This week’s Billboard album charts reflect what people went out and bought (or went into their living rooms and downloaded) during the 7 days that followed the Grammy Awards, and the results are hardly surprising.
Just about every artist that performed on the show experienced a jump: Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band return to the Top Ten, while Beyonce, Pink and Carrie Underwood jump back into the Top 20. There were even gains experienced by artists who appeared on the show but didn’t win (Miley Cyrus) as well as artists who won awards but didn’t appear on the show (Phoenix).
Going through the list of artists, I would say that the Zac Brown Band has the best chance of expanding sales post-Grammy based on the fact that there was a very large segment of the population who didn’t know who these guys were and the highly-rated telecast exposed them to a new audience. I mean, when you look at the rest of the performance lineup, pretty much everyone else on that show was a super-duper-megastar already. That brings up a beef I have with the Grammy Awards not spending enough time on promoting nominees who may not yet be household names, but that’s another story for another article.
The biggest chart news besides the impact of the Grammys this week is a very weak debut for Lil Wayne’s new album “Rebirth”. Less than two years after “Tha Carter III” opened with over a million units sold, Weezy’s rock-influenced (and much delayed) follow up places in the #2 position with 176,000 units sold. You could blame this poor showing on a few factors: perhaps Weezy’s core audience isn’t down with rock music (doubtful, since a lot of Wayne’s audience appears to be suburban white teenagers and hipsters who are quite at home with rock stylings), perhaps the fact that the album leaked hurt sales (although that didn’t hurt “Tha Carter III”). Perhaps the album’s numerous delays (over a year’s worth) were a factor (although, again-that didn’t hurt “Tha Carter III”). I can say pretty confidently that word got around pretty quickly about how absolutely shitty the album is (I dont think I’ve seen a good review of it yet), and maybe the American record-buying public is realizing that Wayne isn’t as good as the media and some seriously misguided hip-hop fans think he is (consider that I can name 20 emcees with better rhyme skills than Wayne off the top of my head without even breaking a sweat). Either way, it’s gotta be a little sobering to Wayne’s record company and perhaps the man himself to realize Wayne isn’t one of those artists who can put out a half-ass record and have it sell.
Next week, we’ll see how Valentine’s Day affected record sales, which means likely big jumps by the likes of Michael Buble and a huge debut from Sade.
Here’s this week’s Top 20:
1) Lady Antebellum “Need You Now”
2) Lil Wayne “Rebirth”
3) Nick Jonas & the Administration “Who I Am”
4) Lady Gaga “The Fame”
5) Various Artists “2010 Grammy Nominees”
6) Black Eyed Peas “The E.N.D.”
7) Taylor Swift “Fearless”
8) Rob Zombie “Hellbilly Deluxe 2”
9) Susan Boyle “I Dreamed a Dream”
10) Zac Brown Band “Foundation”
11) Michael Jackson “This is It”
12) Lady Gaga “The Fame: Monster”
13) Alicia Keys “The Element of Freedom”
14) Beyonce “I Am…Sasha Fierce”
15) Pink “Funhouse”
16) Mary J. Blige “Stronger with Each Tear”
17) Ke$ha “Animal”
18) Carrie Underwood “Play On”
19) Various Artists “Hope for Haiti”
20) Justin Bieber “My World”