Alan Jackson, Beach Boys, Neil Young chart with top 10 debuts
In reclaiming the No. 1 spot after selling an additional 75,000 copies of her blockbuster "21" album, Adele has logged her 24th nonconsecutive week at the top, the most since Prince’s “Purple Rain” in 1984. It will be a while, however, before she catches up to the next-longest run as the nation’s bestseller. Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” stayed at the top for 37 weeks in 1983.
Meanwhile, Alan Jackson has proved that switching record companies after 20 years with the same label doesn’t have to slow a musician’s momentum: his new “Thirty Miles West,” the first for his Alan Country Records label, distributed by EMI Nashville, entered the chart at No. 2 with first-week sales of 73,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That’s a smidge better than his final Arista album, “Freight Train,” did two years ago, selling 72,000 out of the gate for a No. 7 chart debut.
Right behind him are the Beach Boys and Young, both with their highest charting albums since the 1970s.
Coming in at No. 3 is the Beach Boys’ “That’s Why God Made the Radio,” the group’s first album of new music with creative leader Brian Wilson aboard in more than two decades. The new set sold 61,000 copies, giving the veteran Southern California band its highest chart debut ever and its best chart showing since the 1974 hits-compilation album “Endless Summer” went to No. 1, according to Billboard. The group is currently on a nationwide 50th anniversary reunion tour.
Another reunion -- this one between Young and his periodic collaborators in the band Crazy Horse -- has given him his highest charting album since “Harvest,” which went all the way to the top in 1972. Young and Crazy Horse’s “Americana,” which digs into the treasure trove of traditional folk music with their versions of such songs as “Oh Susannah,” “Clementine” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” sold 44,000 copies and enters the Billboard chart at No. 4 this week.
In a recent interview with The Times, Young said the idea for the album was spurred by writing his first book, “Waging Heavy Peace,” which is scheduled for Oct. 1 publication.
“One of the things I remembered that I was writing about was that there was this musician Tim Rose, who was in a group [in Canada] called the Big Three, and after that he was in a group called the Thorns," he said. "I saw the Thorns in 1963 or ’64, and they were doing ‘Oh! Susanna.’ That arrangement blew my mind. That was Tim Rose’s arrangement of ‘Oh Susannah’ [used on ‘Americana’]. My band, the Squires, was playing folk-rock, which was kind of happening at that time. So I made a lot of songs that way in that time. That’s where we got to that.”
This week’s chart also includes two rap albums in the top 10: Big K.R.I.T.’s “Live From the Underground,” entering at No. 5 with sales of 41,000 copies, and Curren$y’s “The Stoned Immaculate,” bowing at No. 8 having sold 36,000 copies.
The final new top 10 entry is Brandi Carlile’s “Bear Creek,” at No. 10 with sales of 27,000.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Alan Jackson performs in September at the Concert for Hope in Washington, D.C., marking the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11. Credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press.