Country-pop juggernauts Rascal Flatts hit No. 1 yet again on this week’s Billboard 200, debuting with 351,000 copies sold of their aptly titled Unstoppable, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This is their fourth time at the top of the chart, which, as Billboard points out, is more times than any band has gotten there in the past decade. Good for them! I am not personally a fan of Gary LeVox and Co., but clearly there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who are happy to celebrate this milestone.
Meanwhile, a bona fide rock legend, Neil Young, debuted way down at No. 19 after selling a pitiful 28,000 copies of Fork in the Road. That’s a substantial drop from the first-week numbers his last two studio efforts put up – 54,000 for 2007’s Chrome Dreams II and 60,000 for 2006’s Living With War. I’m sure ol’ Neil isn’t losing too much sleep about his Nielsen SoundScan figures at this stage in his career. Especially not for Fork in the Road, a concept album about a fuel-efficient car prototype that’s probably one of the least commercially-oriented entries in his voluminous discography. But what can I say? As a chart-watcher, it’s still depressing to see him humbled that way.
Other chart debuts came from New York rap vet Jadakiss, at No. 3 with a strong 135,000 copies sold of The Last Kiss; Nashville star Jason Aldean, at No. 4 with 109,000 copies of Wide Open; and Christian rockers MercyMe, at No. 18 with 30,000 copies of 10. What do you think about this week’s chart? Any surprises or disappointments?
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Keith Urban and Prince battle it out on the chart
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Neil Young Archives: They’re really coming this summer