Billboard 200 Chart Moves: ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Soundtrack & New ‘Hello, Dolly!’ Cast Recording Debut
by Keith Caulfield
On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated June 3), Harry Styles debuted at No. 1 with his self-titled album, earning 230,000 equivalent album units in the week ending May 18, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 193,000 were in traditional album sales — the biggest debut sales week for a U.K. male artist’s first full-length album.
Elsewhere in the top 10, Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home bowed at No. 2, while Paramore’s After Laughter and Machine Gun Kelly’s Bloom launched at Nos. 6 and 8, respectively.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:
— Logic, Everybody – No. 11 — A week after Logic notched his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with the chart-topping arrival of Everybody, the set falls to No. 11 in its second week with 36,000 units (down 85 percent from its opening of 247,000 units) and 10,000 in traditional album sales (down 95 percent from its start of 196,000 sold). The album also falls from No. 2 to No. 18 on the Top Album Sales chart.
The huge sales erosion for the set (released through Visionary/Def Jam Recordings) isn’t surprising, for two reasons.
First, Everybody’s first week was boosted by strong sales of an array of direct-to-consumer album/merch bundles. His label says that merch bundles generated 115,000 of the set’s first-week sales. Those sales generally don’t continue past an album’s debut week, as they are often pre-orders that are fulfilled during street week. Thus, a big second-week decline was inevitable.
Secondly, Logic has a core fanbase that can enable a big debut, but cannot usually sustain sizable sales past a set’s first week. His last studio set, 2015’s The Incredible True Story, bowed with 118,000 and then dropped to 18,000 in week two. In total, 44 percent of Incredible cumulative sales (266,000) were sold in its first week.
Comparatively, Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Volume 1 — which started at No. 1 on Top Album Sales (ahead of Logic) — falls to No. 3 with a moderate 67 percent sales decline. It bowed with 202,000 sold and dips to 66,000 in its second week. On the Billboard 200, it slips from No. 2 to No. 4 with 75,000 units (down 66 percent from its bow of 219,000 units).
— Soundtrack, The Bob’s Burgers Music Album – No. 21 — The soundtrack to the hit Fox TV series Bob’s Burgers starts at No. 21 on the Billboard 200 with 26,000 equivalent album units. 25,000 of that sum is comprised of traditional album sales. It’s the highest-charting animated TV series soundtrack since 2012, when Metalocalypse: Dethalbum III debuted and peaked at No. 10. Metalocalypse aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim from 2006 through 2013.
— Soundtrack, Fifty Shades Darker – No. 43 — The film’s home video release on May 9 prompts a 22 percent gain in units earned for the week, as the set climbs 56-43 with 13,000 units. Of that sum, 6,000 were in traditional album sales (a rise of 49 percent).
— New Broadway Cast Recording, Hello, Dolly! – No. 60 — With the Tony Awards around the corner (June 11), the charts see their yearly influx of cast recordings in the lead-up to the kudocast.
The New Broadway Cast Recording of Hello, Dolly! dances in at No. 60 on the Billboard 200 with 10,000 equivalent album units (nearly all from traditional album sales). The Bette Midler-led album also launches at No. 9 on Internet Albums and No. 1 on Cast Albums. Hello, Dolly!’s nearly 10,000 sold is the second-biggest sales debut for a cast recording in 2017, trailing only the arrival of Dear Evan Hanson, which bowed with 25,000 sold.
Hello, Dolly! is nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including best revival of a musical. It also scored a nomination in each of the four musical acting categories (lead actress, lead actor, actress in a featured role and actor in a featured role). Midler is a contender for lead actress. It is her first Tony Award nomination (though, she received a non-competitive special Tony Award in 1974).
— Dreamcar, Dreamcar – No. 115 — The supergroup’s debut album drives in at No. 115 (and at No. 12 on Alternative Albums) with 7,000 units (6,000 in album sales). The quartet comprises three-quarters of No Doubt, as well as the lead singer of AFI.