Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Country Billboard Chart News September 25, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News September 25, 2014

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No. 1 (1 week) "Sundown Heaven Town” Tim McGraw
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (9 weeks) ** “Burnin’ It Down” Jason Aldean
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** "American Kids" Kenny Chesney
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 ** (9 weeks) ** “Burnin’ It Down” Jason Aldean

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

Barbra Streisand earned her 10th No. 1 album on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart (BB200) with the debut of PARTNERS. The all-star collaborations set sold 195,723 copies in the week ending Sept. 21, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
With the arrival at No.1, Streisand became the only act with No.1 albums in each of the last six decades.
 The new Columbia Records album was released on Sept. 16 and features duets with the likes of Josh Groban, Blake Shelton, Michael Buble and Billy Joel. She last hit the top with 2009's LOVE IS THE ANSWER.
Partners' opening sum was the largest sales week for a female artist in 2014, and Streisand's biggest sales frame since Christmas week of 1997. Her last album to sell more in a week was HIGHER GROUND, which shifted 402,000 in the frame ending Dec. 28, 1997. The larger-than-expected sales launch for “Partners” can be owed to publicity Streisand generated during the week, an attractive $7.99 price for the set at iTunes and Amazon MP3, and the album's all-star guest list.

Tim McGraw fortified his No.2 standing on the list of artists with the most Nielsen SoundScan-era No.1s on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart as he collected his 15th leader with his 13th studio album SUNDOWN HEAVEN TOWN (McGraw/Big Machine/Big Machine Label Group). 

The set arrived at No.3 on the BB200 (#1 Country) with 71,253 copies sold (60% Physical), according to SoundScan. McGraw is now one chart-topper away from tying George Strait’s record 16 No.1s since the chart adopted SoundScan data in May 1991. It’s McGraw’s 16th top 10 Billboard 200 album.
McGraw's last studio effort, 2013's TWO LANES OF FREEDOM, produced by Byron Gallimore, entered at No.2 on the Billboard 200 marking the country star's first album for Big Machine Records selling 106,604 copies (chart week Feb 23, 2013) to bag his 15th Top 10 and 14th leader on the Country Albums chart.

Co-produced by McGraw and his longtime collaborator Byron Gallimore, “Sundown Heaven Town“ album features both a 13-track standard and 18-track deluxe version. Special guest include Faith Hill ("Meanwhile Back At Mama's") and Catherine Dunn ("Diamond Rings And Old Barstools"). Tim promoted the album with a performance on ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday, followed by an appearance on ABC's The View the following day. He followed that up with another performance on NBC's Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. In fact, Tim doesn't want fans to think of him or his famous wife much at all as they're listening to his new album, Sundown Heaven Town. Instead, he hopes his listeners find pieces of their own stories in his new collection of songs.

Critical reception for Tim McGraw’s “Sundown Heaven Town”:
18 Tracks (Deluxe Edition) Time: 1:09:54 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music  -

Allmusic (Rating: 3.5 STARS).. His renaissance continues with 2014's Sundown Heaven Town, his second album for Big Machine and a record that often plays like a direct sequel to its predecessor in that it's designed to show off everything McGraw and his longtime collaborator/producer Byron Gallimore can do....Sundown Heaven Town is distinguished by its smooth touch but within that gloss.... McGraw knows when to shift away from the spacious
arena-country of "Shotgun Rider" to the light electronic accents of "Dust," then to glide into the modernized southern soul of "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools" or when to get delicate, as he does on the sentimental (but not sappy) "Meanwhile Back at Mama's." This versatility isn't showy, which is a large part of McGraw's charm: he has an easy touch that not only warms the sheen of his gloss, it hides the meticulousness of his craft. He's wound up making records that are the new millennial equivalent of classic soft rock, records informed by the trends of the day but which place emphasis on melody and craft, which is why they resonate: they come on smooth and easy but have the foundation to last.

Billboard (Rating: 88/100; Track-by-Track review by by Chuck Dauphin)...the singer stretches a little more than usual -- and takes a few musical chances. ..Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” - This might be the crowning moment of the disc. It’s high on emotional drama, high on steel, and high on some outstanding harmony from McGraw’s cousin Catherine Dunn -- who proves there’s more talent in the family genetic pool.

USA Today (Rating; 3 out of 4 stars)..."We're going down if we don't change some," McGraw warns in Overrated, one of many wise nuggets on the vet's solid outing. Fortunately, he and harmonizing wife Faith Hill find shelter on Meanwhile Back at Mama's. — Jerry Shriver Download: Overrated, Portland Maine, Meanwhile Back at Mama's

For The Country Record ....But he hits a golden spot when he cuts the country and rock influences straight down the middle. ‘Shotgun Rider’, in addition to ‘City Lights’, ‘Sick of Me’ and ‘Overrated’, all incorporate an undeniably neotraditional approach to the actual writing of the melody and chord progressions, meanwhile placing more up-to-date rock
instrumentation over the top in addition to the occasional pedal steel. It’s here where the album begins to shine the brightest and where Tim clearly feels most at home, merging the two at times clashing sides of his music into a solid, up-tempo, potential radio-single mould that serves him extremely well. He’s pleasing both camps, without seeming to sacrifice anything in the recording process.....The sparser ballads are on this record are also extremely well-done. ‘Portland, Maine’, ‘Diamond Rings & Old Barstools’ (featuring Catherine Dunn) and the fabulous #1 single ‘Meanwhile Back At Mama’s’ are all emotive, perfectly-delivered album highlights that can be returned to again and again, each time finding something new....So, what is going on? The Deluxe version is a melting pot of a few established musical narratives being completely thrown out and a load of new ideas just smushed together. It seems very much like all the extra tracks they recorded when they were figuring out where to go sonically, and in a bid not to waste them just threw them all on a more expensive edition. It’s true, I really love ‘The View’ and think it’s a curious but well-suited direction for Tim to go in, but it’s quite out of place and something of an afterthought at track 17, particularly as it’s then followed chronologically by ‘Black Jacket’, which returns to some of the EDM used earlier..... This album overall is pretty good one, so it seems a shame to confuse its trajectory. I just suppose that’s the creative price you pay these days.
George Strait made his bow below McGraw at No.4 on the BB200 (#2 Country) as THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY: LIVE FROM AT&T STADIUM (MCA Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville) with 51,318 copies sold. It's only the fourth live album to reach the BB200 top 10 in 2014.
Strait's recorded farewell concert on June 7 is his 19th top 10 Billboard 200 album, which is more than any other artist (from any genre) has amassed since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales. It’s also more than any other country artist in chart history.
This is Strait’s third live album. It follows “For The Last Time: Live From The Astrodome” (#7 in 2003) and “Live At Texas Stadium” (a collabo with Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett, #11 in 2007). All three albums were recorded in Texas venues, which is appropriate for the proud Texan. Strait’s album is nearly as star-studded as Streisand’s collection. It features Vince Gill, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney and Ray Benson.
George’s last studio set LOVE IS EVERYTHING debuted at No.2 on the BB200 and No.1 Country selling 119,598 units in its first week (87,527 Physical Albums + 32,071 Digital albums). The album contained the hit single “Give It All We Got Tonight,” which launched a rather manipulated and rigged campaign to score his 60th No.1 single on the Mediabase chart to coincide with his 60th birthday. (Review) George Strait The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium .....The 20-track CD offers a taste of what the last show of Strait's final tour was like. The all-star lineup includes Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Martina McBride and more. When George Strait retired from the road with a Texas-sized, star-studded farewell show at AT&T Stadium earlier this summer, an attendance-record-setting 104,793 country fans left the home of the Dallas Cowboys wishing the long goodbye would never end. Now it doesn't have to. A live album, greatest hits album and duets album all in one, The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium — in addition to giving a certain telecommunications corporation one helluva return on a naming-rights deal — captures and canonizes 20 of the best performances from King George's last stand, including Strait-up classics from "Amarillo by orning" to "All My Ex's Live in Texas," with a guest list of duet partners the likes of Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Faith Hill.

Of Note:
The Earls of Leicester, The Earls of Leicester (Rounder/Concord Music Group) arrived at No.159  on the BB200. The tribute album from the six-man band celebrates the music of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and it also made a debut at No.1 on Bluegrass Albums with 2,000 sold.

Critical reception for Earls of Leicester - The Earls of Leicester:
Americana/ Bluegrass / Folk 13 Tracks/ Time: 37:10 CD - MP3 - 

Allmusic (Rating; 3 STARS) ....Bill Monroe is often cited as the man who gave birth to bluegrass, and his contribution to the genre simply can't be overestimated, but one can reasonably argue that Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs had nearly as much to do with the growth of the music as Monroe ....Jerry Douglas, widely acknowledged to be the finest dobro player in the game, is a serious Flatt & Scruggs fan, and he's created a remarkable fan's gesture by bringing together a handful of superb pickers to pay homage to his heroes.... It's certainly a pleasure to hear six players this strong playing music they clearly love, and everyone on board has a superb touch and a sincere appreciation of the material, especially Douglas, Cushman, and Camp...... but there is one real problem with this album: the players, great as they are, only bring so much of their personality to these songs, and while these performances are excellent, the Flatt & Scruggs originals were also excellent as well as being of massive historical importance. Which is to say that you might do just as well to get a good collection of classic Flatt & Scruggs sides as listen to this....but as far as having a mind and a character of its own, these sessions leave a certain amount to be desired.
2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
21,270,000 (Physical sales 14,128,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 7,142,000 (down -15.8%)) which is 22.7% down at the same point in 2013 (27,501,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings
(Issue dated Chart week of October 4, 2014)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)
(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)

Billboard Catalog Albums Chart (week of October 4, 2014)

Pos. Last Week/ Weeks on Chart/ Title / Artist/ Label
#1  Re-Entry 58  The Ultimate Hits - Garth Brooks (Pearl/RCA Nashville | Legacy)
#2  5  108  The Legend Of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash (Legacy/Columbia Nashville/American/Island | Ume)
# 3  8  60  Red River Blue - Blake Shelton (Warner Bros. Nashville | WMN)

Garth Brooks had not appeared on the Catalog chart since 2010 but made a return with the re-issued  "The Ultimate Hits" (9,000 copies sold), which spent 38 weeks on the chart in 2010. It re-enters the Billboard 200 at No.27 and now becomes Brooks' second Catalog #1, joining 1994's "The Hits", which was #1 on the Billboard 200 and also topped the Catalog chart for 12 weeks in 1998. Country artists swept the Top 3 places as Johnny Cash's "The Legend Of Johnny Cash" moved (5-2, No.82 BB200) and Blake Shelton's "Red River Blue" (8-3, No.87 BB200).
Kacey Musgraves Grammy Award winning album SAME TRAILER DIFFERENT PARK first release March 19, 2013, no longer appears on the Billboard Top 50 country albums. It does not yet appear on the Catalog Top 50 albums list but as the title was more than 18-months old and had fallen below position 100 on the Billboard 200 it does meet the criteria and has been removed from the Billboard Country Current Albums rankings and may begin a new chart runs on Top Pop Catalog Albums. As of July 30, 2014 it had sold 448,000 units. The last few weeks it has been selling less than 2,000 copies without  charting on the BB200.

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of October 4, 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:

  • Jason Aldean logged a ninth straight week atop Hot Country Songs with “Burnin’ It Down” (Broken Bow). The track also leads Country Digital Songs for an ninth straight week (78,000 sold) and tops Country Streaming Songs for a seventh consecutive frame at No.1 (2.7 million total U.S. streams, down 6%). “Burnin’ dropped 20-21 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Taylor Swift’s 5 week old pop single “Shake It Off” at No.2. 
  • Jason Aldean earned a career-best start on Hot Country Songs with “Gonna Know We Were Here” (Broken Bow) and bagged the Hot Shot Debut at No.12 (71,000 downloads sold; No.2 Country Digital Songs). “Here” surpassed last weeks “Sweet Little Somethin’,” which opened at No.17 on Sept. 20. Both tracks are from Aldean’s OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT, due Oct. 7.
  • Chase Rice completed the longest top 10 climb since the chart’s conversion from core country radio audience impressions to a sales/airplay/streaming hybrid in October 2012, as “Ready Set Roll” (Dack Janiels/Columbia Nashville) rose 12-10 in its 42nd week. That surpassed Scotty McCreery’s 35-week ascent with “See You Tonight,” which peaked at No. 10 on the March 1 chart. Rice’s track sold 21,000 downloads during the tracking week and rose 17-14 in its 42nd frame week on the Country Digital Songs chart, with 784,000 that ended Sept. 21).
  • Shotgun Rider,” the second single from Tim McGraw’s new set, entered at No. 25 as lead track “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” dipped 14-16 following a No. 7 peak on the Aug. 23 list.
Top 25 Hot Country Songs:

Jason Aldean with “Burnin’ It Down” stays Top the chart! 
Florida Georgia Line with former #1“Dirt” holds at #2
Kenny Chesney with “American Kids” holds at #3
Sam Hunt with “Leave The Night On” is up two, #6 - #4 p
Luke Bryan with “Roller Coaster” is a non-mover at #5
Dustin Lynch with “Where It’s At” (Yep, Yep) drops two, #4 - #6 q
Cole Swindell with “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” is up one, #8 - #7 p
Blake Shelton with “Neon Light” is up two slots, #10 - #8 p
Lady Antebellum with “Bartender” falls two #7 - #9 q
Chase Rice with “Ready Set Roll” climbs two, #12 - #10 p
Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood’s former #1 “Somethin’ Bad” , #9 - #11 q
Jason Aldean with “Gonna Know We Were Here” debuts at #12 NEW
Dierks Bentley with “Drunk On A Plane” falls two, #11 - #13 q
Frankie Ballard with “Sunshine & Whiskey” slips one, #13 - #14 q
Maddie & Tae with “Girl In A Country Song” holds at #15
Tim McGraw feat Faith Hill with “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” falls, #14 - #16 q
Brantley Gilbert with “Small Town Throwdown” is down one, #16 - #17 q
Little Big Town with “Day Drinking” is down one, #17 - #18 q
Keith Urban with “Somewhere In My Car” parks at #19
Florida Georgia Line with “Sun Daze” debuts at #20 NEW
Big & Rich with “Look At You” is down one, #20 - #21 q
Parmalee with “Close Your Eyes” is up one, #23 - #22 p
Jason Aldean with “Sweet Little Somethin' dips one, #22 - #23 q
Scotty McCreery with “Feelin’ it” holds at #24
Tim McGraw with “Shotgun Rider” debuts at #25 NEW

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (9 weeks) ** “Burnin’ It Down” Jason Aldean
** Streaming Gainer ** No.8 “Leave The Night On” Sam Hunt
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.12 “Gonna Know We Were Here” Jason Aldean
** Digital Gainer ** No.33 “Drinking Class” Lee Brice
Debut No.20 “Sun Daze” Florida Georgia Line
Debut No.25 “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw
Debut No.38 “Lonely Tonight” Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of October 4, 2014

Dustin Lynch dominated Billboard’s Country Airplay chart for a second week with “Where It’s At (Yep, Yep)” (Broken Bow), the song posts the biggest weekly audience sum since the chart’s methodology switched from total plays to audience impressions in January 2005. It logged 50.282 million audience impressions (+1.227 million) and received 7,706 radio plays (+159).
The figure surpassed Thomas Rhett’s 50.27 million impressions for “It Goes Like This” on Nov. 29, 2013. Luke Bryan’s 49.7 million impressions for “Play It Again” (June 14) came nearest.
Top local audience contributors to Lynch’s record-breaking week: KKBQ Houston (1.5 million impressions), WNSH New York (1.4 million), WUSN Chicago (1.4 million), WUBL Atlanta (1.1 million) and KKGO Los Angeles (1.1 million).

  • Sam Hunt made the quickest top 10 ascent by a new act (i.e., excluding known entities like Darius Rucker or Wynonna, who started in groups before going solo) with a debut single in nearly two years as “Leave the Night On” (MCA Nashville) rose 11-10 in its 15th chart week. That’s the quickest rise into the upper region for song by such a newcomer since Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” crossed the top 10 threshold in its 14th frame on Nov. 10, 2012. Since the chart launched in January 1990, the fastest top 10 sprint for a debut track by a rookie with no prior chart history is seven weeks, with four songs holding the distinction: Tracy Lawrence’s “Sticks and Stones” (1991), Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” (1992), LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue” (1996) and Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman” (2004).
  • Jason Aldean with "Burnin' It Down" moved 7-6 and snagged Most Increased Audience stripes logging 39.885 million audience impressions, a gain of +4.530 million and got 6,269 radio plays (+601)
  • Tim McGraw nabbed the Most Added trophy with with “Shotgun Rider” (Big Machine), which surged 41-31 and adds Breaker stripes (awarded to songs that show at least one play at 60 percent of the reporting panel for the first time). The song logged 7.356 million audience impressions (+3.491 million) and received 1,169 radio plays (+487) thanks to 36 fresh radio commitments (ADDS). The song is the third single from Sundown Heaven Town, McGraw’s 13th studio album.
  • Eric Church drew the week’s Hot Shot Debut honours as he opened at No.45 with “Talladega” (EMI Nashville), the fourth single from his album The Outsiders. (Following a No. 20 peak on the Aug. 20 chart, “Cold One” dips 20-30 in its 18th week.) The title track and lead single from the album debuted and peaked at No. 25 (Nov. 9, 2013), followed by “Give Me Back My Hometown,” which topped the May 17 list.
  • Trisha Yearwood with her first chart entry as a lead artist in six years, returned to Country Airplay with “PrizeFighter” (featuring Kelly Clarkson) (Gwendolyn/RCA Nashville), which punched in at No.59. Yearwood had last appeared with sole top billing with “They Call It Falling for a Reason,” which peaked at No. 54 in August 2008. Her most recent non-seasonal entry was “The Call,” with husband Garth Brooks, which debuted and peaked at No. 49 on Dec. 28, 2013. The new song previews Yearwood’s upcoming album, her first for Sony Music Nashville which will mix new songs and prior hits; she's tallied 19 top 10s, including five No.1s, on Country Airplay. Yearwood will promote the release on the all-in-the-family Garth Brooks World Tour, which began on Sept. 4. "You know my husband doesn't do anything halfway," she told Billboard in August. "It's going to be over-the-top and I get to be a part of this. I'm super-excited."
Women of Country 2014 Watch:
There were no solo female artists on the Top 30 Country Airplay songs Miranda Lamberts’ duet with Carrie Underwood Somethin’ Bad” fell 9-11. “Girl In A Country Song” by Maddie & Tae rose 19-17
RaeLynn #38, Jana Kramer #40, Lindsay Ell #52, Lucy Hale #54 and Trisha Yearwood #59 were the five solo females in the remaining 31-60 slots, to make it just 8.33% of the entire Top 60 chart.

Country Airplay
Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (2 weeks)*** "Where It's At (Yep, Yep)" Dustin Lynch
** Most Increased Audience ** No. 6 "Burnin' It Down" Jason Aldean
** Most Added ** No.31 “Shotgun Rider” Tim McGraw 
** Hot Shot Debut ** No. 45 "Talladega" Eric Church
Debut No. 55 "Sweet Little Somethin' " Jason Aldean
Debut No. 57 "She Does" Jackie Lee
Debut No.59 “PrizeFighter” Trisha Yearwood featuring Kelly Clarkson
Debut No.60 “Keep On Truckin’” Tim McGraw

 Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of October 4, 2014

  • Jason Aldean's "Burnin' It Down" (Broken Bow / BBMG) held at No.1 with 78,000 downloads sold in its nineth chart frame. His new preview track “Gonna  Know We Were Here arrived at No.2 shifting 71,000 downloads and replaced his other preview track “Two Night Town” which fell 2-9 in its second week from his album OLD BOOTS, NEW DIRT, due Oct. 7.
  • Florida Georgia Line with new track “Sun Daze” made its debut at No.4.
  • Sam Hunt with “Leave The Night On” at No.6 sold another 36,000 downloads to sail past the GOLD ½ million certification mark.
  • Blake Shelton’s preview track “Lonely Tonight”  featuring Ashley Monroe made a bow at No.13.
  • Tim McGraw’s new single “Shotgun Rider” arrived with at debut at #22 (16,000 sold)  
  • Lee Brice in his 30th frame with his nominated CMA Song of the Year “I Don’t Dance” moved 25-19 and sold enough copies to ease past the PLATINUM RIAA 1-million certification mark.
Women Of Country Watch
There were no solo female artists on the Top 30 placings. On the Top 50 the lone female was RaeLynn with “God Made Girls” which fell 39-40

Dropping off the Top 30:

14 - Off the Top 50 chart Kenny Chesney “The Big Revival”
19 - Off the Top 50 chart Brett Eldredge “Mean To Me”
21 - Off the Top 50 chart Easton Corbin “Baby Be My Love Song”
30-31 Brantley Gilbert “Bottoms Up”
16-47 Lady Antebellum “I Did With You”

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published September 25, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

Dustin Lynch moved 2-1 to land the No1 on Mediabase with “Where It’s At” (Broken Bow). The song logged 8,112 radio spins (+401) and 58.536 million audience impressions (+2.895 million) from 149 tracking stations for the tracking week September 14 to September 20, 2014 and published chart September 22nd.
Congratulations to BBR Music Group EVP Jon Loba, SVP Carson James, Broken Bow VP/Promotion Lee Adams and the entire Broken Bow promotion staff for scoring the week’s #1 single on the MEDIABASE Country singles charts with Dustin Lynch’s "Where It's At." The single marked Dustin’s first #1 MEDIABASE song, and also the first release from his WHERE IT'S AT album, which hit stores on Tues, Sept 9th. Sweet treats were due to be delivered to the Broken Bow office (Sept 22) to congratulate the staff on their success.

Congratulations to UMG Nashville SVP/Promotion Royce Risser, EMI Nashville VP/Promotion Jimmy Rector, and the entire EMI Nashville promo team for earning 36 MEDIABASE Country adds on Eric Church's "Talladega." Those adds give Eric the "Most Added" title for this week. Donuts were due to be delivered to the EMI Nashville office (Sept 22) to congratulate the staff on their success.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 415 - September 22, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

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