Chart Watch: Alan Jackson, late Jeff Buckley top the charts

Alan Jackson’s Good Time got off to a good start on the album chart, selling 119,000 to debut at No. 1. This is the fourth time an album of Jackson’s topped the overall Billboard/Soundscan sales rankings, and the first time since 2002. (His last album, Like Red on a Rose, opened with a higher sales tally, but only made it to No. 4, due to tougher competition at the time.) We’re sure the country star didn’t mean to reference the Jimmie Walker era with that Good Time(s) title, but we’d love to hear Jackson let loose with a cry of "Dy-no-mite!" (Not gonna happen.)

How about a "Hallelujah," then? The late Jeff Buckley’s "Hallelujah" enters the digital songs chart at a shocking No. 1, selling 178,000 downloads for the week, just ahead of the 175,000 that Usher’s "Love in This Club" sold. We’d love to think this resurrection happened because the song’s writer, Leonard Cohen, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this week. Alas, no. It’s because American Idol heartthrob Jason Castro did a rendition of it on the juggernaut show.

Not to be outdone, Michael McDonald covered "Hallelujah" on his new long-player, which debuted on the album sales chart at No. 12 with 28,000 copies. Other notable debuts included L.A.-based Celtic-punk band Flogging Molly, in at No. 4 with 48,000 (their previous chart peak was No. 20), and the Black Crowes, bowing at No. 5 with 46,000 (their first trip to the top 10 since 1992). Among top holdovers, Jack Johnson moved back up from No. 3 to No. 2, while, in her second week out, Janet Jackson dropped from No. 1 to No. 3 with a 68% sales decrease. Now, if only she had named her album Good Time(s).


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  • Dean

    Just wondering, in this digital age what is the source of “chart” rankings?
    Used to be Billboard charts, and Soundscan counts etc. But, now, there’s music being sold by iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Rhapsody and many dozens more download sites. All these sales numbers are separate.
    So, what’s used as a “chart” measure now?

  • Anita, Troy MI

    Anyone who likes Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah should take the time to listen to the entire “Grace” album, they won’t be disappointed. Jeff Buckley was a phenomenal singer/songwriter with an absolutely beautiful voice. Please, at least check out “Last Goodbye” and “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”. I’m glad to see my favorite singer get so much attention, no matter how late it may be.

  • Chris Willman

    Dean: These are Billboard/Soundscan rankings, which take into account sales on iTunes and all the other digital sites. (The digital songs chart, of course, only includes sales from iTunes and similar websites.)

  • Ernie Smith

    Is there a reason why Buckley’s song didn’t enter the Hot 100? It seems like it’d be eligible, as the song’s never been on a Billboard chart before.

  • graeme

    Is there any reason why Jeff Buckley’s version was the one that rocketed to the top of the charts?

  • aymzer

    Graeme, Jeff Buckley is the one that the judges referenced when Jason sang it on AI. I immediately went out and bought his version, THEN heard about Rufus’ and all the others.

  • RH

    Just pointing out that “Hallelujah” is by Leonard Cohen and on the record “Various Positions.” Notable covers include the Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, John Cale, k.d. lang and every coffee-shop folkie ever to monopolize an open mic. Buckley also covers it on “Live at Sin-e.”

  • styles-p

    I still think Janets’ sales are phenomenal considering that people do not buy music anymore. But they show they buy janets at still a phenomenal #.

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