The new Billboard 200 format has been hot on its incorporation of streams and single downloads into arranging the most relevant chart in music, yet the folks at Billboard failed to notice one thing this past week: For the first time ever, the top of the 200 was different than the album at the top of the albums chart. Although Taylor Swift and 1989 was no. 1 on the chart everyone was watching, it only sold 77,000 actual copies. That's a boost from last week, but not enough to take no. 1 on the albums chart from Now 53, which sold 98,000 copies.
Another new act got a boost on the album charts versus the actual Billboard 200, thanks to fans eager to buy the whole package: Fifth Harmony and its first LP, Reflection, debuted at no. 3 with 62,000 copies sold.
The next two performers both got a boost to album sales thanks to their big nights at The Grammys. Sam Smith placed at no. 4 with In The Lonely Hour, selling 55,000 copies (nearly a 40 percent increase from last week). Although the Nielsen sales tracking ended soon after the Grammys aired on Sunday night, his four wins pushed a boost in sales. Expect it to continue into next week. Ed Sheeran can also expect a sales boost thanks to the ceremony where he performed. His x rose to 53,000 in sales this week.
A pair of new albums took the nos. 6 and 7 spots, respectively, and both were full of covers. Bob Dylan came in at no. 6 with Shadows in The Night, a collection of Frank Sinatra reprisals. That album sold 45,000 copies. Following him was Diana Krall, who covered a range of popular songs, both alone and with guests. Her album Wallflower sold 42,500 copies.
Meghan Trainor hung around for at least one more week as Title sold 37,000 copies and placed at no. 8. The 2015 Grammy Nominees compilation may see a boost after the ceremony itself, but for now it sits at no. 9 with 33,500 copies sold.
One last debut managed to crack the Top 10 of the albums chart after missing for the Billboard 200: Kid Ink and Full Speed sold 30,000 copies and took the last spot. That's a big drop from his 2014 album, My Own Lane, which sold 66 percent more copies during its first week.