Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Country Billboard Chart News November 7, 2013

Country Billboard Chart News November 7, 2013

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No. 1 (1  week) ** Robertsons’ Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas
Hot Country Songs ** No. 1 (12 weeks) **  “That’s My Kind of Night” Luke Bryan
Country Airplay **  No. 1 (1 week) ** "Mine Would Be You" Blake Shelton  
Country Digital Songs ** No. 1 ** (11 weeks)   “That’s My Kind of Night” Luke Bryan 

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

Arcade Fire debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 (BB200) with "Reflektor," selling 139,637 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is the band’s second No. 1 album. It also bowed atop the list with its last set, 2010's "The Suburbs." However, that record started with a slightly larger figure: 156,000.

Grammy Award winner Kelly Clarkson’s first Christmas album WRAPPED IN RED made a bow at No.3 on the Billboard Top 200 chart selling 69,706 units. This marks the biggest holiday album debut for a female artist since 2010.
Kelly, who was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year at the CMA Awards, spent this past week shooting her upcoming yet-to-be titled Christmas special which will air on NBC on December 11th.  
A special vinyl edition of the album is also available. om.  The album features brand new instant classics such as the first single, “Underneath The Tree,” and title track, “Wrapped In Red” as well as Christmas favorites, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “Blue Christmas”, “Run Run Rudolph,” “Please Come Home For Christmas” and many more.  “Underneath The Tree,” was written by Kelly and hit songwriter/producer Greg Kurstin as well as produced by Kurstin. Kelly enlisted Kurstin who was one of her partners on the Grammy Award winning album Stronger. Together, Kelly and Greg bring a fresh, contemporary sound to this new holiday music ensuring the songs are big hits and evergreen holiday favorites. Read more at rcamusicgroup.com

 “I absolutely love Christmas music and have had a total blast recording and writing for it,” she says. “I can’t wait for y’all to hear it.” The reason why Kelly is so excited about Wrapped in Red is that for once, the versatile vocalist doesn't feel as though she's limited to one musical genre.  "I think in [the Christmas] category...you're not asked, 'Well, are you pop? Are you country? Are you R&B? Are you rock?' You're not asked that. It's just a Christmas record," says Kelly. "So it's like, 'Aw, finally! Nobody's gonna ask me all that.' It's just your chance to be free on that, so I'm just really excited." Kelly was due to appear on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC) on November 11th as part of the promotion.

Critical reception for Kelly Clarksons’ “Wrapped In Red”:

The Los Angeles Times states The first single, “Underneath The Tree” is a “remarkably cheery single”
while Billboard says, “It’s not hard to imagine other pop stars covering the tune in a decade’s time.” 
Review: Slant Magazine (Rating: 3.5 STARS)..  It's a surprisingly secular effort for a singer who prides herself on being a good Southern Christian, with the only mentions of Jesus coming during a country-inflected rendition of the obligatory "Silent Night," featuring Clarkson's buddies Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood, and the understated "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," relegated to the Target edition of the album. Clarkson agilely rips through a series of nonreligious standards and original tunes, as well as a cover of Imogen Heap's "Just for Now," whose reference to "that time of year" appears to be the sole justification, lyrical or otherwise, for its inclusion...Of the classics, the orchestral "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is a highlight, marred only by a showy octave leap at the song's climax... But it's the five new compositions, all co-written by Clarkson, that elevate Wrapped in Red above just another holiday-industrial-complex cash-in....the album's lead single, "Underneath the Tree," which recalls Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" in theme, tone, and structure, that's likely to become Clarkson's very own contemporary standard.

Allmusic (Rating: 3.5 Stars) If American Idols are ready for anything, it's that industry standard, the Christmas album. It is to Kelly Clarkson's credit that she waited a decade to deliver a seasonal platter, but 2013's Wrapped in Red is worth the wait; a testament to her confidence as an interpreter. Generally, the 14 songs here emphasize Clarkson's skills as a full-throated diva -- the arrangements are bold and brassy, as is her delivery -- but when the tempo slows and the arrangements scale back, she's perhaps even more alluring....Clarkson's selections favor the bold -- there aren't many carols here, these are primarily secular holiday tunes, and she doesn't resist Vegas glitz, giving "My Favorite Things" a bit of a gaudy makeover -- but she fares well in this setting, always sounding like the strongest element in the mix.... Clarkson retains her fiery, individual spirit, and that's what makes Wrapped in Red appealing: to
the letter, it delivers what it promises.

For only the third time in the Nielsen SoundScan era (since 1991), three titles debut in the top three positions on Billboard’s Top Country Albums. The last time that the chart’s top three slots were all occupied by debuting sets was a year ago, when Jason Aldean’s Night Train, Scotty McCreery’s Christmas with Scotty McCreery and Jamey Johnson’s Livin’ for a Song arrived in the top three, respectively (Nov. 3, 2012, chart).

The leader this week is the Robertsons’ Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas (4 Beards/EMI Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville), which opens with 69,162 copies sold.
With a multimillion dollar duck call empire, a No. 1 reality TV show and two New York Times bestselling books, the Robertson family is officially a media phenomenon. The 2011 launch of their hit TV series, Duck Dynasty, an A&E sky-rocketed the Robertson family into the national spotlight.
Their unique Christmas album Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas was produced by Buddy Cannon, it features versions of traditional Christmas songs and a few family originals done with the help of guests like Luke Bryan ("Hairy Christmas"), Josh Turner, George Strait ("Christmas Cookies"), and Alison Krauss ("Away in a Manger"), all done with a dose of the down-home humor the show is famous for. It features 14 tracks, most of which are Christmas standards, while other tunes are penned by different members of the TV show  such as "Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas," penned by Willie Robertson and country songwriter Dallas Davidson (Lady Antebellum's "Just a Kiss," Luke Bryan's "That's My Kind of Night"), which is the first single from the album. "Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas" features lead vocals from Willie Robertson, while Phil, Missy, Uncle Si and others also get turns at the microphone.
Listen to The Robertsons' "Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas"

Thomas Rhett with IT GOES LIKE THIS (Valory/Big Machine Label Group) landed at No.6 on the BB200 and No. 2 Country with sales of 36,253 copies. 
Rhett's album's title track is currently enjoying its ninth week in the top 10 on the Country Airplay chart, having previously spent three weeks at No. 1. Rhett is to appear on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC) on Weds Nov 13th.

Critical reception for Thomas Rhett’s “It Goes Like This- CD - Amazon.com

Roughstock (Rating: 4 Stars) An interesting thing has happened on Thomas Rhett’s path to country music stardom. He didn’t immediately break-out. Still just 23, Thomas Rhett proved that the third time’s the charm with “It Goes Like This” hitting the #1 spot on the charts and selling a million tracks ...“Get Me Some Of That,” “Call Me Up,” and “Sorry For Partyin’” and these tunes all showcase the youthful hook-filled side of Thomas Rhett’s music.... Other standouts from the rest of the record include “Front Porch Junkies,” a Beck-like kind of spoken-verse song. It is another one which could be a big hit on radio ...There’s plenty on It Goes Like This to suggest that Thomas Rhett has the talent to be a top-line star but it’ll just be if radio’s ready to allow him to be the star his own father was destined to be.... Either way, Thomas Rhett’s got himself a very good, musically diverse debut album, an album which should find some sort of an audience.

With a No.7 entry on the BB200 and No.3 Country saw Toby Keith’s new album DRINKS AFTER WORK (Show Dog-Universal) with first week sales of 35,355 copies. Toby has roped his 14th top 10 Billboard 200 album and his 21st top 10 album.
Toby’s  previous albums CLANCY’S TAVERN sold 69,000 copies in its first week on Oct 25, 2011 and HOPE ON THE ROCKS made its bow at No. 6 on the Top BB200 (#3 Country) with first week sales of 49,710 on November 8, 2012.
This new album is available in a pair of deluxe versions with the Walmart Exclusive ZinePak containing 64 pages with exclusive inteviews, recipes for his WildShot Mezcal and Custom Drink Coasters.

Critical reception for Toby Keith’s “Drinks After Work”
10 Tracks 32:27 - CD - Amazon.com
Allmusic (Rating: 3 STARS) Confronted with a possible decline in his fortune, Keith takes action on Drinks After Work, his 17th album in 20 years. As this opens with the stuttering, synthesized, computerized cut-n-paste "Shut Up and Hold On" and the even frothier "Drinks After Work" -– a piece of irrepressibly chipper country pop fueled by a guitar hook reminiscent of vintage Third Eye Blind -- there's no question that Keith not only realizes he needs to sound modern, but he's ready to play the game, ready to throw out sounds that
used to be successful but no longer pay back dividends. This doesn't last long on Drinks After Work. Soon enough, he's back to clean, efficient big-boned country -- forceful and macho, but tellingly old-fashioned, eluding the bro back-claps of such new millennial sensations as Luke Bryan......  Keith's best, liveliest songs arrive at the end as bonus tracks on the Deluxe Edition of Drinks After Work, when he throws away expectations of topping the charts and delivers bawdy, funny songs that he writes to blow off steam while on tour...the smirking salute "Call a Marine" and the quietly emotional "Chuckie's Gone," a tribute to his late bassist and bandleader. These songs are so good that they raise the question of why Keith can't just give up on the very idea of a hit single and do a whole album as loose, funny, and genuine as these tunes.

GAC : Toby wrote nine of the album’s 10 songs in addition to serving as the project’s producer, and though the swamp-stomp opener “Shut Up And Hold On” immediately calls for shots of Jack, this album is more about the conversation than the beer list. Songs like the casual lead single “Drinks After Work,” featuring an electric neon melody totally new to Toby’s repertoire, and the R&B-tinged “Little Miss Tear Stain” come off with a friendly delivery and a born storyteller’s knack for capturing the moment.....Though Drinks After Work includes a few contemporary trends like back road plot lines and hip hop influences in “Shut Up And Hold On,” Toby is at his best when turning phrases and showing off a quick wit. The luckless story song “I’ll Probably Be Out Fishin’” sails to an island-inspired groove with an easy come, easy go feel and the mythology surrounding the “Last Living Cowboy” is powered by old-time fiddle, dobro and banjo. A deluxe version of Drinks After Work is available with a set of songs much greater than their “Bonus” designation allows. While the Jimmy Buffett cover “Margaritaville” featuring good friend Sammy Hagar is fun, the ragtime “Call A Marine” and deeply powerful “Chuckie’s Gone” might be the best songs on the entire set.In particular, “Chuckie’s Gone,” written in memory of Toby’s bandleader and bassist Chuck Goff, is meaningful and emotional.

Trace Adkins’ first album for an indie label with the Celtic Christmas record THE KING’S GIFT, sold over 4,000 copies and appeared on the top 25 Country albums at No.20 (#110 BB200).
The King's Gift 10 tracks feature Celtic Christmas carols. Guests include Kevin Costner and his daughter Lily, Sonya Isaacs and Irish ensemble The Chieftains.
Trace Adkins the album of Celtic carols, on October 29th and is due to embark on The Christmas Show Tour, a reverent theatrical and musical production for the whole family, beginning November 15th. The King’s Gift (“Tiodhlac An Righ,” in Gaelic) pays tribute to an ancient genre and transports the listener to a time of mystery and valor. Esteemed guests join Adkins on his first-ever holiday album since his Platinum debut sixteen years ago. Guests include renowned Irish ensemble, The Chieftains; Scottish vocalist Alyth McCormack, British folk/pop star Emma Stevens, multi-award winning family group, The Isaacs; Kevin Costner and daughter Lily Costner; and legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff. The keyboards, acoustic, steel and bass guitars of American folk music harmonize with the weissenborn, mandolin, uilleann pipe, penny whistle, violin, viola, cello, harp, and organ.
10 Tracks/ Time: 41:44; Available from CD - MP3 - Amazon.com

Outside the BB200 and Top 25 Country albums at No.36 saw Julie Roberts make her bow with new set GOOD WINE & BAD DECISIONS (Sun Records). 
Roberts says her first album in three years is both her most grounded and most ambitious. “God gave me this opportunity that I’ve asked for,” she says, “so I’m putting everything I’ve got into it. I’m doing what I love and I’m praying that other people love it too.” Julie is the first artist to release a new album for the Sun label in almost three decades and it was a fan funded project - Pledge Music Page

Critical reception for Julie Roberts “Good Wine & Bad Decisions”  - CD (Import) - Amazon.com 

Roughstock  (Rating: 4.5 STARS) ...features 14 stunning tracks, most of which were written by Julie and Jason Callum, one half of her production team Sorted Noise....Good Wine & Bad Decisions may be a decidedly ‘downbeat’ album but it feels more like a soul-affirming and soul-filling collection of music, the kind of music that the current music industry was built upon. There’s always a time and location for happy music and even on this downbeat collection, songs like “Keep Me Up All Night” are present, but there’s always time to have a song to have a good cry with or to sit, listen and contemplate with. Good Wine & Bad Decisions is such an album.
Julie Roberts – Good Wine & Bad Decisions

Billboard (Chuck Dauphin) ....this might very well be the sexiest Country record that has ever been released. OK, so how is that for dramatic? But, one listen to this album, and if the South Carolina native doesn’t have you under her spell – check your pulse.... What is so captivating about this disc is that she couldn’t have recorded it during her days on Mercury a few years back. Sometimes, survival is one of the most attractive trait of all.... It’s a fact of life, and the fact is, she has released quite the comeback record.

Other albums which were released, like the above on October 29th, did not appear on the Billboard 200 or Top 75 Billboard country albums were: Mindy Smith’s Christmas album “Snowed In”, Restless Heart’s “A Restless Heart Christmas” (Oct. 29) and George Ducas with "4340".

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings

(Issue dated Chart week of November 16, 2013)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)

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

Billboard Catalog Album Charts

Carrie Underwood's BLOWN AWAY has now migrated from Billboard Top Country album’s and made an entry at #10. It logs onto the Catalog chart and spends its 79th straight week on the Billboard 200; it also enters the Country Catalog chart at the top spot. Her debut album, "Some Hearts", is her only other Catalog top 10, reaching #2 in an 110-week run.
Note: Billboard magazine ranks the best selling catalog titles, regardless of genre and defines a catalog title as one that is more than 18-months old and that has fallen below position 100 on the Billboard 200. Albums which meet this criteria are removed from the Billboard Current Albums rankings and begin a new chart runs on Top Pop Catalog Albums.

Billboard Music Video Sales

Jason Aldean's Night Train To Georgia is #2 on Top Music Videos in its third week. After 12 weeks
“The Blown Away Tour: Live” from Carrie Underwood is at #11 with Joey + Rory’s three week “Inspired: Songs Of Faith & Family” at #13

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of November 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, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

Luke Bryan’sThat’s My Kind of Night” enjoyed a 12th week, out of 14 chart weeks, atop Hot Country Songs.

Three titles crack the top 10 on Hot Country Songs, led by Florida Georgia Line’s “Stay” (Republic Nashville), which rises 14-8 in its 7th chart week, to become the duo’s fourth song to reach the upper region. Concurrently, the pair’s “Cruise” falls below the top 10 threshold and is removed from the chart following an unprecedented pair of longevity feats in the chart’s almost 70 years in publication—66 total chart weeks, with 24 of them spent at No. 1.
Also breaking the Top 10 is Parmalee’s “Carolina” (Stoney Creek), the group’s first top 10, which jumped 11-9, and Eli Young Band’sDrunk Last Night” (Republic Nashville), made a 12-10 climb to become the band’s third top 10.

Top 25 Hot Country Songs:

Luke Bryan with “That’s My Kind Of Night” stays Top The Chart! #1
Thomas Rhett with “It Goes Like This” stays at #2
Blake Shelton with “Mine Would Be You” stays at #3
Tim McGraw with “Southern Girl” is up one, #5 - #4 p
Chris Young  with “Aw Naw” drops one slot, #4 - #5 q
Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert with “We Were Us” is up, #7 - #6 p
Joe Nichols with “Sunny And 75” is up three, #10 - #7 p
Florida Georgia Line with “Stay” jumps up six, #14 - #8 p
Parmalee with “Carolina” is up two, #11 - #9 p
Eli Young Band with “Drunk Last Night” is up two, #12 - #10 p
Jason Aldean with “Night Train” is down two, #9 - #11 q
Cassadee Pope with “Wasting All These Tears” is up, #15 - #12 q
David Nail with “Whatever She’s Got” is up three, #16 - #13 p
Taylor Swift with “Red” is up four, #18 - #14 p
Florida Georgia Line with “Round Here” is up four, #19 - #15 p
Lee Brice with “Parking Lot Party” is down three, #13 - #16 q
Zac Brown Band with “Sweet Annie” is up five, #23 - #17 p
The Band Perry with “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” is up, #21 - #18 p
Billy Currington with “Hey Girl” is down two, #17 - #19 q
Eric Paslay with “Friday Night” is up four, #24 - #20 p
Tyler Farr with “Redneck Crazy” is down one, #20 - #21 q
Darius Rucker with “Radio” jumps up five, #27 - #22 p
Jake Owen with “Days Of Gold” is up thrre, #26 - #23 p
Cole Swindell with “Chillin’ It” is up one, #25 - #24 p
Miranda Lambert  with “All Kinds Of Kinds” is up three, #28 - #25 p

Hot Country Songs
** No.1 (12 weeks) **  “That’s My Kind Of Night” Luke Bryan
** Digital Gainer/ Streaming Gainer  ** No.8 “Stay” Florida Georgia Line
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.30  “Get Me Some Of That” Thomas Rhett
Debut No.44 “take Me Home” Thomas Rhett
Debut No.47  “Ghost Town” Jake Owen
Debut No.50 “If You Ever Get Lonely” Love And Theft

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of November 16, 2013

Blake Shelton with “Mine Would Be You” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville) became his 15th leader by a margin of just 18,5000 impressions, following a 4-1 hop.  The single logged 46.699 million audience impressions (+2.157) and received 6,891 radio plays (+364)
In one of the tightest No.1 battles since the Billboard Country Airplay chart switched from plays-based ranking to audience impressions almost nine years ago (January 2005), saw him edge out Tim McGraw’sSouthern Girl” (Big Machine), which stepped 3-2.
The new No.1 is the third straight leader from Shelton’s BASED ON A TRUE STORY . . . album, preceded by “Boys ’Round Here,” which topped the June 29 chart, and “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” which spent two weeks at No.1 in March/April 2013. Since his first week at the summit on the Aug.11,2001, chart, Shelton is tied with Toby Keith for the third-most leaders: Kenny Chesney has 18 and Brad Paisley has 16 during that time frame.
Since the Country Airplay chart launched in 1990, Shelton is now tied with Urban for ninth place among artists with the most No.1s. Alan Jackson, George Strait and McGraw lead that list with 26 apiece, followed by Chesney’s 22. Brooks & Dunn and Keith have 20 apiece, while Paisley and Garth Brooks both have 18 leaders since the chart’s inception.

Eli Young Band claimed its third top 10 Country Airplay with “Drunk Last Night” (Republic Nashville), which rose 12-10 to take the “Most Increased Audience” honours with a 4.171 million impressions gain (46.699 million total) and received 4,401 plays (+598). The group scored consecutive No.1s with “Crazy Girl” in November 2011 and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” in July 2012. The latter title is the band’s most recent top 10, after which it peaked at No.22 with “Say Goodnight” in February.

Eric Church at No.30 with "The Outsiders" snagged the weeks  “Most Added” trophy with 23 new radio commitments (ADDS) to reach a 7.410 million audience (down 4.504 million) and received 1,322 plays (-296).

Sheryl Crow posted her best solo start on Country Airplay to snag Hot Shot Debut honours  with “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” (Old Green Barn/Sea Gayle/Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville), which enters at No.52 with spins at 30 of the 145 stations monitored for the chart. Her previous best solo debut was a No. 55 bow with “No Depression in Heaven” nine years ago. She achieved her best solo rank so far with prior single “Easy,” which rose to No.17 on the Sept. 21 chart.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "Mine Would Be You" Blake Shelton  
** Most Increased Audience ** No.10 "Drunk Last Night" Eli Young Band
** Most Added ** No.30 "The Outsiders" Eric Church 
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.52 "Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely" Sheryl Crow 
Début No. 59 "Drink A Beer" Luke Bryan

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of November 16, 2013

Luke Bryan’sThat’s My Kind of Night” (Capitol Nashville) returned to No. 1 on Country Digital Songs for an 11th cumulative week, selling another 52,000 downloads. (The first 10 weeks at the top were consecutive.) Bryan’s song, which rules Hot Country Songs for a 12th frame, slipped to No. 2 on the sales chart last week due to Eric Church’s No.1-debuting “The Outsiders” (EMI Nashville), which sells 32,000 and falls 1-5 in its second chart week and crashed 6-26 on Hot Country Songs.

Thomas Rhett’s new single “Get Me Some Of That” made a bow at #6 selling 30,000 copies. He also posted his track “Take You Home” at #21.  
Jake Owen’sGhost Town” was new on the chart at #29 with first week digital sales of 11,000.
The Band Perry made a 34-24 hop with “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” and should pick up a sales spike following their CMA Awards performance of the song .

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published November 6, 2013)

 (LW) Last Week  (TW) This Week

Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart

Tim McGraw with “Southern Girl” has become his 35th number one song of his career and the third consecutive number one song off of his TWO LANES OF FREEDOM album.
Tim moved 3-1 to head the Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart for the tracking week Oct 27 – Nov 2.  “Southern Girl” logged  7,192 radio plays (+321) with an audience of 57.603 million impressions.
I think on every record there’s a song that the fans take and make their own, and we saw that happen with ‘Southern Girl’ on the road this summer,” said Tim.  “It’s been an incredible year and having so much success and three straight No. ones played a big part of that.  I listen to country radio every morning without fail. Even after 35 of these, hearing your local DJ introduce and then play one of your songs will never get old.”

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 369 - November 04, 2013 [PDF File] 

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