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On the Charts: Imagine Dragons Bounce Back With Kendrick Lamar

But 2014 still lacks a new hit

Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons perform in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Tran/FilmMagic
February 5, 2014 2:30 PM ET

The Grammy Awards have spent the past two weeks disguising the fact that almost no blockbuster songs or albums have come out in the entirety of 2014 – other than perhaps Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes, which hit Number One, then promptly fell out of the Top 10. Track and album sales are down, 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively, and no wonder. Put out some hits, people! We can't wait all year!

The 25 Best and Worst Moments From the 2014 Grammy Awards

PHARRELL'S PARK-RANGER HAT COULDN'T RECORD A HIT IN TWO DAYS?: The Grammy Awards kicked in on the charts this week – in the blandest possible way. The 2014 Grammy Nominees compilation, which comes out every year and includes songs-we're-sick-of such as "Blurred Lines," "Get Lucky" and "Roar," sold 87,000 copies, an increase of 47 percent, rising to Number Two. After that comes a bunch of slightly more interesting award-winners and TV performers – Lorde's album Pure Heroine jumped 86 percent, sold 68,000 copies and rose from Number Five to Number Three; Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox sold 42,000, a rise of 180 percent, from Number 18 to Number Seven, although some of that likely came from Super Bowl hype, before and after the game; and Imagine Dragons' Night Visions sold 39,000, an increase of 65 percent, from Number 11 to Number Eight.

THE RETURN OF THE DRAGON:  I've been ignoring Imagine Dragons for months, as their out-of-nowhere Night Visions run seemed to be over, but the Vegas pop-rock band's double-TV-collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar is revitalizing them on the charts. After the Grammys and Saturday Night Live, the band's "Radioactive" shot up a ridiculous 239 percent in sales, tallying 208,000, enough to push it from Number 29 to Number Four. At Number One is Katy Perry's "Roar," which also had a Grammy boost, but not nearly as big of one – 27 percent, for 373,000 in sales. Also riding Grammy momentum to single sales: Beyonce ("Drunk in Love," 151,000, an increase of 94 percent, from Number 18 to Number Seven) and Lorde ("Royals," 137,000, an increase of 33 percent, from Number 13 to Number 10).

RANDOM GRAMMY FACT OF THE WEEK: According to Shazam's iPad app, which publishes regional Top 20 charts based on how many people are tagging unknown songs, country singer and electric-booted Grammy star Kacey Musgraves' "Blowin' Smoke" was Number One as of last week in Thiruvananthapuram, India. I asked her record label about this bizarre outlier, and a rep said: "Our sales department isn't quite sure why this happened." Noted!

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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