Louis Tomlinsonsecond solo album Faith in the future debuting at No. 2 on Billboard‘s Top album sales (dated Nov. 26), scoring the pop star for his highest-charting hit to date, and best sales week (37,500 sold in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 17, according to Luminate).
Billboard‘s Top album sales ranks the week’s best-selling albums based on traditional album sales only. The history of the chart dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now Luminate. Pure album sales were the only metric used by Billboard 200 album chart through the list dated dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a method that mixes album sales with track-equivalent album units and streaming-equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Top Current Album Sales shows the week’s best-selling current (not catalog or older albums) albums by traditional album sales. Independent Albums reflects the week’s most popular albums, by units, released by independent labels. Vinyl Albums is the best selling vinyl album of the week. Tastemaker Albums ranks the week’s best-selling albums at independent and small record stores.
Of Faith in the future‘s 37,500 sold, physical sales include 31,500 (with 16,500 on vinyl; 14,000 on CD and 1,000 on cassette) and digital album sales include 6,000.
Believe‘s first week sales figures were boosted by its availability across several physical compilation variants of the album. It was released in 10 vinyl variants (including Amazon and Barnes & Noble exclusives; as well as two indie-exclusive retail versions, one of which was signed), four CD variants (including a deluxe Zine/CD pack, a Target exclusive with two bonus tracks and a lenticular cover and a signed Newbury Comics exclusive CD) and three cassette tapes.
The set was preceded by the single “Bigger Than Me”, which became Tomlinson’s fourth solo hit Pop Airplay chart (outside of his One Direction tenure).
At No. 1 on Top Album Sales is Taylor Swift’s Midnightswhich spends a fourth consecutive week at the top of the chart (60,000 sold; down 36%).
Bruce Springsteen’s new cover set Only the strong survive enters at No. 3 on Top Album Sales with 37,000 sold. It is Springsteen’s 17th top 10 since the list was launched in 1991. The Beatles‘ Revolver falls 3-4 with 10,000 sold (down 31%).
Louis Armstrong’s holiday collection Louis wishes you a cool Christmas rings in at No. 7 with 7,500 copies sold. It is the legend’s first top 10 on the 31-year-old chart. The new 11-track set is being promoted as Armstrong’s “first-ever Christmas album”, although the late artist (who died in 1971) has previously released a number of holiday compilations along with other tracks containing most of the album’s tracks (such as Armstrong). and Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella & Louis Christmas). Especially Louis wishes you a cool Christmas includes a previously unreleased recording by Armstrong, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (also known as “The Night Before Christmas”), recorded shortly before his death. It is his first newly released track in over 20 years.
Louis wishes you a cool Christmas also debuts in the top 10 on Top Current Album Sales, Jazz albums, Traditional jazz albums, Top holiday album and vinyl albums. It also bows at No. 122 on the Billboard 200. (Jazz Albums, Traditional Jazz Albums and Top Holiday Albums rank the week’s most popular overall jazz, traditional jazz and holiday albums, respectively, by corresponding album units.)
Rounding out the top 10 on the new Top Album Sales chart is Harry Styles‘former No. 1 Harry’s house (up 11-8 with just over 7,000 sold; up 17%), Prince’s Hits 2 (16-9 with 7,000; up 59%) and Stranger Things: Season 4 soundtrack (4-10 with nearly 7,000 sold; down 51%).
In the week ending Nov. 17, sold 1.937 million albums in the US (up 10.8% from the previous week). Of this total, physical albums (CDs, vinyl LPs, cassettes, etc.) accounted for 1,564 million (up 14.7%) and digital albums 374,000 (down 3.1%).
648,000 CD albums were sold in the week ending November. 17 (up 2.7% week-over-week) and 903,000 vinyl albums sold (up 25.6%). Year-to-date CD album sales are at 30,301 million (down 8.2% compared to the same time frame a year ago) and year-to-date vinyl album sales are at 34,198 million (up 3 .1 %).
Total year-to-date album sales total 82,901 million (down 7.3% compared to the same year-to-date time frame a year ago). Year to date, physical album sales are at 64,976 million (down 2.4%), and digital album sales total 17,955 million (down 21.6%).