Sunday, 10 March 2013

Country Billboard Chart News March 7, 2013

Country Billboard Chart News March 7, 2013

Topping the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) this week is Bruno Mars’ UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX which has taken an “unorthodox” path to #1 slot. It's rare that an album moves to No. 1, as opposed to debuting there. Mars' set is only the sixth title to climb to the top since the start of 2010. Earlier this year, the "Les Miserables" soundtrack hit the top in its third week.
“Unorthodox Jukebox” sold 94,551 copies; up 96% to reach a total of 959,768. The album has been in the top 10 since it debuted in December, but a one-day sale at Amazon’s MP3 store on Feb. 26 gave it the boost it need to go all the way. Unorthodox Jukebox was one of 20 digital albums that were participating that day in the $1.99 bargain sales. Older releases (Frank Sinatra, Bee Gees and Phil Collins) have been the subject of 99-cent sales boosts for compilation sets but it’s not the norm to see such a steep discount on an album that’s just three months old.

Twenty of the top selling country albums made the BB200 list along with 7 catalog albums. Taylor Swift’s RED leads the way in her 19th chart week holding the No.14 slot and the No.1 country album for 16 non-consecutive weesk. RED found homes with 24,442 fans; down 13% (7,064 digital copies; #32 on Overall Digital Albums) and has a new total in America of 3,488,142 copies.

Florida Georgia Line HERE'S TO THE GOOD TIMES in their 13th chart week sold 21,512 copies (+13%;  359,299 total) to move into the No.2 slot ahead of Tim McGraw’s TWO LANES OF FREEDOM which sold 19,396 copies, down 20%, to reach 197,092 copies sold in 4 retail weeks

At No.29 on the BB200 and making their bow with Hot Shot Debut honours at No. 4 on the Country chart is Rodney Crowell reteaming with his old boss Emmylou Harris on OLD YELLOW MOON (Nonesuch/Warner Bros.), lifting Crowell to a career-high perch on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and extending a streak of top 10 starts byEmmylou. Blending Crowell originals with venerated classics like Roger Miller’s “Invitation to the Blues” and Allen Reynolds’ “Dreaming My Dreams,” the album is the first collaborative set for the artists since Crowell played in Harris’ famed Hot Band in the 1970s.

The set sold 15,827 copies (6,546 of those were Digital sales) with Old Yellow Moon marking Crowell’s second top 10, besting his No. 8 peak with DIAMONDS & DIRT in 1989. He most recently charted with SEX & GASOLINE, which peaked at No. 38 five years ago.
Harris’ current streak of five consecutive top 10 studio album debuts began when RED DIRT GIRL arrived at No. 5 in 2000, followed by STUMBLE INTO GRACE (No. 6, 2003), ALL I INTENDED TO BE (No. 4, 2008) and HARD BARGAIN (No. 3, 2011).
The album produced by Brian Ahern (Johnny Cash, George Jones, Roy Orbison) finds in addition to Harris and Crowell, world-renowned musicians including Stuart Duncan, Vince Gill, and Bill Payne, as well as members of the original Hot Band.
Reviews for the album are positive:
"Then as now," writes Associated Press reviewer Michael McCall, "Harris and Crowell excelled at bringing a fresh perspective to covers of classic country tunes, while pushing the genre toward a new sound built on driving rhythms, crisp musicianship and a wide range of well-chosen songs."

NPR, which put Old Yellow Moon on Heavy Rotation last month, says the album "hearkens back to classic recordings like Harris' Elite Hotel and Crowell's Diamonds and Dirt, and brings the best out of the two veterans."

The album "is a loose-limbed mix of honky-tonk, old-school country and vintage, Topanga Canyon country-rock that draws on their shared past," says the Washington Post's Allison Stewart. "Harris’s voice retains almost all of its silvery loveliness, Crowell’s writing is as tight and sharp as piano wire and Moon just generally sounds as if it was recorded by friends, around a kitchen table, which is partly what happened."

"Old-fashioned country never sounded so good," raves Q magazine in its four-star review of Old Yellow Moon. The album "has Harris and Crowell doing some of the best work of their careers."
Mojo gave the album four stars as well, describing it as "one of those records where less is definitely more, sometimes as old-timey a a string band barn dance, but one where you're aware the last spin around the floor will undoubtedly prove to be a delight."
The UK’s Country Music People gives this "magnificent album" a perfect five stars, naming it their CD of the Month.

Acoustic writes: "Any new duets featuring Emmylou inevitably invite comparions witht he inspired Gram Parsons collaborations of yesteryear. All reservations are swept aside here as Crowell dons the mantle for 12 tracks of California country-rock that blends the sunniest elements of early Linda Ronstadt and Burritors with a twist of George Jones and Tammy Wynette."

The album is moving up the Americana Radio charts and stands at No.9 on the chart of March 04, 2013.
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell will embark on a series of tour dates in support of the new album starting at the House of Blues in New Orleans. The succeeding US tour dates will also feature co-headliner Richard Thompson. Harris and Crowell launch the European leg of their tour in May.
Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris talked about their new record, on BBC Breakfast with Bill Turnbull & Susanna Reid in February >> YouTube
The 12 track album is available at Amazon UK  and Amazon UK MP3
With a later release date in America the reunited Mavericks sold 13,696 copies and debut at No. 39 on the BB200 and No. 8 on the country placings with IN TIME (Valory/Big Machine Label Group), the band’s fourth top 10 and first since TRAMPOLINE in 1998.
IN TIME is their second best ever, after break-out album WHAT A CRYING SHAME that was released back in February 1, 1994 and peaked at #6. That album featured the singles "What a Crying Shame," "O What a Thrill," "There Goes My Heart," "I Should Have Been True" and "All That Heaven Will Allow." In order, those singles reached #25, #18, #20, #30 and #49 on the Billboard Country Singles.

The Mavericks - In Time GAC Album Review
Extract: In Time has indeed taken some time, but the band members – Raul Malo (vocals), Paul Deakin (percussion), Robert Reynolds (bass), Jerry Dale McFadden (keyboards) and Eddie Perez (guitar) – fall into the groove with an ease that recalls some of their very best work. In Time, which Raul co-produced with Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Melissa Etheridge), features 13 new songs that hit on a broad musical spectrum including rockabilly (“As Long As There’s Tonight”), nostalgic ’60s pop (“That’s Not My Name”) and Afro-Caribbean shake (“Dance In The Moonlight”). However, it’s Raul’s richly expressive voice echoing more than just a trace of Roy Orbison’s potent loneliness that tugs at those country heartstrings....On the hypnotic, album closing, “(Call Me) When You Get To Heaven,” a tormented epic featuring backup vocals courtesy of The McCrary Sisters, Raul’s haunted voice becomes possessed over an ever-increasing musical frenzy. The result is an experience that will flat out send shivers down your spine. It’s a powerful close to an album bursting with passion; an album that celebrates life with each note and establishes The Mavericks once again for their one-of-a-kind sound.

Paste Magazine said: Sounding even more polemic compared to the thumping arena country and slick pop anthems, The Mavericks have fashioned an album that considers Latin rhythms, horn embellishments and bits of Bakersfield in their staunchly vintage approach to modern saloon country. It’s not quite Ray Price, yet In Time has far more in common with the legendary vocalist than making someone’s speakers go “boom boom.”

BBC Review (Chris Roberts) - Elsewhere such epic leanings are sacrificed for good-time gaiety, as Dance in the Moonlight or All Over Again walk the overly well-trod path usually passed off as “down-home” or “good rockin’”. But there’s enough ambition here to elevate The Mavericks’ comeback above the perfunctory.

American Songwriter: From the mariachi trumpets, reverbed surf guitar, squeezebox driven ska beat of “All Over Again” to the ’50s slow dance of the Orbison tribute “Amsterdam Moon” and the Chris Isaak spaghetti western twang of the dusky, widescreen “Come Unto Me,” the album moves from one highlight to the next.....Hopefully we won’t have to wait another decade for its follow-up.

After an exhilarating album release promo week in New York and Los Angeles The Mav’s performed a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom and delivered a “jaw-dropping performance” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; respectively, showing that one of America’s favourite genre-defying bands are back and they announced new U.S. tour dates.
The Mavericks debuted at No.37 on the Official UK album chart selling 3,521 copies and have spent 3 out of 4 retail weeks on the Top 100.
Its available on Amazon UK CD - Amazon UK MP3

Next week should see Luke Bryan debut very high on the chart with his Spring Break largely compilation set and hopefully Ashley Monroe’s quality album LIKE A ROSE will make a strong showing. Ashley better known in recent years as a critically acclaimed member of the trio Pistol Annies, will perform the title track, ,” from her March 5th Warner Bros. Records release on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 11.

Billboard Top 200  (Issue dated Chart week of March 16, 2013)

(Country Album positions #1 - #25)

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

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of March 16, 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’s Sure Be Cool If You Did” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville), leads for a second week adding Greatest Gainer stars for the biggest airplay spike (up 20%, +619 increased plays). Meanwhile, Shelton’s song rose 7-5 in its ninth week on Country Airplay and “Cool” leads Country Digital Songs for a fourth cumulative week.
The top five positions remained unchanged with Lady Antebellum’sDowntown” moving 9-6, on the week on the songs video premiere. Shelton’s wife made a 13-7 jump for Miranda Lambert’sMama’s Broken Heart,” while Lee Brice’s I Drive Your Truck” made the Top 10 which ran 11-8.
Rookie duo Florida Georgia Line draws Greatest Gainer applause for a 60% spike in streaming for “Get Your Shine On,” with a  15-10 surge.
Darius Rucker’s cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” (Capitol Nashville) earned the week’s Greatest Gainer stripes for the biggest overall digital spike (44%) and jumps 24-16. Rucker’s cut continues to spark interest in the band’s original recording, which has a No. 29 slot in its ninth week on Country Digital Songs.

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of March 16, 2013)

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

Hot Country Songs
*** No. 1 (2 weeks)  Greatest Gainer/Airplay ***  “Sure Be Cool If You Did”  Blake Shelton
** Greatest Gainer/Streaming ** No.10 “Get Your Shine On”  Florida Georgia Line
** Greatest Gainer/Digital ** No.16 “Wagon Wheel” Darius Rucker
** Hot Shot Debut  **  No. 36  “Ten Times Crazier”  Blake Shelton
Debut No.42 “Stronger Than Me”  Connie Britton

Billboard History
Top Ten For Week Ending March 7, 1998:
1. Round About Way  (MCA) - George Strait
2. She's Gonna Make It  (Capitol) -  Garth Brooks 
3. You've Got To Talk To Me (Decca) - Lee Ann Womack 
4. What If I Said (Warner Bros.)  - Anita Cochran and Steve Wariner 
5. Nothin' But The Taillights  (RCA) - Clint Black
6. Little Red Rodeo (Epic) - Collin Raye
7. Just To See You Smile (Curb) - Tim McGraw
8. The Day That She Left Tulsa In A Chevy (Columbia) - Wade Hayes
9. Perfect Love (MCA) - Trisha Yearwood
10. Love Of My Life  (Mercury) - Sammy Kershaw

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of March 16, 2013

High atop the Country Airplay chart, Tim McGraw leads for a second week with “One of Those Nights” (Big Machine), which becomes the 18th of his 25 career No. 1’s to hold for more than one week.

The song drew a 38.669 audience (+1.974 in millions) receiving 6139 plays (+247)
 When it comes to multiweek dominance, McGraw’s stats are impressive. He first topped the chart in 1994 with “Don’t Take the Girl,” which logged two weeks at No. 1. He didn’t spend fewer than two weeks with any subsequent No. 1 title until “Grown Men Don’t Cry,” his 13th No. 1, held for just one week in 2001. His longest run at the summit was “Live Like You Were Dying,” which reigned for seven weeks in 2004. He’s twice spent six weeks atop the chart, with four other songs holding for five weeks apiece.
This is also McGraw’s 70th week at #1 and he is now in sixth place with the most time at #1.
The updated top ten reads:
1. Eddy Arnold (145)  2. Webb Pierce  (111)  3. George Strait (84)  4. Hank Williams, Sr. (82)
5. Buck Owens  (82)  6. Tim McGraw (70)  7. Johnny Cash (69)  8. Kenny Chesney (68)
9. Sonny James  (66)  10. Marty Robbins  (63)

Little Big Town is in a position to reach the top of the country charts with their latest single, “Tornado” which moves 4-2 in its 23rd chart week. The song, which is the follow up to their first-ever No. 1, “Pontoon,” has been getting lots of positive feedback, especially from female fans.
Women like to beat their chest a little bit and put a man in their place every now and then,” Kimberly Schlapman said. “It’s good for a woman.”
I see several women in the audience out there stomping their feet and putting their fists in the air,” LBT’s Phillip Sweet added. “It’s like their power anthem.”
Karen Fairchild likes to sing the song with someone who has been wronged in mind. “I use a different motivation every night,” she said. “I just like to get up there and think about somebody who doesn’t want to take anyone’s BS anymore.” Little Big Town who are due in London for the C2C festival in March 19th are currently touring America on their Tornado Tour. They will then hit the road with Keith Urban this summer.

Singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves becomes the first new female artist since last summer to reach the top 10 with their first charted solo song, as “Merry Go ’Round” (Mercury) gains 752,000 audience impressions and steps 11-10 in its 27th week on Billboard’s Country Airplay tally.
Musgraves’ track is the first such song since Jana Kramer’s “Why Ya Wanna” entered the top 10 on the chart dated Aug. 18, 2012—it peaked at No. 3 eight weeks later. Prior to releasing “Merry,” Musgraves was credited as a featured artist on Josh Abbott Band’s “Oh, Tonight,” which logged 22 chart weeks with a No. 44 peak two years ago on the Nielsen BDS-driven Country Airplay chart.
Kramer’s song remains the highest-charted debut title by a rookie female artist since Gretchen Wilson spent four weeks atop the chart with “Redneck Woman” in 2004, although Sunny Sweeney peaked at No. 10 three years ago this week with “From a Table Away.” Musgraves—who also co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” (RCA Nashville), which rises 17-14 on Country Airplay—
self-released three albums before becoming a fifth-season contestant (2007) on the now-shuttered “Nashville Star” singing competition. “Merry Go ’Round” is the lead single from her major-label album debut, titled SAME TRAILER, DIFFERENT PARK, due March 19. The track has sold approximately 480,000 downloads, and peaked at No. 12 on Country Digital Songs in January.

With the fewest chart weeks of any title in the upper tier, Lady Antebellum claims its 10th top 10 single with “Downtown” (Capitol Nashville), which leaps 12-9 in its sixth week on the Country Airplay list. The trio’s most recent top 10 achievement happened exactly one year ago this week, when “Dancing Away With My Heart” ad vanced 12-10 on the March 17, 2012, chart, eventually peaking at No. 2 last spring. The threesome has topped the chart six times, most recently with “We Owned the Night,” which spent two weeks at the summit in December 2011. It also reached a No. 20 peak last fall with “Wanted You More.” The newly minted top 10 introduces GOLDEN, the trio’s upcoming fourth studio album, due May 7.

Most Increased Audience strips go to Lee Brice’s "I Drive Your Truck” (Curb)  at No. 7 with a 27.523 audience (+4.115 gain in millions) and 4524 plays (+570)
In his 3rd chart week saw  Jason Aldean’s new single “1994" (Broken Bow) gain the “Most Added” tag (25 ADDS) with a 5.490 audience (+3.014 in millions; 832 plays up by 477) 
The Hot Shot Debut honour at No.37 goes to "Done" (Republic Nashville) by The Band Perry with a 2.701 million audience and 355 plays on their debut chart week.

Brad Paisley has a No.40 debut with his second Wheelhouse single, “Beat This Summer” at #40.  With Winter seemingly hangin’ around and Spring two weeks away Paisley’s unseasonal release is some 14 weeks in advance of the summer season.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (2 week)*** "One Of Those Nights" (Big Machine)
** Most Increased Audience ** No. 7 "I Drive Your Truck” (Curb) Lee Brice  
** Most Added ** No. 29 "1994" (Broken Bow) Jason Aldean 
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.37 "Done" (Republic Nashville) The Band Perry
Debut No. 40 "Beat This Summer" (Arista Nashville) Brad Paisley
Debut No.56 “Better” (RPM) Maggie Rose

 Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of March 16, 2013

In his 8th chart week Blake Shelton’sSure Be Cool If You Did” leads the way with 74,365 sales, up 5% and the now gold single with a 573,169 total was placed #22 on the overall Digital song chart.
Blake also debuts a new exclusive  iTunes single “Ten Times Crazier” at #20 this week with sales of 24,125.
It’s a husband and wife 1 and 2 respectively as Miranda Lambert’sMama's Broken Heart” moved 7-2 , selling 48,862 singles, up 12% to reach 349,224 total downloads.

Not included on the country placings saw Taylor Swift's No. 2-peaking "I Knew You Were Trouble." keep the No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It rules Radio Songs for a fourth week (126 million, down 4%). The single sold 121,126 copies (down 9%, 3,763,103 total) . This is its 13th week in the top 10, which makes it one of Swift’s four longest-running top 10 hits to date. It ties “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and 2009’s “Love Story.” Only one Swift song, “You Belong With Me,” has had a longer run in the top 10 (16 weeks in 2009).

Lady Antebellum’sDowntown” holds at No.4 selling 47,966 copies (up 5%, 213,088 sold in 4 weeks)

Its taken 13 weeks for Carrie Underwood’s new single “Two Black Cadillacs” to reach the 500K gold certification mark with 38,677 sales, down 13% passing the gold threshold with a 503,546 “Carrie tally”, on a week she celebrates (?) her 30th birthday.
“Cadillacs” is her 14th consecutive RIAA certified Gold/Platinum single and the 16th out of 18 official solo radio singles in her career to achieve the mark. “Remind Me”, an officially Brad Paisley song featured Underwood also became a Platinum single.

Connie Britton, the “Nashville” TV Show star saw her “Stronger Than Me” track debut on the chart this week with 16,952 sales. Appearing in the episode are Vince Gill and Kip Moore (looking on) and Pam Tillis sings back up on stage.
(Rayna James at the Bluebird) >> YouTube

Top 30 Digital Singles In Country Music (March 7, 2013)

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


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