Weekly Register: Chesney, Luke and The Search For A Solution

Luttrell, TN’s most famous native son, Kenny Chesney, rides atop the country sales chart this week with the release of his newest, Welcome To The Fishbowl which scanned over 193k copies (38% digital). During most weeks, that kind of sales number would have also landed the hard-working troubadour atop the Billboard Top 200 all genre album list. But this week Kenny was forced to look up from the No. 2 spot at young Justin Bieber whose new debut Believe sold almost 375k copies. (Read Sarah Skates’ thoughtful Chesney concert review here.)

But how does Mr. Chesney’s latest song collection compare with other Nashville artists, sales-wise? Here’s a list of all 2012 country album chart debuts in the 50k+ category according to Nielsen SoundScan as compiled from industry sources.

As you can see, the Top 3 debuts this year have been from Carrie Underwood, Lionel Richie and Chesney. The rest of the pack, have numbers significantly lower. According to MusicRow’s album release calendar Zac Brown Band is warming up to throw out a new offering the week of July 10 which will most likely land on our grid, but currently there is nothing else on the list (yet) which appears to be an automatic >50 launch. However, Nashville record labels (and especially the sales departments) are known for being a crafty group, especially when it comes to tipping their fall/holiday plans. So it’s almost a sure thing that additional blockbuster titles will appear as we move through the summer. For example, what about Taylor Swift whose Speak Now album is already on the Catalog chart? Or Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party, still selling like crazy but now 86 weeks old? And The Band Perry’s self-titled debut is now 89 weeks old, so odds are good we’ll see something new from that dynamic trio, too.

Blank grid: Some data was unavailable this week

Best Of The Rest
And now a quick look around the neighborhood. On fire is Luke Bryan whose career has ignited even more reaction than last week’s outdated, but viral discussion over the music industry’s lack of a business model. (The digital hurricane was stirred by an honest but upsetting—to some—blog by Emily White and a utopian, whiny response from musician David Lowery. Did you hear a plan emerge from all that angst to find a better way to compensate deserving intellectual property owners? To me there is only one solution; make everyone pay on the way into the store. If you have a solution post it below.)

Meanwhile, back to Luke. His platinum album moves up a notch to No. 2 on the country list with scans of almost 28k units after 46 chart weeks and RTD sales of 1.2 million. Bryan also has 5 songs on the top 100 digital country tracks, including the No. 1 song “Drunk On You” which sold almost 85k downloads this week and has RTD sales of over 1.4 million. Bryan’s “I Don’t Want This Night To End” is No. 20 after 46 weeks on the singles chart and RTD sales of 1.76 million downloads. That’s what an exploding career looks like…

In closing, Weekly Register offers a tip of the hat to the gentle giant, Don Williams, who enters the album chart this week at No. 20 with sales of almost 5k.

 

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About the Author

Journalist, entrepreneur, tech-a-phile, MusicRow magazine founder, lives in Nashville, TN. Twitter him @davidmross or read his non-music industry musings at Secrets Of The List

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