SPRING BREAK . . . HERE TO PARTY," debuts atop the list. It sold 149,515 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and marks his best sales week yet.
Bryan previously topped out at No. 2 with TAILGATES & TANLINES, his last studio effort, which was released in 2011. It also owned his single largest sales frame, when it bowed with 145,000.

"Spring Break" is mostly a compilation of tracks previously released on Bryan's four earlier "Spring Break"-themed EPs -- all of which were only available as downloads. Released between 2009 and 2012, the four earlier EPs have sold a combined 145,000.
Unlike the four EPs, the new "Spring Break . . . Here to Party" album is available as both a download and a physical CD. Of its sales last week, half were accounted from downloads. Those 75K digital copies, were enough to make it #1 on the week’s Top Billboard Digital Albums chart.
Bryan is currently on tour and at work recording his fourth studio album, the follow-up to "Tailgates & Tanlines." He's slated to co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7 with Blake Shelton, and will also perform on the CBS show.
As "Spring Break" is essentially a compilation of previously released recordings, it's interesting to note how infrequently single-artist compilations are No. 1. The last time a single-act compilation was No. 1 was on the Nov. 14, 2009 chart, when Michael Jackson's "This Is It" soundtrack debuted atop the list.

As well as being Bryan’s first #1 album on The Billboard Top  200; it marks his second #1 on the country chart. “Spring Break” is a compilation of 12 songs, plus two new songs called "Just A Sip" and "Buzzkill” ( >> Video) which were two of the highest new entries on the week’s Hot Digital Songs chart. They sold 50K and 21K copies, respectively.
Bryan’s Spring Break EPs, which have carried such subtitles as Hangover Edition and Suntan City, demonstrate Jimmy Buffett’s influence in contemporary country music. The pun-loving Buffett probably wishes he’d thought of one of Bryan’s subtitles: It’s A Shore Thing.

Spring Break . . . Here to Party: Professional ratings / Reviews
This 2013 album rounds up those four EPs, adding a foul-mouthed demo of "Take My Drunk A** Home," all in service of having one hell of a good time. The song titles give the game away: "Suntan City," "Just a Sip," "If You Ain't Here to Party," "Shore Thing," "Wild Weekend." Despite a "Buzzkill" and "Spring Break-Up," there are no bad times here and no ballads, either. It's all bright, cheerful, polished arena country, designed for the beach or, better still, landlocked college towns pining for sunshine in the midst of March. Not one song is undeniable, the kind that works into the subconscious, but that doesn't really matter, as this is just breezy fun, a collection of cheerful drinking songs that never threaten to careen out of control. (3 STARS Allmusic)

The creation of these Spring Break collections was a stroke of genius for Luke Bryan - and Capitol Nashville - as it gave his fans new out-of-traditional-album-cycle music. The songs here may have at one point been 'also rans' from his regular records (at least the oldest songs here were at one point) but they've now turned into a nice little grouping of seasonal, funk non-threatening party songs that serve as the soundtrack to Spring Break and parties for thousands of fans young and old alike. (3.5 STARS Roughstock)
Its is available on Amazon UK CD (Import) - Amazon UK MP3UK iTunes

Florida Georgia Line hit a new peak on the Billboard Top 200, as its debut full-length album HERE'S TO THE GOOD TIMES jumps 18-7 with sales of 26,009 (up 21% and a 385,308 14-week total) and held at No.2 on the Billboard Country Chart. The set was promoted and sale-priced for $7.99 by the iTunes Store as part of its “Great New Artists” campaign. The set's download sales were up by 58% last week, accounting for slightly more than half of the album's units last week. (The set's physical sales were actually down for the week by 2%.)
The duo's hit single "Cruise," which already hit No. 1 on the Country Songs chart, is now heading towards the Mainstream Top 40 tally (aka: Pop Songs on A new remix of the tune, featuring Nelly, was recently released. This week, the song is bubbling under the threshold of the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart, with 93 spins detected at 10 top 40 radio stations.
FGL’s first single, “Cruise,” was #1 on Hot Country Songs for five weeks. Its follow-up, “Get Your Shine On,” is in the country top 10.

In his fifth chart week C2C festival co-headliner Tim McGraw moved 3-4 on the country placings selling 16,096 copies of TWO LANES OF FREEDOM (down 17%) to go past the 200K mark with a new tally of 213,188.
Taylor Swift at No.3 saw sales of RED pass the 3.5 million sales mark in her home country having reached  3,508,036 in 20 weeks at retail.

Ashley Monroe’s second album LIKE A ROSE (yes there really was a first) on Wea/Warner Bros debuted at No.43 on the Top 200 and No.10 on the Billboard Country chart with sales of 10,737 due to great critical press acclaim, some industry and media events and an appearance Monday (3/11) on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (American Viewers only) when she performed the title cut "Like A Rose".

Most folks, as soon as they hear Ashley Monroe, instantly recognize one thing: she’s the real deal. Her songs resonate so profoundly because they reflect the experiences of an artist who, although she is just 26, has already seen both the best and worst that life has to offer.
Tragedy struck upending her young girl’s world, when Ashley then aged 13, lost her father who was diagnosed with cancer, died. The young girl then immersed herself in music. Monroe and her mother moved to Nashville so that Ashley could pursue her dream. It didn’t take long to find believers. Within a year Monroe had signed a song publishing deal [Wrensong], secured a recording contract with SONY and released a single, “Satisfied,” a sizable hit that put her on the map. Then another roadblock: Her record label merged with a larger company, and declined to release her already-recorded album. Although the SATISFIED album found a home on iTunes, Ashley, only 20, was, in a sense, back where she’d started.

Monroe who as a songwriter has No.1 Billboard Hot Country Songs cuts (Jason Aldean's 2009 single, "The Truth", and Miranda Lambert's 2011 single, "Heart Like Mine") ,  has had some her most rewarding artistic adventures  to date as a member of the Pistol Annies, a trio she co-formed in 2011 with her friend Miranda Lambert  and newcomer Angaleena Presley. Pistol Annies have provided Monroe with yet another outlet for her music.
Miranda is equally excited about fellow Annie Ashley Monroe’s album, Like a Rose. “I love it. I loved her as a solo artist from the second I heard her. I think she’s amazing and I am glad she has new music out there for people to hear,” Miranda praises. “She’s an awesome artist and an incredible singer and writer.”
Vince Gill (L) with Ashley Monroe

LIKE A ROSE, Monroe's highly-anticipated studio album, was produced by 20-time GRAMMY award-winner Vince Gill and Justin Niebank, features songs she co-wrote with the legendary Hall of Fame songwriter Guy Clark as well as many of Nashville's A-list songwriters. Eight of the nine songs are new releases with Used” (co-written by Sally Barris who also is credited on “Weed Instead Of Roses”) being an update of a song that appeared on the 2006 SATISFIED set - “It came to me when I was about 17 and my manager at the time had just bought me this old 1950s Gibson guitar,” Ashley says. It came into my mind that things are worth more used, and I thought about my mom, who had lost my dad when she was 38. I was thinking, she had two kids, she’s been through a lot, and, bless her heart, it’s all gonna be worth it. Vince and I worked up this new version, which made it fresh for me.”

(Marketwire - Mar 5, 2013) See why critics are already calling this the "Album of the Year":

NPR Review by Ken Tucker Ashley Monroe Is 'Like A Rose,' Briars And All >>  Audio

"Ashley Monroe's Like A Rose is the first great album of the year." - Washington Post
"... she's packed [Like A Rose] full of backroad debauchery and heartbreak." - Rolling Stone
"... Like A Rose has the audacious sound of a newcomer whose talent is already in full bloom." - Associated Press
"Nashville's lovers of traditional country have raved about the Pistol Annies member's staggering talent for years. With this Vince Gill-produced album, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, everyone can hear what the fuss is about." - USA Today (4/4 stars)
"... much like the young [Dolly] Parton, Monroe delicately blends traditional musical roots with a modern sensibility." - Chicago Tribune
"... a remarkable collection destined to be counted among the year's best." - AOL Music
"Over a boom-chic chord progression that evokes Johnny Cash and a lush pedal steel riff worthy of an Emmylou Harris ballad, [Monroe] delivers a biographical song about a girl who can't seem to put down roots, no matter where she goes." - American Songwriter
"... Like A Rose laces stirring traditional country with vivid storytelling and Ashley's unforgettable voice to create a timeless collection." - GAC
"... she writes songs like Guy Clark and sings like Dolly Parton...Everything about her is undeniable." - 20-time GRAMMY winner and co-producer, Vince Gill

Ashley’s "Monroe Suede" Live at SXSW 2013 at the Empire Automotive Tuesday March 12  >> YouTube
Ashley Monroe - "Morning After" Live at the Grand Ole Opry >> YouTube
Ashley and Vince Gill speaking about the album:
The Making of "Weed Instead Of Roses" >> YouTube  
The Making of "Used" >> YouTube
The Making of "Like A Rose" >>  YouTube

Related Post: Wall Street Journal Article - The Unflinching Ashley Monroe

LIKE A ROSE is available at Amazon UK CD - Amazon UK MP3 - UK iTunes

Given a rock/Country rock tag and making a bow on the Top 200 at No.67 with sales of 7,027 copies saw Americana Roots Band Son Volt with new album HONKY TONK (Rounder Records). It does not appear on the country chart but made a showing at No.3 on the Billboard Tastemaker Chart.
This 2013 album from Jay Farrar & crew is inspired by the classic honky tonk sound of Bakersfield. Son Volt is an alternative country group formed by Jay Farrar in 1994 after the breakup of the band Uncle Tupelo.
Son Volt

If you love sad songs of wrecked lives and wastage played with fat pedal steel guitar, an aching fiddle and classic images of the American "flyover states" this could be the album for you? - “Honky tonk music is about heartache, heartbreak, the road,” Farrar observes.
Blurb: That music provides a touchstone for eleven new Son Volt songs that excavate the classic honky tonk sound of Bakersfield (and Texas and Tennessee too) yet distill and reimagine it. Honky Tonk stays true to what’s so appealing about honky tonk music, while stretching out its familiar contours into new shapes and spaces.
Rollingstone write: Ever since Jay Farrar's Uncle Tupelo days, you could imagine his big, bourbon-y voice fronting a country band in a Bakersfield roadhouse circa 1963. Honky Tonk comes close to realizing that sound, and it's a gorgeous thing. Key are the twin fiddles of Gary Hunt and Justin Branum – both new to Son Volt – and Brad Sarno and Mark Spencer's pedal steel. The music flickers between tradition (the waltzing "Hearts and Minds") and abstraction (the Eno-ish drones of "Livin' On"). Ditto Farrar's lyrics, which are less wordy than usual but still busy negotiating past and present; see "Seawall," where the ex-punk cheekily drawls, "God save the queen/Of Charleston, West Virginia."

In their second chart week Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell’s OLD YELLOW MOON moved 4-11 with sales of 9,747 (down 38%; 2-week total of 25,682) and The Mavericks with IN TIME fell 8-16 on the country placings with 5,447 copies sold (down 60%; 19,229 sold in 2-weeks)

Billboard Top 200  (Issue dated Chart week of March 23, 2013)

(Country Album positions #1 - #25)

(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)

Albums Due To Drop:
March 19
Josh Rouse/The Happiness Waltz/Yep Roc Records
Thomas Rhett/Thomas Rhett/Valory Music Company
Kacey Musgraves/Same Trailer Different Park/Mercury Nashville)

March 26
Blake Shelton/ Based On A True Story/Warner Music Nashville
Thompson Square/Just Feels Good/Stoney Creek Records
Maggie Rose/ Cut To Impress/(RPM Entertainment
Alan Jackson/Precious Memories, Volume 2/Alan's Country Records/EMI Nashville

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of March 23, 2013)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS  b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and c) Streaming, according to BDS it results in:

Blake Shelton logs a third straight week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs with “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” (Warner Bros./WMN) whilst his wife, Miranda Lambert, vaults 7-2 with “Mama’s Broken Heart” (RCA Nashville), her highest peak since “Over You” crowned the chart dated May 19, 2012.
Lambert’s track adds Greatest Gainer stripes for the biggest overall streaming spike (up 68%) and follows a No. 7 peak with “Fastest Girl in Town” last fall.
Shelton’s third week at the summit marks his longest reign since “God Gave Me You” held for three weeks in October/November 2011. He’s thrice held for more than three weeks, most recently with “Honey Bee,” which spent four weeks atop the chart two years ago.
On the Nielsen BDS-driven Country Airplay chart  Blake’s  song rises 5-3 in its 10th chart week, while Lambert’s song steps 14-13 in its 12th week.

Hot Country Songs is dotted with six debuts from Luke Bryan’s Spring Break . . . Here to Party (Capitol Nashville), led by “Buzzkill,” which snagged the Hot Shot Debut honours with at No. 20 bow.

Carrie Underwood's latest single, "Two Black Cadillacs," the third release from her BLOWN AWAY album, moves 5-4  but holds the USA Today/Country Aircheck/Mediabase No. 1 song in the country this week. "Cadillacs" was penned by acclaimed songwriters Josh Kear and Hillary Lindsey, along with Underwood. Both Kear and Lindsey have had their share of recent successes not only with Underwood, but also for the likes of Gary Allan ("Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)," Lindsey) and Darius Rucker ("True Believers," Kear), among others. By topping that chart in this week, Carrie’s haul of No. 1's reaches a total of 17.

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of March 23, 2013)

Blake Shelton with “Sure Be Cool If You Did” stays Top The Chart for a 3rd week, #1
Miranda Lambert with “Mama’s Broken Heart” is up five slots, #7 - #2
Lady Antebellum with “Downtown” is up three, #6 - #3 
Carrie Underwood with “Two Black Cadillacs” is up one, #5 - #4
Hunter Hayes with former #1, “Wanted” drops three, #2 - #5
Tim McGraw with “One Of Those Nights” is down, #4 - #6
The Band Perry with former #1 “Better Dig Two” is down, #3 - #7
Florida Georgia Line with “Get Your Shine On” is up two, #10 - #8
Lee Brice with “I Drive Your Truck” is down one slot, #8 - #9
Hunter Hayes with “Somebody’s Heartbreak” is up two slots, #12 - #10
Darius Rucker  with “Wagon Wheel” jumps up from #16 - #11
Little Big Town with “Tornado” is down three , #9 - #12
Florida Georgia Line with former #1 “Cruise” is down two, #11 - #13
Kenny Chesney with “Pirate Flag” stays at #14
Thompson Square with “If I Didn’t Have You” is up two,  #17 - #15
Kacey Musgraves with “Merry Go ‘Round” is down one,  #15 - #16
George Strait with “Give It All We Got Tonight” is up two, #19 - #17
Gary Allan with former #1, “Every Storm” (Runs Out Of Rain) drops, #13 - #18
Taylor Swift with former #1 ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is down, #18 - #19
Luke Bryan with “Buzzkill” debuts at #20
Chris Young with “I Can Take It From Here” is up three, #24 - #21
Jason Aldean (w Luke Bryan & Eric Church) and “The Only Way I Know” drops #20 - #22
Eric Church with “Like Jesus Does” is up 3 places, #26 - #23
Carrie Underwood with “Blown Away”, is down two, #22 - #24
Randy Houser with “How Country Feels” drops two slots, #23 - #25

Hot Country Songs
*** No. 1 (3 weeks)  ***  “Sure Be Cool If You Did”  Blake Shelton
** Greatest Gainer/Streaming ** No.2 “Mama’s Broken Heart”  Miranda Lambert
** Greatest Gainer/Airplay  ** No.10 “Somebody’s Heartbreak”  Hunter Hayes
** Greatest Gainer/Digital ** No.11 “Wagon Wheel” Darius Rucker
** Hot Shot Debut  **  No. 20  “Buzzkill”  Luke Bryan
Debut No.29 “Beat This Summer”  Brad Paisley
Debut No.37 “Just A Sip” Luke Bryan
Debut No.40 “In Love With The Girl” Luke Bryan
Debut No.43 “Suntan City” Luke Bryan
Debut No.44 “If You Ain’t Here To Party” Luke Bryan
Debut No.46 “Jump Right In” Zac Brown Band
Debut No.48 “Take My Drunk ass Home” (Demo) Luke Bryan

Billboard Country Chart History
#1 HITS for this chart week in 2008, 2003, 1998, 1993, and 1988:
2008: All-American Girl (Arista) -  Carrie Underwood
2003: Man To Man (MCA) - Gary Allan
1998: Round About Way (MCA)  - George Strait
1993: What Part Of No (BNA) - Lorrie Morgan
1988: Too Gone Too Long (Warner Bros.) - Randy Travis

Billboard Top Ten For Week Ending March 15, 1986:
2. What's A Memory Like You Doing In A Love Like This (MCA) - John Schneider
3. You Should Have Been Gone By Now  (RCA) - Eddy Raven
4. Don't Underestimate My Love For You (MCA) - Lee Greenwood
5. Your Memory Ain't What It Used To Be (Epic)  - Mickey Gilley
6. 100% Chance Of Rain  (Warner Bros.) - Gary Morris
7. Cajun Moon   (Epic)  - Ricky Skaggs
8. She And I (RCA) - Alabama
9. Dreamland Express (RCA) - John Denver
10. In Over My Heart (Columbia) - T.G. Sheppard

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of March 23, 2013

For a third week Tim McGraw with “One Of Those Nights” holds the No.1 spot gaining a 36.184 million audience (-2.486) and securing 5,707 plays (-432).  Tim’s hat trick matches “Felt Good On My Lips” from 2011. A fourth week at #1, would make it his second four week run after 1998’s “Where The Green Grass Grows” single.
Hard on its heels are Capitol Nashville’s  Little Big Town at No.2, who on their 24th chart week with radio single “Tornado”, drew a 35.773 million audience (+3.050) with  5,847 plays (up 406)

 Tradition-minded singer Chris Young claims his sixth top 10 on Billboard’s Country Airplay tally, as “I Can Take It From There” (RCA Nashville), gains 2.4 million audience impressions and leaps 12-9 in its 21st chart week.
He most recently reached the upper tier with “You,” which cracked the top 10 in December 2011, then became his fifth consecutive leader when it topped the Feb. 11, 2012, chart. Young’s streak opened with “Gettin’ You Home” in late 2009, followed by three weeks at No. 1 with “The Man I Want to Be” in the spring of 2010. The Tennessee native scored a pair of leaders in 2011: the twice-released “Voices” in February and “Tomorrow” later that summer. More recently, Young peaked at No. 23 during a 23-week run with “Neon” last summer. Sitting at No. 46 in its third week on Country Digital Songs, “I Can Take It” has sold about 125,000 downloads.

Meanwhile, Thompson Square collects its third top 10—its first in 16 months—with “If I Didn’t Have You,” (Stoney Creek) which improves 1.5 million impressions and steps 11-10 in its 21st chart week. The husband-and-wife duo scored back-to-back top 10s with “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” which became their first No. 1 two years ago, followed by “I Got You,” which peaked at No. 8 in December 2011. The twosome had a near miss when “Glass” peaked at No. 15 last summer. With an opening-week peak at No. 12 last fall on Country Digital Songs, SoundScan reports total sales of roughly 350,000 downloads for “If I Didn’t Have You.”
Brad Paisley’sBeat This Summer” (Arista Nashville) posts a second-week surge of 4.1 million impressions, good for Most Increased Audience honors and a 40-28 improvement in rank.
 Paisley’s track adds Breaker (spins in any amount at 60% of the reporting panel for the first time) and Most Added stripes for 65 new airplay commitments. It received 1171 plays (+812) with a 6.679 million audience. “Summer” introduces Paisley’s upcoming album titled Wheelhouse, an ambitious collection with 21 tracks, including two versions of lead single “Southern Comfort Zone,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Feb. 2 Country Airplay chart. Paisley’s album includes collaborative songs with Mat Kearney, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Eric Idle and LL Cool J. Paisley’s radio chart history includes 10 No. 1 songs, most recently achieved when “Old Alabama” logged three weeks at the summit in the spring of 2011.
Billy Currington debuts for the first time in more than a year, noted as “Hey Girl” (Mercury) bows with Hot Shot Debut stripes at No. 57 with spins at 17 of the 124 stations (.610 million audience; 64 plays)
monitored by Nielsen BDS for the chart. He most recently competed with “Like My Dog,” which spent 19 weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 14 in February 2012. His chart history includes six top 10s, half of which spent time at No. 1. His most recent leader is “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” which led for two weeks in the fall of 2010. Currington’s new song previews his upcoming fifth studio album, which has not yet been titled or scheduled.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (3 weeks)*** "One Of Those Nights" Tim McGraw
** Most Increased Audience/ Most Added ** No. 28 "Beat This Summer" (Arista Nashville) Brad Paisley
** Hot Shot Debut ** No. 57 "Hey Girl" (Mercury) Billy Currington
Debut No. 60 "He Loves To Make Me Cry" (Arista Nashville) Kristen Kelly

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of March 23, 2013

Blake Shelton stays #1 with “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” selling another 73,334 copies of the lead single from Based On A True Story..., to reach some 647,000 in 9 chart weeks
Mrs Shelton (Miranda Lambert) stays at No.2 with “Mama’s Broken Heart” with 58,451 downloads sold

Luke Bryan posted three singles in Top 30 Country chart and 15 in SoundScan’s Top 100 Digital Country Songs from his newly released No.1 album Spring Break...Here To Party. The top selling track “Buzzkill” sold 50,254 to land at No.5

Darius Rucker’s cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” moved 7-3 with a 33% sales increase (56,000 sold) .

Kenny Chesney’sPirate Flag” is fluttering a little with 175,000 copies sold in 5 weeks on the charts. With a No.11 place on its 6th week on the Country Airplay chart it logged an audience of 22.015 milion (+1.161) and 3,657 plays (+168)

Kacey Musgrave’sMerry Go Round” at No.14 sold another 24,000 copies to easily pass the Gold 500,000 certification mark after 23 weeks.

Top 30 Digital Singles In Country Music (March 14, 2013)

 (LW) Last Week  (TW) This Week 
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

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