On the Charts: Matchbox Twenty earn first No. 1, Imagine Dragons take flight, Alicia Keys not yet 'On Fire'
Straight up, what did you hope to learn about here?
Oh, you wanted some chart news? Well, then you’re in the right place.
Sixteen years after the release of their debut album, Matchbox Twenty earned its first number one album on the Billboard 200 this week. Their latest set, North, sold 95,000 copies in its first seven days. The album’s success is a testament to the rockers’ loyal fans, considering the disc’s lead single “Shes So Mean” peaked last week at No. 40 on the Hot 100.
The Rob Thomas-led crew formerly found massive success with their 1996 debut Yourself or Someone Like You, which peaked at No. 5 but was certified 12x platinum (oh, the how the music industry has changed…). North won’t likely reach those heights, but the No. 1 spot is still an impressive honor for the nostalgia-fueled act.
Time will tell whether fellow 1990s stalwarts Green Day and No Doubt can match Matchbox Twenty’s resilience, but for now, let’s check out the week’s other chart winners and losers:
Imagine Dragons: The buzzy breakout band, whose mandolin-infused stomper “It’s Time” continues to rise on the chart (this week, it flew 63-49 on the Hot 100 — and it’s No. 4 on Alternative Songs), earned an expectation-shattering debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
The Las Vegas troupe sold 83,000 units of their full-length debut, Night Visions, which arrives after a series of EPs. The fact that 90 percent of those sales were digital sales reveals Imagine Dragon’s young, tech-savvy audience — as well as the $7.99 sales on iTunes and the $5 sales on Amazon MP3.
And expect a whole lot more downloads for Imagine Dragons in the near future: Glee will be covering “It’s Time” on tonight’s season premiere.
Taylor Swift: The pop-country sweetheart(breaker) is never ever ever giving up her reign atop the Digital Songs chart. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” topped that chart for a fourth week in a row, increasing 12 percent to 284,000 downloads following her well-received VMA performance. The strong sales pushed the song back to No. 1 on the overall Hot 100 as well.
Impressively, the No. 2 digital seller of the week was another song by Taylor Swift: “Ronan.” Swift debuted the ballad, a tribute to a cancer-stricken boy, at the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon on Friday night, and it was downloaded a whopping 211,000 times in the short period between Friday and Sunday evening. It debuted on the Hot 100 at No. 16.
Pink: Speaking of VMA boosts, following her performance on the MTV awards show (our favorite of the night), Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” hopped from 11 to 6 on the Hot 100. Not too shabby.
Lecrae: We’ve already introduced you to the Christian rapper, whose album Gravity hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 72,000. Between the success of TobyMac’s chart-topping Eye On It last week, and the growing appeal of Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees, both of which have Mormon members, it seems that Christian musicians are having a moment on the chart.
Alex Clare: Who said Internet Explorer wasn’t cool? Thanks in part to placement in the browser’s high circulation TV ad campaign, the British singer’s funky, dubstep-tinged track “Too Close” leapt 15-10 this week, earning its first frame in the Top 10.
Alicia Keys: While it’s far too soon to dismiss her new single “Girl On Fire,” which Keys debuted at the VMAs with some help from Nicki Minaj and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas (she’s trying to cash in on the same magic that turned Phillip Phillips’ “Home” into a smash, isn’t she?), the track’s No. 37 debut underwhelmed.
Yes, it reached No. 12 on the Digital Songs chart, but in this age of up-front downloads — when Taylor Swift can shift 211,000 tracks in two days — one would hope that “Girl On Fire” (which came out a full day earlier than Swift’s “Ronan”) might make more of a splash.
Check back next week for more music chart winners and losers!
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