Chart Watch: Sam Smith lands his first No. 1 album

Paul Grein
Writer
Sam Smith captured his first Number One album as the British singer’s ‘The Thrill of It All’ debuted atop the Billboard 200.

Sam Smith‘s The Thrill of It All debuts at No. 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. No surprise there, but you may be surprised to learn that this is Smith’s first No. 1 album in the U.S. His debut, In the Lonely Hour, peaked at No. 2 in July 2014. (It was blocked by Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence in its first week and by fellow Brit pop star Ed Sheeran’s in its second).

The Thrill of It All is the third album by an Englishman to reach No. 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. so far this year. It follows Sheeran’s ÷  and Harry Styles’s solo debut album.

In the Lonely Hour logged eight weeks at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart. In the U.S., it spent 41 of its first 48 weeks in the top 10, boosted by three top 10 hits: “Stay with Me,” “I’m Not the Only One” and “Lay Me Down.”  The album is on the move again with the release of the new album. It rebounds from No. 64 to No. 37 in this, its 178th chart week.

Smith’s current hit, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” rebounds from No. 10 to No. 4 in its ninth week on the Hot 100. This is its highest ranking to date.

Smith is a past Grammy winner for Best New Artist, as is Maroon 5, which enters the Billboard at No. 2 with Red Blue Pills. Each of the group’s last five albums has reached No. 1 or No. 2.

Maroon 5 lands its 13th top 10 hit as “What Lovers Do” (featuring SZA) jumps from No. 12 to No. 9 in its 11th week on the Hot 100. Maroon 5 has amassed 10 of these top 10 hits since 2011, the year Adam Levine became a TV star on The Voice. This runs counter to the usual pattern, where regular television exposure hurts record sales. Maroon 5 has been able to avoid this pitfall because The Voice isn’t Levine’s show — much less Maroon 5’s show.

Maroon 5 has had a featured artist on four of its 13 top 10 hits. Christina Aguilera was featured on “Moves like Jagger” (No. 1 in 2011). Wiz Khalifa was featured on “Payphone” (No. 2 in 2012). Kendrick Lamar was featured on “Don’t Wanna Know” (No. 6 in February). And now the highly touted SZA is featured on “What Lovers Do.” Note that three of the group’s last four featured artists have come from the world of hip-hop or contemporary R&B. This is an obvious (and successful) ploy to broaden the group’s appeal.

“What Lovers Do” is featured on Red Blue Pills. “Don’t Wanna Know” is on the deluxe version of the album. Red Blue Pills is Maroon 5’s fourth studio album to contain two or more top 10 hits, following Songs about Jane, Overexposed and V.

 Top Albums

Chris Brown’s 45-song Heartbreak on a Full Moon holds at No. 3 in its second week.

Blake Shelton’s Texoma Shore debuts at No. 4. It’s Shelton’s 11th top 10 album or EP; his sixth studio album in a row to make the top 10. Texoma Shore enters Top Country Albums at No. 1, displacing Kenny Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation. It’s Shelton’s sixth No. 1 country album or EP.

Without Warning, a collaboration by 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin, dips from No. 4 to No. 5 in its second week.

Kenny Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation drops from No. 1 to No. 6 in its second week.

Kelsea Ballerini lands her first top 10 album as her sophomore album, Unapologetically, debuts at No. 7.  Her debut, The First Time, reached No. 31. Ballerini is the fourth female country solo artist to reach the top 10 in 2017. She follows Reba McEntire, Alison Krauss, and Shania Twain.

Kid Rock lands his ninth top 10 album as Sweet Southern Sugar debuts at No. 8. It’s his eighth studio album in a row to make the top 10.

Post Malone’s Stoney drops from No. 5 to No. 9 in its 48th week. The album peaked at No. 4.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ drops from No. 8 to No. 10 in its 36th week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1.

Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life drops from No. 2 to No. 18. Yo Gotti’s I Still Am drops from No. 6 to No. 29. Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva is a Mighty Long Time drops from No. 7 to No. 50. Future & Young Thug’s Super Slimey drops from No. 9 to No. 21. Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2 dips from No. 10 to No. 11.

Now 64 debuts at No. 12. That’s the lowest debut for a regular, numbered Now volume since the first one debuted at No. 21 way back in November 1998.

Grace VanderWaal’s first full-length album, Just the Beginning, debuts at No. 22. The singer is just 13.

Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas rebounds from No. 68 to No. 34 in its 15th chart week. The album spent two weeks at No. 1 in its first holiday season. The album jumps to No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums, displacing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits. Pentatonix’s previous holiday album, That’s Christmas to Me, topped the catalog chart for a total of 15 weeks in 2015-16. An earlier EP, PTXmas, topped the catalog chart for one week in 2013. A Pentatonix Christmas has sold 956K copies. That’s Christmas to Me is up to 2,072,000.

The Moana soundtrack drops from No. 44 to No. 48 in its 51st week. The album peaked at No. 2.  It’s No. 1 on Top Soundtracks for the 29th week. The album has sold 849K copies.

Coming Attractions: Taylor Swift’s reputation will debut at No. 1 next week, with “equivalent units” in the range of 1.4 million to 1.5 million. (That’s a nice range.) This will be Swift’s fourth studio album in a row to move more than 1 million units in its first week.

Top Songs

Post Malone’s “Rockstar” (featuring 21 Savage) logs its fifth week at No. 1. The song has spent each of its first eight weeks at No. 1 or No. 2. “Rockstar” logs its fifth week at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (featuring Young Thug) holds at No. 2 in its 13th week. “Havana” logs its second week at No. 1 on The Official U.K. Singles Chart.

Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” holds at No. 3 in its 19th week. The song logged three weeks at No. 1.

As noted above, Sam Smith’s “Too Good at Goodbyes” rebounds from No. 10 to No. 4 in its ninth week. This is its highest ranking to date.

Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” holds at No. 5 in its 28th week. It logs its second week at No. 1 on Top Rock Songs. But is it rock? In the Grammy process, it’s vying for a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. This is the 13th time that a No. 1 hit on the Rock Songs chart (which dates to 2009) has been entered in the pop field in the Grammy process. Working backwards, the others were Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still,” Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out,” Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance,” Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High),” Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars,” Bastille’s “Pompeii,” Passenger’s “Let Her Go,” Lorde’s “Royals,”  the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey,” Fun’s “We are Young” (featuring Janelle Monae), and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (featuring Kimbra). You decide. Which of these would you call pop and which would you call rock?

Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” (featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid) drops from No. 4 to No. 6 in its 28th week. The song peaked at No. 3.

Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still” dips from No. 6 to No. 7 in its 21st week. The song peaked at No. 4.

Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” rebounds from No. 11 to No. 8 in its 11th week. This is its highest ranking to date.

As noted above, Maroon 5 lands its 13th top 10 hit as “What Lovers Do” (featuring SZA) jumps from No. 12 to No. 9 in its 11th week. This is the highly-touted SZA’s first top 10 hit.

J Balvin & Willy William’s “Mi Gente” (featuring Beyoncé) dips from No. 9 to No. 10 in its 19th week.  Five weeks ago, it tied Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” as Beyoncé’s highest-charting featured credit. “Telephone” reached No. 3 in April 2010.

Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” and Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” drop out of the top 10 this week.

G-Eazy and Halsey each land their third top 20 hits this week. G-Eazy’s “No Limit” (featuring A$AP Rocky and Cardi B) leaps from No. 24 to No. 13 in its ninth week. Halsey’s “Bad at Love” jumps from No. 27 to No. 20 in its 10th week.

Taylor Swift lands her 74th Hot 100 entry as “Call It What You Want” debuts at No. 27. Among women, only Nicki Minaj has had more Hot100 hits (81). “Call It What You Want” sold 68K digital copies, which allows it to enter Top Digital Songs at No. 1. It’s Swift’s 15th No. 1 digital hit, which is more than any other artist. It’s Swift’s fifth No. 1 digital hit in 2017, which is also a calendar-year record. This tally counts her collabo with Zayn, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker),” and four (count ’em) songs from reputation.

A mash-up of T-Pain songs recorded for the go90 web series To the Beat with Kurt Hugo Schneider is in the Spotify U.S. Viral 50. T-Pain revisits such R&B hits as “I’m In Luv (wit a Stripper)” and “Best Love Song” in a classically-influenced arrangement, accompanied just by piano and violin. It’s a trip.