Imagine Dragons Dominates Neutral Billboard 200 with 'Smoke + Mirrors'; Drake and Fifty Shades Soundtrack Stay Strong
Imagine Dragons started out strong on the Billboard 200 with its second album Smoke + Mirrors, debuting at no. 1 with the band's highest sales week ever. Although its last album Night Visions has sold more than 2.5 million copies, those sales came from its staying-power, whereas its highest selling week was "just" 83,000 copies. Dragons' new set debuted with 195,000 equivalent album sales after its first week.
After that however, it was all downhill for the Billboard 200 Top 10: There were no more debuts in the first frame and none of the albums featured saw a rise in sales. Most of that can be attributed to the lull following the Grammys sales rush.
Drake stays strong with If You're Reading This It's Too Late, which took no. 2 with 187,000 equivalent copies moved...almost enough to keep the top spot for a second week. Following that at no. 3 is the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, which moved another 165,000 metric equivalent copies (including streaming and downloads). That means that for the second week in a row, the top three albums on the Billboard 200 were distributed by Universal Music Group...marking the first time one label has accomplished it since Sony managed it during mid-2012.
Taylor Swift hasn't climbed her way back to the top yet but she has jumped up one rung to no. 4, still a long way from no. 3 however as 1989 moved 93,000 equivalent copies (a healthy portion from downloads). Ed Sheeran also gets back ahead of Sam Smith, as x moved 81,000 copies. Smith was the biggest sales benefactor of the Grammys, where he won four trophies and garnered plenty of newfound attention. His In The Lonely Hour settles at no. 6 this week with 72,000 equivalent copies sold.
Maroon 5 and V indicate the start of where the dearth of new albums really comes into play, as the album creeps to no. 7, its highest placement since October. It may also have benefitted late when frontman Adam Levine performed at the Oscars on Sunday. Meghan Trainor sticks around in Title's sixth week on the charts, landing at no. 8 with 44,000 equivalent copies moved.
Nicki Minaj comes back after a week out of the Top 10 with The Pinkprint, which takes no. 9 with 41,000 equivalent copies moved. Hozier also returns, as his self-titled album takes 40,000 units.