Friday, 28 February 2014

Country Billboard Chart News February 27, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News February 27, 2014

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No. 1 (2 weeks) "The Outsiders" Eric Church (73,798 sales; After 2 weeks – 361,769)
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** “Chillin' It” Cole Swindell
Country Airplay ** No. 1 (2 weeks) *** "When She Says Baby” Jason Aldean
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (4 non-consecutive weeks) ** “Bottoms Up” Brantley Gilbert (64,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

Disney's soundtrack to "Frozen" returned to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart (BB200), collecting its fifth non-consecutive week atop the list selling another 89,216 copies (13 week Total of 1,140,910) for the tracking week ending Feb 23rd 2014.
"Frozen" has now earned the most weeks at No. 1 for a soundtrack since "Titanic" racked up 16 straight weeks at No. 1 in 1998. It ruled the list on the charts dated Jan. 24 through May 9 that year. Since the Billboard 200 began using SoundScan sales data on May 25, 1991, only five soundtracks have spent at least five weeks at No.1: "Frozen," "Titanic," "Waiting to Exhale" (five weeks in 1996), "The Lion King" (10 weeks in 1994 and 1995) and "The Bodyguard" (20 weeks in 1992 and 1993).

Last week's BB200 No.1 album, Eric Church's THE OUTSIDERS, falls to No.2 on the BB200 in its second week with sales of 73,798 (down 74%) and holds the No.1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for a second week.

Candice Glover’s "Music Speaks" sold just 18,636 copies in its first week. That's the lowest first-week sales tally for the debut album by an American Idol Winner in the show's 12-year history. The old record was set in 2010 when Lee DeWyze's "Live It Up" sold 39K copies in its first week. "Music Speaks" entered The Billboard 200 at No.14. That's a bit higher than "Live It Up," which debuted and peaked at #19.
"Idol's" post-DeWyze revival with Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips (169K), both of whose debut albums started strongly and sold well over time, appears to have stalled.
It also didn't help that the Idol bosses waited so long to release Glover's album. Glover was named the Season 12 winner on May 16, 2013. This nine-month wait between Glover's coronation and the release of her debut album is the longest in "Idol" history. It tops the eight-month lag between Kelly Clarkson's coronation as the first Idol and the release of her first album, "Thankful." Since then, the lag has more typically been in the six month range.
"Idol's" TV ratings have been trending down for several years. "The Voice" has eclipsed "Idol" in buzz. The NBC show won an Emmy last year for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program—an award that "Idol" never won in its heyday (and now probably never will).
Here are the first-week sales tallies of the first post-coronation albums by "Idol" winners of country music interest:
Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" (315K), Kelly Clarkson's "Thankful" (297K), 
Scotty McCreery's "Clear As Day" (197K). 
Runners up: Lauren Alaina who was the Season 10 runner up to Scotty McCreery sold 69,013 copies of new country debut album Wildflower (19/Interscope/Mercury Nashville) which opened, on the chart Oct 28, 2011 at #5 on Billboard 200 (#2 Country) and it sold 94,625 copies in two weeks.
Country singer Kree Harrison (a pal of Kacey Musgraves) who finished runner up to Candice Glover did take part in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2013. However it appears that UMG Nashville has passed on its option to sign up Kree. This would be the first Idol runner-up not to release an album with Idol’s affiliated major label. With the ongoing uphill battle for women at country radio, a crowded UMG Nashville roster and a debut single which charted poorly at #34 on Hot Country Songs this probably explains the lack of news updates and an album from her.

Cole Swindell owned the week's highest new entry on the Billboard 200. His self-titled debut album made a bow at No.3 (#2 Country) with sales of 63,247. Swindell's current single, "Chillin' It," hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart a week ago and on the Country Airplay chart, it rose 3-2 this week.
Cole Swindell joins a throng of rookie male artists who have invaded Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart during the past year.
Continuing the well-documented surge of male artists at the format, Swindell is the eighth solo male to debut inside the top five with a first full-length studio album during the past 12 months, compared with three such albums during the same period a year earlier and just one such album for the same time frame three years ago.
Of the eight men debuting during the past year—Tate Stevens (16,830 copies; #4 Country), Brett Eldredge (21,119 copies; #2 Country), Tyler Farr (28,857 copies; #2 Country), Thomas Rhett (36,253 copies; #2 Country), Jon Pardi (17,050 copies; #3 Country), Eric Paslay (10,655 copies; #4 Country) and Frankie Ballard (11,000 copies / #5 Country)—Swindell’s opening sales sum (63,247) is the largest, outpacing Rhett’s IT GOES LIKE THIS, which made a debut entry on Nov 2, 2013. While none of the albums from the aforementioned newcomers have crowned Top Country Albums, Swindell’s set is the fourth to hit No. 2, following Eldredge, Farr and Rhett.

Critical Reception for “Cole Swindell” :
BUY: 12 Tracks/ Time 40:37  CD - MP3 - UK iTunes -
>> Watch "Chillin' it"

USA Today (Rating 2.1/2 out of 4) this Georgia native eases into the spotlight with unhurried confidence. His laid-back, alcohol-fueled debut combines a Southern hip-hop fan's singsong drawl with rock-guitar production. — Brian Mansfield

Allmusic (Rating: 3 STARS) ....Cole Swindell's first hit single, "Chillin' It," sounds a bit like Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" as performed by Luke Bryan, and there's a reason for that: prior to taking a stab at a recording career, Swindell was a songwriter, penning songs for Bryan, FGL, and Scotty McCreery. He's a behind-the-scenes bro, responsible for crafting the
sound and feel of contemporary country, and his eponymous 2014 album demonstrates the attributes of his craft..... The one problem with the record is that Swindell sounds like a songwriter, not a singer. He has a guy-next-door voice that's ingratiating but not compelling, never pulling listeners into the song. This is where the sonic similarities to Bryan and FGL become a bit of a detriment; it's possible to hear either sing the songs on Cole Swindell with more personality than the man himself. Nevertheless, the album winds up pleasant enough: it's constructed by pros who know how to get tunes on the radio, so it goes down easy even if it sometimes seems like an overblown demo tape

Roughstock (Rating: 4 STARS) There’s an old saying that artists love to let the music speak and that couldn’t be more true for newcomer Cole Swindell. Over the course of the dozen tracks on Cole Swindell, we hear an artist who showcases who he is through the music. “Chillin’ It” brought Cole to the world’s attention as an artist and it’s easy to see why...... Cole wrote all but one of the tracks on Cole Swindell and the lone outside-sourced song is “Swayin’,” A song written by hit makers Ashley Gorley, Chris DeStefano and Rhett Akins..... By letting the music speak for him we find out that there’s a easy-going charm to the music that Cole Swindell makes and the man himself. It's an album that's easily likeable and one that should provide fans and radio many hits in the year or two to come.

Billboard Top Country Albums also sports a No. 9 re-entry for a cappella group Home Free—the fourth-season winner of NBC’s Sing-Off competition—whose album CRAZY LIFE (Columbia) sold 5,000 in its first full week of availability in physical form. Of that sum, 64% are Internet sales of CDs mailed to consumers. The album debuted at No.8 on the Feb. 1 chart with 6,000 solely from digital downloads. The group is on the road with the Sing-Off Live Tour, which started a string of 32 dates on Feb. 19 in Verona, N.Y.

Outside the Top 25 Billboard Country albums saw unsigned Bedford, southern Indiana and Nashville based artist Clayton Anderson land at No.50 with RIGHT WHERE I BELONG (No Hassle Love Castle Records), the follow up to Anderson’s 2009 debut Torn Jeans & Tailgates (#12 peak on the iTunes Country Chart). The album also appears on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart at No.20.
This 2014 release which initially debuted on the US iTunes Country Chart (Feb 18) at No.12 sees Anderson as sole writer or co-writer on almost all of the seven tracks. He has opened for some of country music’s biggest names in the past (including Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker and Eric Church) as well as winning Kenny Chesney’s Next Big Star competition. 
Anderson manages to transition his appeal to contemporary country fans with an array of more Country Pop and Country Rock leaning tracks such as the opener Country High and Right Where I Belong. Late 2013, Anderson asked his fans to choose his new single, and >> “Your Love Is Like Country Music” came out on top.
(18 Feb 2014) Clayton Anderson - Right Where I Belong
BUY: Right Where I Belong” 7 Tracks/ Time: 24:08 MP3 - UK iTunes -  CONNECT with Clayton on FACEBOOK

Also of note on the Billboard Heatseekers chart saw the début at #7 from Americana/ Rock & Roll / Pop-Rock artiste Lydia Loveless with SOMEWHERE ELSE.
If you believe in rock ‘n’ roll, you pray for people like Lydia Loveless.”  -
"Brimming with brashness and vulnerability, confidence and insecurity, and can leave you not knowing quite what to think." - writes The Boston Globe.
She's just passionate, but keep in mind that she's also nobody's alt-country princess - Interview
(Rating: 8.5/10) The different shades of longing and desire that are woven through the songs on Lydia Loveless’ Somewhere Else constitute a whole world of broken dreams - Paste Magazine
BUY: 10 Tracks/ Time: 42:17 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes -

On February 11, Americana/ AAA / Acoustic Rock outfit Hurray for the Riff Raff released SMALL TOWN HEROES, its debut for ATO Records. The album with its great cover art landed at No.3 on the Heatseekers standings. 
The album finds frontwoman Alynda Lee Segarra – who settled in New Orleans after leaving her native Bronx at age 17 – contemporizing the rich musical forms of the American South in the age of Trayvon Martin and Wendy Davis.

Produced by Segarra and engineered by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), ‘Small Town Heroes’ features twelve new, original songs all written or co-written by Segarra, with support from a vivid cast of Crescent City musicians including her longtime right-hand-man on fiddle, Yosi Perlstein, keyboard player Casey McAllister, and two members of the Deslondes: Sam Doores on guitar and Dan Cutler on bass. NPR has said that Hurray for the Riff Raff “sweeps across eras and genres with grace and grit,” never more so than on ‘Small Town Heroes.’ ‘Small Town Heroes’ follows Hurray for the Riff Raff’s self-released 2012 album ‘Look Out Mama,’ which led to a performance at the Newport Folk Festival, and praise from Mojo, which compared Segarra to “a soulful, young Loretta Lynn. Read more at ATO Records . >> Watch  “End of the Line” Read the reviews (Rating: 8/10) at Paste Magazine and
BUY: 12 Tracks/ Time: 44:03 available now at and will be relesed in the UK March 3st

Johnny Cash’s Legend of Johnny Cash, a long-time top-seller which is #75 on the BB200 and #7 on the Billboard Catalog Chart has now moved 3.116 million copies and features tracks from his time with American Recordings (I.E. his late-career and last )
It first charted on the BB200 in 2005 and has enjoyed 78 weeks on the chart with a peak of #5

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
4,499,000 (Physical sales 2,918,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 1,581,000 (down 10.1%)) which is 16.6% down at the same point in 2013 (5,395,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings

(Issue dated Chart week of March 8, 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 8, 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:

  • Cole Swindell with “Chillin’ It” logged a second week atop Hot Country Songs, adding Streaming Gainer honors (801,000 U.S. streams, up 16%, according to Nielsen BDS). On Country Streaming Songs, the title jumps 9-4.
  • Brantley Gilbert’sBottoms Up” (Valory) has reached a new Hot Country Songs peak with a 4-2 hop
  • Keith Urban claimed his 30th top 10 with “Cop Car” (Capitol Nashville), which rose 12-10
  • Craig Campbell posted a career-high start at No.40 with “Keep Them Kisses Comin’ ” (Bigger Picture). Campbell’s previous best was a No.49 debut with “Outta My Head” two years ago.
Top 25 Hot Country Songs:

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

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (2 weeks)/ Streaming Gainer ** “Chillin’ It“ Cole Swindell
** Digital Gainer ** No.7  ”Give Me Back My Hometown”  Eric Church
** Airplay Gainer ** No.17 Florida Georgia Line feat Luke Bryan
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.40 “Keep Them Kisses Comin’” Craig Campbell
Debut No.44 “Let Me See Ya Girl”  Cole Swindell
Debut No.47 “Just Add Moonlight” Eli Young Band

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of March 8, 2014

Jason Aldean’s 11th No.1 count on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with for “When She Says Baby” (Broken Bow) enjoyed a second week atop the chart.
“When She Says Baby” logged 45.661 million audience impressions (+1.489 million gain) receiving 7,238 radio plays (+223).
Six of Aldean’s No1s have spent multiple weeks at the summit. His first such song (and longest No.1 run to date) was “Big Green Tractor,” which logged the first of four straight weeks at No.1 on the Sept. 5, 2009, chart. He spent three weeks at No.1 with “Don’t You Wanna Stay” (a duet with Kelly Clarkson) three years ago and held for another three weeks with “Take a Little Ride” in 2012. His previous two-week No.1s are “The Truth” (2010) and “Night Train” (2013).

Randy Houser, claimed his fourth top 10 on Country Airplay with “Goodnight Kiss” (Stoney Creek), which gained 1.3 million audience impressions and stepped 11-10 in its 24th chart week. He has reached the upper region more quickly on two occasions—his fastest top 10 ascent was 20 weeks with “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” which eventually spent two weeks at No.1 last summer. “Boots On” needed 21 weeks to crack the top 10 on its way to a No.2 peak five years ago. Houser’s longest top 10 climb was 32 weeks with “How Country Feels,” which became his first No.1 a year ago.

The week’s “Most Added” honours at No.23 with "This Is Now We Roll" (Republic Nashville) goes to Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan which snagged 34 fresh radio commitments (ADDS).
Craig Campbell bagged the “Most Increased Audience” trophy as “Keep Them Kisses Comin’ (Bigger Picture) at No.30 logged 7.262 million audience impressions, a 5.010 million audience net gain, receiving 1,384 radio plays (+783)
The Band Perry took home the “Hot Shot Debut” cup as their new single “Chainsaw” (Republic Nashville) landed at No.50. The song, written by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matt Ramsey, becomes their fourth single from their second studio album PIONEER.

Fourth-season “The Voice” (NBC) finalists The Swon Brothers appear for the first time with “Later On” (Arista Nashville), which made a bow at No.60. Although the duo makes its maiden voyage on the radio chart with its first official single, brothers Zach Swon and Colton Swon became regulars last year on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs survey, placing 10 competition tracks on the sales/airplay/streaming hybrid chart between May and July. The highest rank among those songs was the duo’s cover of Kenny Loggins’ “Danny’s Song,” which debuted and peaked at No.16 last June. The song was a top 10 hit for Anne Murray some 40 years before the sibling duo’s cover—her version peaked at No.10 on the Hot Country Songs chart dated March 24, 1973.

Women of Country 2014 Watch:
Danielle Bradbery at No.13 (“The Heart Of Dixie”), Miranda Lambert at No.25 ("Automatic") and Sara Evans at No.28 (“Slow Me Down”) were the only 3 solo female artists in the Top 30 Country Airplay songs. Sheryl Crow #35, Leah Turner #40, Lindsay Ell #46, Lucy Hale #51, Maggie Rose #57 and Jennifer Nettles #58 were an additional six females in the remaining 31-60 slots to make it 15.0%.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (2 weeks) *** "When She Says Baby” Jason Aldean  
** Most Added **  No.23 "This Is Now We Roll" Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan  
** Most Increased Audience ** No.30  “Keep Them Kisses Comin’ Craig Campbell   
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.50 “Chainsaw” The Band Perry
Debut No.55 “Best Night Ever” Gloriana
Debut No.57 “Looking Back Now” Maggie Rose
Debut No.60 "Later On” The Swon Brothers

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of March 8, 2014

Brantley Gilbert’sBottoms Up” (Valory) held at No.1 for a fourth non-consecutive week. It adds 64,000 downloads (up some 5%) to head the Billboard Country Digital Chart in its 10th chart week. It made a No.1 debut on Jan. 4th. It also reached a new Hot Country Songs peak with a 4-2 hop.

Women Of Country Watch
Only 2 solo female artists are on the Top 30 placings
Miranda Lambert with her new single "Automatic" in its second week at retail sold 18K (down 65%) and fell 3-20.
Cassadee Pope’sWasting All These Tears,” at No.27 looks to be 2 weeks away of going Platinum (1-million sales)
Jamie Lynn Spears with her fabulous single “How Could I Want More” is down at #76 with 69,000 copies sold to date.

Dropping off the Top 30:
22 - Off the Top 50, Carrie Underwood “Look At Me”  
24 - Off the Top 50, Cole Swindell “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey”  
26 - Off the Top 50, Cole Swindell Hope You Get Lonely Tonight  
27- 31 Kacey Musgraves “Follow Your Arrow “
29 - Off the Top 50, Eric Chuch “Tallladega “

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published February 27, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week  (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart

Cole Swindell with “Chillin’ It” (WMN) moved 3-1 to top the Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart for the tracking week Feb 16 - Feb 22, 2014. The song logged 7,526 radio spins (+417) and 60.209 million audience impressions (+2.636 million) reported by 148 stations.

So its congratulations to WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE SVP/Promotion Kevin Herring, VP/Promotion Kristen Williams and the entire WMN promo staff for scoring the week's #1. It was his first-ever chart-topper which has also now topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs. "Chillin'It" has already been certified Gold by the RIAA.

ASCAP, BMI and the CMA hosted a #1 party on Mon., February 24th to celebrate “Friday Night,” Eric Paslay‘s first #1 song as both the songwriter and the artist. It landed the No.1 for the tracking week Jan 26 – Feb 1, 2014.
Music Row’s industry and media packed the room to honor Paslay along with co-writers Rob Crosby and Rose Falcon, who celebrated their third and first #1 songs, respectively (see photo). “Friday Night,” the debut single from Paslay’s EMI Records Nashville self-titled album released on February 4th, marked his fourth trip to the top of the charts as a songwriter.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 385 - February 24, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

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