2015 HAS BEGUN — NEW ALBUMS ARE ACTUALLY COMING OUT!: Fall Out Boy‘s American Beauty/American Psycho makes its debut this week at Number One, selling 192,000 copies and moving 218,000 “units,” a new chart formula based on album and track sales and streaming. That’s a week after Meghan Trainor’s 195,000-selling debut, although Title‘s units dropped 64 percent, to Number Three. Unless you count pop-oriented Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons, rock bands tend to drop off the charts quickly after big debuts these days, so look out for next week’s sales from the emo band. Other rock debuts in the Top 10: The Decemberists’ What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (Number Seven, 51,000 units) and Marilyn Manson’s The Pale Emperor (Number Eight, 51,000 units). Enjoy the guitars on the radio while you can.
TO CELEBRATE, SHE DRESSED LIKE AN IGUANA AND MADE EEPY NOISES: Bjork’s Vulnicura, rushed onto iTunes last week in less than 72 hours after somebody leaked the album online, didn’t place in Billboard‘s Top 10 but hit Number Four on Apple’s weekly charts. Ranking higher were Fall Out Boy, Taylor Swift’s 1989 and Joey Bada$$’ B4.Da.$$, all of which were Top Five albums on the regular charts. Neither Nielsen Soundscan nor iTunes has released sales figures for Vulnicura so far, but a safe estimate would be a bit fewer than B4.Da.$$, which sold more than 54,000 copies.
COULD SAM SMITH HAVE HIT HIS PEAK?: With the news this week that crooner Sam Smith settled a lawsuit with Tom Petty over the melody for his biggest hit “Stay with Me,” Smith’s chart stock appears to have dropped accordingly. Although it gained 1 percent in units, In the Lonely Hour moved from Number Seven to Number Nine, and BigChampagne’s Ultimate Chart, which measures Internet criteria and often predicts hits, downgraded “I’m Not the Only One” from Number 10 to Number 12 and “Stay with Me” from Number 16 to Number 28.