On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart, Taylor Swift’s 1989 collected an eighth consecutive week atop the list, moving 244,000 equivalent units in the week ending Jan. 4, according to Nielsen Music. (That figure was comprised of 172,000 in pure album sales, with the rest made up of track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums.)
The Billboard 200 chart measures multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the chart:
— Ed Sheeran, x – No. 3 — Ed Sheeran’s x vaults 7-3 with 83,000 units (down 26 percent). It is the album’s highest rank since its second week on the chart (dated July 19, 2014) when it fell 1-2. More than half of his album’s overall unit total is comprised of SEA and TEA (mostly TEA, where his track equivalent total is 37,000 for the week).
The Billboard Cover Shoot: 2014 No. 1 Artists Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Nick Jonas on Their Hits
— Selena Gomez, For You – No. 31 — Sixty percent of the greatest hits album’s overall units (18,000; up 39-31 on the chart) are from TEA, thanks to the strong digital sales of its single “The Heart Wants What It Wants” (86,000 for the week).
— David Guetta, Listen – No. 47 — New Year’s Eve was very good for the superstar DJ, as consumers were clearly moved by his party-ready tunes. His album is the only title in the top 150 to earn gains in album sales, TEA and SEA. The album shifted 14,000 units, rising 149-47, with the greatest percentage gain on the tally.
— Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek – No. 92 — The duets album surpassed 500,000 in sales during the week ending Dec. 28, making it Bennett’s seventh album to hit a half-million since Nielsen began tracking data in 1991. It’s Gaga’s fifth half-million-seller.
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga’s ‘Cheek To Cheek’ Débuts at No. 1
— Billy Joel, The Essential Billy Joel – No. 117 — PBS’ Jan. 2 airing of the all-star salute Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize helps pump up the Piano Man’s best-of by 82 percent (7,000 units) and a re-entry on the list.
— Various Artists, Disney Karaoke Series: Frozen – No. 129 — Three Frozen-related albums finished among 2014’s top 100 sellers: the original Frozen soundtrack (No. 2 for the year; 3.5 million), this karaoke set (No. 64; 288,000) and Frozen: The Songs (No. 68; 277,000). (The original Frozen soundtrack included both the songs and score from the film, while the later Frozen: The Songs featured — as advertised in its title — only the movie’s songs.)
Lady Gaga, Usher, Bruce Springsteen & More Pay Tribute to 2014 Kennedy Centre Honourees
— Sting & The Police, The Very Best of Sting & The Police – No. 154 — After more than a year away from the Billboard 200, Sting returns to the chart, fuelled in part by his receipt of the Kennedy Centre Honours. The rock icon’s 1997 greatest hits package The Very Best of Sting & The Police re-enters at No. 154 (6,000 units; up 88 percent in the week ending Jan. 4, according to Nielsen Music). The 2014 Kennedy Centre Honours were broadcast as a star-studded two-hour CBS TV special on Dec. 30, celebrating Sting and fellow honourees Al Green, Tom Hanks, Patricia McBride and Lily Tomlin. Sting’s performance-fuelled tribute included Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Esperanza Spaulding, Herbie Hancock, Bruce Springsteen and the cast of the Broadway musical The Last Ship (Sting wrote its music and lyrics).
The Very Best of Sting & The Police sold 3,000 copies — up 85 percent — and also re-enters at No. 49 on Top Pop Catalogue Albums.
Sting was last on the Billboard 200 with his studio album The Last Ship, which spent six weeks on the tally (Oct. 12-Nov. 13, 2013).