In the second Billboard 200 chart to count streaming, Swift’s 1989 held onto the top spot. It’s the album’s fifth non-consecutive week at No. 1. According to Nielsen Music, she moved 274,000 “total album equivalent units” for the week that ended December 7, including actual sales of 230K copies. That’s down 19 percent for units and 18 percent for sales, but when you keep in mind the previous week included the big Black Friday shopping period, Swift must still be feeling in the holiday spirit.
Speaking of! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on the album chart. Pentatonix’s That’s Christmas to Me was already the highest-charting Christmas album since Michael Buble’s Christmas ended its chart-topping reign in January 2012; the a cappella group’s seasonal LP stays put at No. 2 (221K units). Also cracking the top 10 is Idina Menzel — excuse me, Adele Nazeem — whose holiday wishes climbs to No. 6 (slightly more than 66K); yes, she’s on the Frozen soundtrack, which slips to No. 10 (43K). Forgot about Buble? His Christmas is back at No. 7 (66K). You know what, babies, it is cold outside.
OK: AC/DC. LP. FWIW, ICYMI, GTFO, GTAV. When it comes to the venerable Aussie all-night-shakers’ Rock or Bust let there be, well, not bust (No. 3, 174K). But for those who shop at Wal-Mart, they still salute you: 2008′s Black Ice, which was at first available exclusively through the Bentonville, Arkansas company’s stores or AC/DC’s website, opened at No. 1 with 784K in its own first week. Still, this is AC/DC’s ninth U.S. top 10 album. (Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, meanwhile, continues to make unfortunate headlines.)
Aside from Rock or Bust, the only other album reaching the top 10 in its first week on the charts is Mary J. Blige‘s powerfully reaffirming The London Sessions. Opening at No. 9 (57K), the R&B great’s latest is her 13th visit to the top 10. For those unfamiliar, the album brought her together with the likes of Disclosure and Sam Smith.
Which brings me to the part of the weekly chart roundup where I, um, round up the usual suspects. Smith’s In the Lonely Hour must be headed for a whole lot of stockings this year (No. 4, 81k). One Direction‘s Four will be found under many lovely-branched trees, as well (No. 5, 74K). Do you hear what I hear? Is that Garth Brooks? Man Against the Machine ropes its way back into a top 10 that’s uncharacteristically light, for 2014, on country (No. 8, 67K). Did I already mention Frozen? I did? Babies, it’s cold outside. Burr.
Given that I was just on the subject, be sure to check out our list of the 25 Best Country Albums of 2014 and read Rob Harvilla’s essay on the good, bad, and ugly in the year in country.