U2 surprised the world with Songs of Innocence last week, but its presence in 500 million iTunes accounts had no effect on total music sales — they’re still down 15 percent, while track downloads are still down 13 percent. Also having little impact: Lecrae’s Number One album Anomaly, which sold just 88,000 copies in its debut week.
WHO?: It’s new album week, everybody! Christian rapper Lecrae, who’s sold 1.4 million album sales and has 2.9 million track downloads, winds up at Number One with his 88,000-selling Anomaly. (His Christian rapper background may explain why he appears to have arrived on the charts out of nowhere — such things happen in the gospel business.) Other new and poor-selling titles in the Top 10 include: Singer-songwriter Jhene Aiko’s Souled Out (Number Three, 70,000); veteran rocker Ryan Adams’ self-titled album (Number Four, 45,000); indie-rock fixture Interpol’s El Pintor (Number Seven, 31,000); and Robert Plant’s Lullaby And . . . The Ceaseless Roar (Number 10, 29,000).
IN YOUR ITUNES LIBRARY, BUT NOT THE CHARTS: The week’s biggest album went nowhere near the charts. U2’s Songs of Innocence, as you may have heard, landed in each of the 500 million iTunes users’ libraries last week as part of a reported $100 million Apple promotion. Because the album is free, Billboard doesn’t count its “sales” tallies, although as of Tuesday, iTunes reps were saying 33 million users had listened to the album. What’s interesting is this week’s iTunes chart includes no mention of U2, either — the top albums are One Direction’s deluxe version of FOUR, Jhene Aiko’s Souled Out, Lecrae’s Anomaly and Maroon 5’s V. That’s pretty much the same list that appeared in Billboard‘s Top 10.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY SOUNDTRACK? TWO TRACKS BY WOMEN: Billboard‘s Digital Songs chart hasn’t much changed this week, but I’d like to mention the enduring girl power dominating fall singles—Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” (Number One, 312,000 download sales), Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” (Number Two, 309,000), Jessie J–Ariana Grande–Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang” (Number Three, 147,000) and Iggy Azalea’s “Black Widow” (Number Five, 127,000) make up four of the Top Five, and women are responsible for eight of the Top 10. Funny how different this is from the album chart, where Aiko is the only woman in the Top 10.