The year has only two and a half months left and album sales are still down 14 percent while track sales are still down 13 percent—my guess is nothing comes to the rescue, although Taylor Swift's 1989 (see below) is coming up and you never know what kind of Beyonce-style surprises await record stores for the holiday season.
THE OCTOBER OF COUNTRY CONTINUES: One week after Blake Shelton hit Number One, Jason Aldean's Old Boots, New Dirt makes its debut at the top, with 278,000 copies. That's a decent sales number, especially compared to the past few weeks, when albums can hit the top of the charts by barely touching 100,000 in sales. So far this year, though, hit country albums haven't had any more success in Billboard than any other kind—Shelton's "Bringing Back the Sunshine" drops this week from Number One to Number Six, with a sales plunge of 66 percent, selling a minuscule 34,000 copies. And Lady Antebellum's 747 drops out of the Top 10 after hitting Number Two last week.
SLEEPER OF THE WEEK: Maybe it's not a sleeper, given Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty to Me" track record, but I don't see how anybody can bet against his new "Trumpets"—it has nearly 61 million YouTube views, not to mention a sexy video, snappy references to Katy Perry and Coldplay in the lyrics and, yes, a bunch of catchy trumpets. Interestingly, the video has been out for nearly a year, and charted (Number 130!) way back in May before taking off again, possibly sparked by his halftime marching-band performance during the USC-Oregon State football game earlier this fall. It jumps this week from Number Five to Number Three, selling 80,000 copies, a 3 percent increase.
TAYLOR WATCH: One bad thing about Taylor Swift refusing to release her new song "Out of the Woods" via YouTube—I can't tell you how many people have heard it. She hasn't marketed it as an official "single," but it is available via iTunes, which means when all the $1.29 sales kick in next week, it'll most likely land at the top of Billboard's Digital Songs chart. Swift's approach to free music has been old school and generally successful—she rarely puts anything on Spotify until months after new music comes out.