Posts Tagged With: Billboard 200

Ryan Adams’ “Prisoner” — Crazy 8’s

DRACWAK.jpgIn terms of reviews, Ryan Adams’ Prisoner stands as his best-received album in quite some time, picking up glowing notices far and wide (even from the likes of cynical old me). But all that acclaim has not translated into a U.S. chart breakthrough, at least not yet.

In the March 11 Billboard 200 album-sales chart, Prisoner debuts at No. 8 with 45,000 copies sold, which puts him right behind veteran R&B man Charlie Wilson and ahead of Alison Krauss. A top-10 debut is a good showing, but this is still short of the No. 4 debut and peak of 2014’s Ryan Adams, which also sold 45,000 copies in its first week in September 2014; as well as his Taylor Swift 1989 tribute, which opened with 56,000 copies out of the gate in September 2015 to debut/peak at No. 7.

Of course, when it comes to sales figures and chart positions, the long game of where you finish is ultimately a lot more important than where you start. Ryan Adams debuted high but quickly dropped off the charts, eventually selling 134,000 copies in its first year of release. 1989 followed a similar pattern and hit 115,000 in sales.

We’ll see where Prisoner stands a year from now.

UPDATE (3/7/2017): So far, Ryan’s debut-high-and-fall-fast pattern is holding true to form. Week two finds Prisoner plummeting all the way down to No. 54 on the March 18 Billboard 200.

UPDATE #2 (3/14/2017): Falling even faster — down to No. 132 in week three, the March 25 chart.

UPDATE #3 (3/21/2017): Well, that was quick! After just three weeks on the Billboard 200, Prisoner falls all the way off and is nowhere to be found on the April 1 chart.

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Pure gold: Corrosion of Conformity

DRACOCRyan Adams may not play in his native state of North Carolina anymore (as we’ve covered), but he definitely remembers and represents where he came from. For example, there’s this Instagram photo he posted a few days ago, in which he’s wearing a T-shirt bearing the classic spiked-skull logo for Raleigh hardcore legends Corrosion of Conformity.

COC has been around since the early 1980s, becoming enough of a thrash-metal trademark to inspire a 2010 “Saturday Night Live” sketch starring a middleaged band called “Crisis of Conformity.” They were one of the main reasons that Ryan’s Patty Duke Syndrome bandmate Brian Walsby was inspired to move to Raleigh in the mid-’80s and still pretty much ruled the town at the time Ryan himself arrived from Jacksonville in the early ’90s. And COC is still at it all these years later, with a tour opening for Lamb of God on this year’s schedule.

Despite never having anything like a mainstream “hit,” COC stands as a great example of how staying power is what really counts over the long haul. The band’s best-selling album, Deliverance, peaked at just No. 155 on the Billboard 200 album-sales chart after it was released in the fall of 1994. And yet Deliverance has never stopped selling, to the point that it’s very close to reaching a very significant milestone.

I recently checked in on Deliverance‘s U.S. sales figures via Nielsen Soundscan, and it now stands at 499,000 copies — within just 1,000 copies of earning a gold record for half-a-million copies sold. So sometime in 2016, it should become official.

Somehow, COC earning a gold record before Ryan seems right and just. I expect Ryan himself would agree.

ADDENDUM (10/15/2016): A piece of long-ago COC history from 1984.

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DRA 1989: off the charts, but onto tape

DRA1989tapeThis week, DRA 1989 completes its chart run (or at least the initial leg of it) by disappearing, falling from last week’s No. 138 ranking all the way off the Dec. 5 Billboard 200 after eight weeks. It had a solid No. 7 debut in late September but then dropped every week thereafter — except for a brief one-week sales spike when the physical version came out a few weeks back. Except for that, it pretty much mirrored the chart performance of 2014’s Ryan Adams, which debuted at No. 4 and was gone after seven weeks.

But who knows, maybe DRA 1989 will get another bump up when it’s released next month on…cassette. Yes, that’s right, DRA 1989 really is being released on that outdated hair-metal-era artifact, the humble audiocassette tape, which is fitting given Ryan’s ongoing run of ’80scentric tributes.

Anyway, the DRA 1989 cassette is priced at $12.98 (which also includes an MP3 digital download) and will be available Dec. 11, according to Amazon. Sounds like a nice Christmas gift for Ryan completists, and it would even go well with this!

 

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“DRA 1989” goes down (the charts)

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.27.58 AMWhen word first emerged that Ryan Adams was covering Taylor Swift’s 1989 in its entirety, there was a lot of worried talk among Ryan’s hardcore fans about how this might be his “Touch of Grey” moment where he got too popular too fast. But everyone can relax because it appears those fears were unfounded. For all the online buzz (not to mention asinine gender-privilege debates) inspired by the album, it does not appear to be reaching much beyond Ryan’s previously established fan base. So far, it’s following the same debut-high-and-fall-fast pattern as Ryan’s other albums.

After debuting at a respectable No. 7 last week, DRA 1989 takes a steep second-week drop all the way down to No. 22 in the Billboard 200 album-sales chart dated Oct. 17. That mirrors what happened with last year’s self-titled Ryan Adams album, which debuted at No. 4 — and in an odd coincidence, also dropped to No. 22 the following week. Ryan Adams was off the chart entirely after just seven weeks; as of this past August, it had sold 134,000 copies. It seems likely that DRA 1989 will top out at around that same figure.

By contrast, Swift’s original 1989 continues to show impressive staying power coming up on a year since its original release. Her 1989 is at No. 7 this week (where DRA 1989 was last week), its 49th on the chart, and has yet to spend a single week outside of the top-10. It has also sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S.

UPDATES — 10/13/2015: A week later, DRA 1989 is down another 18 notches to No. 40 in its third week on the chart. Swift’s 1989, meanwhile, climbs one spot to No. 6 in its 50th week in the top-10.

10/20/2015: On the Oct. 31 chart, DRA 1989 plummets another 43 notches down to No. 83 in week four — while Swift’s original 1989 holds steady at No. 6 after 51 weeks.

10/27/2015: DRA 1989 drops again on the Nov. 7 chart, but only one notch to No. 84 in week number five. Taylor’s original 1989, meanwhile, is perilously close to dropping out of the top-10 for the first time ever — down three spots to No. 9 as it marks one full year on the charts.

11/3/2015: Week six finds DRA 1989 resuming its freefall, taking a 55-spot plummet down to No. 139 on the Nov. 14 chart in week six. Upstairs from there, Taylor’s 1989 begins its SECOND YEAR in Billboard’s top-10 by rebounding two spots back up to No. 7.

11/10/2015: The CD/vinyl release of DRA 1989 helps it take a big rebound in week six, all the back up to No. 51 in week seven. But this weeks’ big news is with Swift’s original, which is finally out of the top-10 for the first time — pushed down to No. 11 in week 53 by four top-10 debuts and Chris Stapleton’s post-CMA buzz taking him to No. 1. Odds are she’ll be back in the top-10 next week.

11/17/2015: DRA 1989 resumes its freefall, right back down to No. 138 in its eighth week. That does put it ahead of last year’s Ryan Adams for chart longevity, at least; but given the 87-spot plunge that 1989 just took, it’s 50-50 whether or not the album will still be on the charts next week. Also, to my surprise, Swift’s original 1989 did not rebound into the top-10 this week. It drops three spots to No. 14.

11/24/2015: And eight weeks is all DRA 1989 managed (at least in the initial run), as it drops off the Billboard 200 altogether on the Dec. 5 chart topped by Justin Bieber. Swift’s time in the top-10 with her 1989 might be done, too, as it slips four spots to No. 18 in week 56.

12/22/2015: After an absence of nearly a month, DRA 1989 pops back onto the chart at a healthy No. 84 (byproduct of the album’s release on vinyl, most likely) for a ninth week on the Jan. 2 chart topped (again) by Adele. And Swift’s 1989 is back in the top-10, at No. 9 in its 60th week. As for sales, DRA 1989 stands at 115,000 copies (89,000 of them digital), which is short of the 134,000 that Ryan Adams was at back in August. DRA 1989 has also been streamed on-demand 30.4 million times, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

12/29/2015: DRA 1989 hangs in there for a 10th week, at No. 184 on the Jan. 9 chart — a 100-place drop, which means it’s probably gone next week. But Swift’s 1989 is still in the top-10, up a notch to No. 8 in week No. 61.

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DRA 1989 on the charts: no peak, but ahead of Taylor Swift

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 3.07.46 PMWell, Ryan Adams did not set a new personal chart high-water mark with his version of Taylor Swift’s 1989, which he released this past Monday. It sold 56,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 album-sales chart dated Oct. 10. While that’s a fine showing (and his fourth top-10 album overall), it’s still three notches below what last year’s Ryan Adams debuted and peaked at — although if you compare their sales figures, DRA 1989 actually outsold RA by more than 10,000 copies in their respective opening weeks.

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For all the acclaim garnered (or at least discussion generated), DRA 1989 still debuted behind new albums by Drake/Future (No. 1), singer Lana Del Rey (No. 2), rapper Mac Miller (No. 4), Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour (No. 5) and Florida hard-rock band Shinedown (No. 6). But in a delicious bit of synchronicity, DRA 1989 comes in one notch ahead of Swift’s original quintuple-platinum version of 1989, which is at No. 8 with 42,000 sold in its 48th week on the chart. This is, I believe, the first time that two different artists’ versions of the same set of songs have been in Billboard’s top-10 simultaneously.

ADDENDA (9/30-10/2/2015): Along with the Top 200 showing of DRA 1989, seven of the album’s 13 songs have made Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs Chart simultaneously. Previously, Ryan had a grand total of three songs on that chart. And yes, this is indeed the first time two versions of the same set of songs have been in the top-10 together.

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Chart me up

Well, it appears that Ryan Adams’ time on the U.S. charts with his current eponymously titled album was short despite the career-high debut. Ryan Adams (Pax Am/Blue Note Records) entered the Billboard 200 on Sept. 27 at a lofty No. 4, three notches higher than his previous personal best; but the album’s position has dropped every week since then. And on the Nov. 15 chart (the one topped by queen-of-the-universe Taylor Swift’s 1989), it’s all the way out of Billboard’s Top 200 after just seven weeks.

Ryan Adams has sold 82,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, so it hasn’t really reached beyond Ryan’s previously converted hardcore following. If the album is to see any further chart action, one of its songs will have to catch on at radio. But like Tom Petty’s A&R man from “Into the Great Wide Open,” I don’t hear a single.

VampiresBB156Meantime, the chart gods taketh away, but they also giveth. Even though Ryan Adams is gone from the Billboard 200, Ryan still gets one more week there thanks to his latest seven-inch EP “Vampires” — which debuts at a modest No. 156 on the Nov. 15 chart. Since “Vampires” is a limited-edition release, this will most likely be its only chart week. And given that “Vampires” also ain’t that good, I wish “Jacksonville” had been the indie seven-inch to make the chart instead.

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Ryan Adams debuts at No. 4

Whatever overall long-term critical consensus emerges on the new Ryan Adams album, this much is already certain: It represents a new U.S. chart peak for Ryan. The album sold a healthy 45,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album-sales chart for Sept. 27 — right between R&B singer Jhene Aiko at No. 3 and country singer Lee Bruce at No. 5.

Reaching No. 4 represents a three-spot jump beyond the No. 7 peak Ryan had with both 2011’s Ashes & Fire and 2007’s Easy Tiger.


RANo4

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