Friday, 21 February 2014

Country Billboard Chart News February 20, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News February 20, 2014

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No. 1 (1 week) "The Outsiders" Eric Church (287,668 sales)
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (1 week) ** “Chillin' It” Cole Swindell
Country Airplay ** No. 1 (1 week) *** "When She Says Baby” Jason Aldean
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (3 non-consecutive weeks) ** “Bottoms Up” Brantley Gilbert (62,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

Eric Church with THE OUTSIDERS easily debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart (BB200), selling 287,668 copies its first week (ending Feb. 16), according to Nielsen SoundScan.
It's the largest sales week of 2014, and the biggest since Beyonce's self-titled album sold 310,000 in its second week of release (last December). It's also by far Church's best frame ever.
"The Outsiders" is Church's fourth studio album and second No. 1 set, following his last studio effort, 2011's CHIEF. The latter bowed with 144,990 copies—his previous best sales week. (In between "Chief" and "The Outsiders," Church released the live album "Caught in the Act: Live," which debuted and peaked at No.5. on the Billboard 200/ #3 Country; selling 61,439 copies.
"The Outsiders" also logged the biggest week for a country album since Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" debuted at No. 1 on the BB200 with 527,783 copies on the chart dated Aug. 31, 2013. Church is just the third country male solo artist to top the big chart twice in the 2010s. He follows Bryan and Kenny Chesney.

Eric celebrated the release of The Outsiders with six free shows (most acoustic) Thursday (2/13) and Friday (2/14). Cities on the promo run included: Indianapolis; Rootstown, OH; Chicago (full band); Greenville, SC; Charlotte and Atlanta - Press Release.
 He kicked off a busy release week for his critically-acclaimed fourth studio album for EMI Records Nashville making rare appearances on national television which started at CBS Sunday Morning (Feb. 9) and a late-night appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live (Feb.10)

Critical Reception for The Outsiders:
12 Tracks/ Time: 50:39 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes -

Jody Rosen of Vulture calls The Outsiders “[Church’s] best yet,” noting that “Church’s records are the most sonically distinctive in commercial country, balancing rootsy earthiness and digital snap, with a muscled-up rhythm section that is more rock than country—and more classic heavy-blues-rock than the eighties arena-rock that’s the current Nashville norm.”
SPIN magazine featured Church on its cover this week, saying “He's the most exciting, sonically fearless singer in Nashville. The guy who can win the CMA Album of the Year (for 2011 breakthrough Chief, his third, anchored by a monster low-power ballad called "Springsteen") and play Coachella, Austin City Limits, and Metallica's Orion Fest.”
NPR added, "The greatest thing about The Outsiders is its range, both in sound and in the stories [Eric Church] tells. People call Church an outlaw, but that's too tight a frame for someone who can craft nostalgic Top 40 ear candy like 'Give Me Back My Hometown,' with its immortal line about wooing and losing his girl at the Pizza Hut, next to novelty numbers like the boy-loses-beer lament 'Cold One' and nearly psychedelic jams like 'Devil, Devil (Prelude: Princess of Darkness).'"
Entertainment Weekly (Rating: A) raved that “The Outsiders — the still-rising star's most brazen, brilliant disc yet, and the first great album of this year — challenges country's chart-dominating pickup polishers, drawing on riff-wagging rock and early Beastie Boys-style beats.”

Allmusic (Rating: 3.5 STARS) ....Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn't give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel. a real shift for Church, who has otherwise specialized in songs that are a little simpler. That directness played a big role in making Chief a hit and it's sometimes missed on The Outsiders, as the XXL-sized songs don't always stick but the ambition is admirable. Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both rock and country, and if he doesn't quite knock it out of the park when he swings for the fences, he nevertheless scores.

American Songwriter (Rating: 4 STARS)  Apart from one or two fleeting missteps, The Outsiders is a beautiful, quintessentially inclusive pop record dressed up as insurgent anti-pop. The tremendous genre-colliding album tracks (“Cold One,” “Roller Coaster Ride) and the infectious future chart-toppers (“Talladega,” “Give Me Back My Hometown”) forcefully outweigh a few moments of above-average filler (“Broken Record,” “That’s Damn Rock and Roll). Tracks such as “Like A Wrecking Ball,” a lustful soul ballad that shows up, unannounced, halfway through the record, prove repeatedly that Church is as much of a Jack of All Traders genre-hopper as he is a narrowly defined Country Music Rebel.............The Outsiders is at its best when it lets the songs market themselves.

Eric Church Not Bothered by Lack of Airplay for "The Outsiders" : The title track and lead single proved too aggressive for country radio playlists. In the long run, Eric thinks that song will have a long life in his set list just like "These Boots," an album cut from 2006's Sinners Like Me that's been a live staple ever since it came out. Eric said, "I look at "Outsiders" that way. I think 10 years from now, when people go, they name five or six songs [of mine], they're gonna name that song. Regardless of what it did commercially, it's just one of those songs." While Eric is no stranger to number one hits on the country chart, he admits that's not his main concern when it comes to picking singles."I always think about, 'How is this going to play when we play it to our fans. What does this mean to their lives,'" Eric explained. "And I think that's how we've gotten here in our career."

Eric Church’s previous 4 albums were bundled into one Walmart exclusive  4 Album Collection (Chief/ Caught In The Act/ Carolina/ Sinner Like Me) which landed at No.71 on the BB200 (#12 Country) selling around 6,000 copies.
He'll kick off a European tour February 24 in Dublin, Ireland.

Warner’s Frankie Ballard made a bow at No.35 on the BB200 (#5 Country) with his second album titled SUNSHINE & WHISKEY selling around 11,000 copies.

On Tuesday night (Feb 18th), Ballard performed full band for the first time at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. He treated the crowd to fan-favorites from Sunshine & Whiskey including “Young & Crazy,” “It Don’t Take Much” and “Drinky Drink.”

Ballard told Fox411: A lot has changed since the first record. I have a new producer. I just wanted to make this music differently. I wanted to get my hands dirty so to speak. I wanted to take more time and let these things kind of grow organically, especially the arrangements of the tunes. So Marshall Altman is the producer on this new project and he really invested a lot of time in me, let me come over late at night and just hang out and experiment… started building these tracks from scratch, from the ground up and they just blossomed into whatever. I would take them out on the road and see how fans were reacting to them and come back and report back to Marshall and say, “this is not really working or we should try this” or whatever so it was really cool and artistically freeing. I had all the freedom I could ever ask for we really experimented.

Critical Reception for Frankie Ballard self-titled:
11 Tracks/ Time: 37:43 MP3 - UK iTunes -

“A predominantly mature set of songs from a guy who deserves to be heard.” - Country Weekly
“He’s got an appealing rock delivery, and the songs get more thoughtful as he goes along…” - USA Today

Roughstock (Rating: 4 STARS)...Ballard instead takes a little bit of Jason Aldean, a little Gary Allan, some Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley, and a dash of Jason Aldean (whose producer, Michael Knox, also produced this album) to forge a sound all his own. In fact, "A Buncha Girls" is about as close to Chesney as he gets. Yet another song from the Peach Pickers (Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip), it's overstuffed with typical summertime imagery: hot girls, cold drinks, beaches and the obligatory margaritas/señoritas rhyme.......Of course, the fine and severely underrated "Tell Me You Get Lonely" is perhaps the best song on the disc. Here, the brokenhearted narrator wants so much to know that she's hurting over their breakup....Frankie Ballard may benefit from its smaller track list; with only eight tracks to work from, there's no room for "filler" songs. Fortunately for him, all eight songs are finely written and finely sung, showcasing his raw, gritty voice. The production is radio-friendly but still crisp, energetic and rocking, adding a high energy level to even the slower songs. Even if "A Buncha Girls" somehow fails to be the big-time summer anthem that it could be, there're still plenty of chances for Frankie to break through and offer some more new blood.

Allmusic (3 STARS)  ..The self-titled freshman album by Frankie Ballard, the winner of Kenny Chesney's Next Big Star regional competition in Michigan in 2008, is a scant eight tracks, a little over 27 minutes, and the safest bet Nashville could place on a new artist in an uncertain
21st century music biz.... The Michael Knox-produced effort opens with one of its two preceding singles, "A Buncha Girls," co-written by Ballard with Ben Hayslip, Dallas Davidson, and Rhett Atkins. It's also the set's strongest track, as it revs up big midwest guitar rock à la John Mellencamp, tempered by banjos and pedal steel, and extremely crisp snare and kick drums. It's a fist-pumping, good-time anthem. Come to think of it, most of this record is flavored the same way.....Ballard's debut doesn't have any inherently weak tracks, but it doesn't possess any extraordinarily strong ones, either. It is a slight slice of good-time, contemporary radio, ear candy country. It will work in the clubs, it'll work in the car, and is virtually indistinguishable from what passes for Top 40 in Nash Vegas' rigid format.
Watch >> “Helluva Life”. Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and Bob Seger have previously selected him for coveted opening slots nationwide.

Dylan Scott (Sidewalk Records) released his five-song Self Titled EP Tuesday (Feb. 11) on iTunes. 
It debuted at No.50 on Billboard Country Albums. Scott’s current single “Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy” has garnered nearly 50,000 downloads to date, and is getting consistent airplay on SiriusXM The Highway.
Dylan’s signature style launched with the debut single which was slated to launch at country radio in the spring of 2013. Co-penned by Dylan, the track’s melody rolls through that perfect southern girl relationship that Dylan proclaims drives his own life. “The song represents a lot of who I am. When I’m in a relationship, I give my all to it”.
Because of his rock-bottom baritone, Scott knows some people will put him in the same vocal category as Josh Turner or Chris Young. But if he has to be compared to anyone in the business, he says, he hopes it’s for his character. I just want to be a class act, a good guy, and the man my dad raised, with a great work ethic, a strong sense of responsibility, and a love of making music that goes right down to my toes. (Curb Press) 5 tracks / Time: 15:55 MP3UK iTunes -

Although Taylor Swift's nominated RED didn't win at the Grammys or the Country Music Assn. Awards the album accomplishes something this week that makes up for those slights: It tops the 4 million mark in U.S. sales. 
All four of Swift's studio albums have reached that threshold. Swift's eponymous debut album has sold 5,419,000 copies since its release in 2006. "Fearless" has sold 6,818,000 copies since its release in 2008. "Speak Now" has sold 4,405,000 since its release in 2010.
Swift is just the third artist to top the 4-million mark with his or her first four studio albums since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. She follows Garth Brooks (who did it with his first five non-holiday studio albums) and Eminem.
Swift's achievement is all the more remarkable because the album sales market has been shaky throughout her career. By contrast, it was strong when Brooks released his first album in 1989. 

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
3,852,000 (Physical sales 2,492,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 1,360,000 (down 13.4%)) which is 19% down at the same point in 2013 (4,754,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings

(Issue dated Chart week of March 1, 2014)
(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 1, 2014)

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:

  • Newcomer Cole Swindell is the second artist to take a debut single to No.1 on Hot Country Songs since the chart switched from core country airplay-based rankings to a sales/streaming/airplay hybrid methodology 16 months ago, as “Chillin’ It” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville) , co-written with Shane Minor, made a 3-1 hop. Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” is the only other rookie single to reach the summit during that time frame—it began an unprecedented 24-week run atop the 70-year-old chart in December 2012.
  • Frankie Ballard and Scotty McCreery posted their first top 10s. Ballard’s “Helluva Life” (Warner Bros./Warner Atlantic Reprise) rose 11-9, and McCreery’s “See You Tonight” (19/Interscope/Mercury) improved 12-10. Ballard previously rose as high as No. 27 with “A Buncha Girls” two years ago, and McCreery’s former best was a No 15 peak with “I Love You This Big” the same year.
  • Miranda Lambert with “Automatic” landed her highest debut and biggest opening-week sales on Country Digital Songs (RCA Nashville) to log HCS Digital Gainer honours with a 36-14 stride.
  • Brantley Gilbert’sBottoms Up” moved 5-4 as it became his first No. 1 on Country Streaming Songs in its eight chart week (1.1 million U.S. streams, up 13%, according to Nielsen BDS).
Top 25 Hot Country Songs:

Cole Swindell with “Chillin’ It” climbs 2 places to TOP the Chart! #1 p
Luke Bryan with former No.1 “Drink A Beer” drops one slot, #1 - #2 q
Jason Aldean with “When She Says Baby” is up one, #4 - #3 p
Brantley Gilbert with “Bottoms Up” is up one, #5 - #4 p
Eric Church with “Give Me Back My Hometown” is up two, #7 - #5 p
David Nail with “Whatever She’s Got” falls four, #2 - #6 q
Blake Shelton with “Doin’ What She Likes” is up two, #9 - #7 p
Lady Antebellum with “Compass” stays at #8
Frankie Ballard with “Helluva Life” is up two, #11 - #9 p
Scotty McCreery with “See You Tonight” climbs two, #12 - 10 p
Dierks Bentley with “Hold On” is down one, #10 - #11 q
Keith Urban with “Cop Car” climbs four, #16 - #12 p
Jerrod Niemann with “Drink To That All Night” is up one, #14 - #13 p
Miranda Lambert with “Automatic” leaps up 22 places, #36 - #14 p
Rascal Flatts with “Rewind” is up five, #20 - #15 p
Dan + Shay with “19 You + Me” is down one, #15 - #16 q
Thomas Rhett with “Get Me Some Of That” is up one slot, #18 - #17 p
Florida Georgia Line with former No.1 “Stay” falls five, #13 - #18 q
Randy Houser with “Goodnight Kiss” is down two, #17 - #19 q
Thompson Square with “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About” is down, #19 - #20 q
Florida Georgia Line with “This Is How Me Roll” jumps up four, #25 - #21 p
Danielle Bradbery with “The Heart Of Dixie” is down one, #21 - #22 q
Brett Eldredge with “Beat Of The Music” is up one, #24 - #23 p
Hunter Hayes with “Invisible” falls 2 slots, #22 - #24 q
Justin Moore with “Lettin’ The Night Roll” moves up one notch, #26 - #25 p

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (1 week) ** “Chillin’ It“ Cole Swindell
** Streaming Gainer ** No.5 ”Give Me Back My Hometown”  Eric Church
** Airplay Gainer ** No13 “Drink To That All Night” Jerrod Niemann
** Digital Gainer ** No.14 “Automatic” Miranda Lambert
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.41 “Talladega”  Eric Church
Debut No.44 “Yeah” Joe Nichols
Debut No.50 “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” Sheryl Crow

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of March 1, 2014

Jason Aldean collects his 11th No.1 on the Billboard Country Airplay tally with “When She Says Baby” (Broken Bow), the fifth single and fourth leader from NIGHT TRAIN. First released on November 18, 2013, the song written by Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip, logged 44.172 million audience impressions (+1.318 million); receiving 7,015 radio plays (+186) .
Aldean’s album is the first since Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s to the Good Times to spawn four No.1 singles, and the first by a solo male artist to do so since Blake Shelton’s Red River Blue (2011). Previous
chart-toppers from Aldean’s fifth studio album include “Take a Little Ride” , “The Only Way I Know” and “Night Train” .
The third single from the album, “1994” peaked at No.14 in May 2013.

With the second-slowest top 10 ascent in the chart’s 24-year history, Scotty McCreery scores his first top 10 on Country Airplay with “See You Tonight” (19/Interscope/Mercury), which hopped 12-10 in its 44th chart week. The only previous top 10 to take longer is Lee Brice’s “Love Like Crazy,” which needed 46 weeks to reach the upper tier four years ago. McCreery’s previous best rank was when lead single “I Love You This Big” peaked at No.15 on the chart dated Aug. 27,2011.

Jerrod Niemann at No.13 with “Drink To That All Night” bagged the week’s Most Increased Audience trophy logging 22.565 million audience impressions, a gain of 3.412 million, receiving 3,668 radio plays (+327)

Miranda Lambert’sAutomatic” (RCA Nashville) posted an audience decline of 4.3% (8.9 million total impressions, according to BDS), but held at No.26. She retained the Most Added honour, with 23 new airplay commitments (ADDS)  

Women of Country 2014 Watch:
Danielle Bradbery at No.12 (“The Heart Of Dixie”), Miranda Lambert at No.26 ("Automatic") and Sara Evans at No.29 (“Slow Me Down”) were the only 3 solo female artists in the Top 30 Country Airplay songs. Sheryl Crow #34, Leah Turner #40, Lindsay Ell #49, Jennifer Nettles #50 and Lucy Hale #57 were an additional five females in the remaining 31-60 slots to make it 13.3%.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "When She Says Baby” Jason Aldean
** Most Increased Audience ** No.13 Drink To That All Night” Jerrod Niemann 
**  Most Added **  No.26 "Automatic" Miranda Lambert   
** Hot Shot Debut ** “Me Without You” Jennifer Nettles
Debut No. 60 "Baby Come On With It” Natalie Stovall And The Drive

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of March 1, 2014

Brantley Gilbert with “Bottoms Up” (Valory Music C), the lead single from his as yet untitled third album, held at No.1 for third non-consecutive week selling 62,000 copies (24% sales gain)  to head the Billboard Country Digital Chart in its 9th chart week. It made a No.1 debut on Jan. 4th.

Miranda Lambert landed her highest debut and biggest opening-week sales on Country Digital Songs with “Automatic” (RCA Nashville), which opened at No.3 with 51,000 downloads. She logged her previous best debut rank and sum last fall with “We Were Us” (a duet with Keith Urban), which bowed at No.8 with 32,000 sold.

Jason Aldean with “When She Says Baby” which held at No.9 is now a GOLD-eligible single having passed the ½-millon mark

Carrie Underwood’s “Look At Me” rose up the chart with a massive 431% gain. Probably a Valentines Day surge along with a >> video that has gone viral (14.5 million views) of bride Arianna who didn't just walk down the aisle to her groom, Ryan. . .she SANG down the aisle! Her cover of Carrie’s "Look at Me" brought tears to the eyes of her new groom! The song subsequently got a strong boost on iTunes!

Dropping off the Top 30:
4 -   Off the Top 50, Eric Church “Give Me Back My Hometown”  
27 - Off the Top 50, Eric Church “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young”
28 - Off the Top 50, Eric Church “The Outsiders”  
26-34 Tim McGraw “Lookin’ For That Girl”

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published February 20, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week  (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart

Luke Bryan with “Drink A Beer” (Capitol) remained at No1 for a second week on the Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart for the tracking week Feb 9 – Feb 15, 2014. The song logged 7,236 radio spins (-132) and 58.732 million audience impressions (-1.416 million) reported by 148 stations.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 384 - February 18, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

1 comment:

  1. When I’m looking for the latest country music, I always end up in one spot – 103.1 WIRK. I was even lucky enough to catch up with Keith Van Allen in the streets and got free ‘Rib Round Up’ tickets. Just one of the many events that keep me tuned into