Weekly Register: Pirate Flags and A Bottle Of Rum

chesGrid Talk On The Emerald Seas
Country’s sailor of the emerald seas, Kenny Chesney, pulled into Nielsen SoundScan harbor this week with almost 153,000 debut units in tow (43% digital) and No. 1 positions across both the Country and Top 200 album charts. Great news like that would surely be a reason to pour some Blue Chair Bay Rum to celebrate. Especially when the rum is named after your own label, Blue Chair Records. (KC’s previous release Welcome To The Fishbowl debuted the week ended 6/24/12 with 193k.)

Unfortunately, even the Chesney stimulus was not buoyant enough to keep country sales above water. YTD country album sales dipped from a meager +.4% last week to -.4% this week. Looking back to the same time in 2012, it’s easy to see why the numbers fell. During the week ended 5-6-12 there was a Carrie Underwood debut (Blown Away) with 267k units and Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee in release week 6, at No. 2 logging 64k units. This week’s No. 2 position, behind Chesney, was the affable Blake Shelton also in release week 6, but with a lighter load of about 35k in weekly scans. Therefore the YTD slipped.

But speaking about Shelton, the Voice coach performed a sizzling rendition of “Need You Now” with a very sultry Shakira on last night’s show. The video link is here. Is it my imagination or does Shelton seem to be sweating like crazy? Also send out a full-scale extreme star power alert: watch 16-year-old Danielle Bradbury sing “Maybe It Was Memphis.”

weeklygrid5-5-13The Randy Rogers Band also jumped in and out of bins this week with Trouble gathering a No. 3 position on the country chart with almost 26k units (62% digital).

Next week anxious fans will receive Lady A’s new Golden, plus Chesney’s wk 2 tally, which will strengthen country’s YTD stats. (Lady A’s last album scored a robust 347k units the week ended 9-18-11.) And there’s more! Watch for a new Pistol Annies and a solo effort form Natalie Maines.

Weekly Register, after a thorough analysis of the upcoming week and exhaustive comparison research now predicts with great certainty, it’s a lock that country YTD sales will float into positive territory next week.

weeklygrid4-28-13Tracking Our Progress
Chesney’s No. 1 album debut was also reflected, although to a lesser degree, on the tracks chart. The island pirate hoisted six tracks onto the country top 100 with the highest, “Pirate Flag” landing at no. 12 with almost 39k downloads. Eleven notches higher up the chart at No. 1 (again!) is the irrepressible duo named after something you can’t even see, Florida Georgia Line. FGL slugged out another combined 145k downloads of its massive multi-format hit “Cruise.” The song is now blessed with over 3.1 million downloads RTD. Actually the country version of the song registered almost 54k of the 145k this week with the remix featuring Nelly contributing the additional 95k.

fglnellyAlso deserving mention in slots No. 2 and 3 are Darius Rucker “Wagon Wheel” and Blake Shelton w/Pistol Annies “Boys Round Here” which sold 102k and 99k respectively. Rucker’s track is already Platinum and Shelton’s just turned Gold.

Country track sales are up a solid 7.4%, while all genre tracks are off, -2.6%. In actual numbers, YTD 2013 country track sales total 62.1 million units, comparing nicely with last year’s 57.8 million total.

There’s been a lot of great music hitting the streets this spring with more on the way, so make sure you’ve got some wrapped ’round your ears.

In the meantime, keep listening to the ringing of country’s Weekly Register…

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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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