The band’s new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, dethroned rapper A$AP Rocky whose album At. Long. Last. ASAP has been at the top of the charts for two weeks.
How big of a deal is it to be number one on the Billboard 200 chart? Well first of all it means that your record beat out 199 other albums worth talking about during the week being discussed. So if you’re number one that means your emotional baggage ranks the highest among albums and EPs in the United States. Being number one also means you have the most popular music in the country. Based mostly on sales, both retail and digital, the sales tracking week for the Billboard 200 begins on Mondays and ends on Sundays. A new chart is published the following Thursday with an issue date of the Saturday of the following week.
Unfortunately, a long-standing policy that made titles that are sold exclusively by non-music retail outlets (such as Walmart and Starbucks) ineligible for charting was reversed in November 2007. Although those who buy music from box stores and coffee chains are people too, it sucks that they are allowed to be part of the numbers. Sorry – record store raised. Also, starting with the December 13, 2014 issue, Billboard updated their chart methods to include on-demand streaming and digital track sales which are measured by Nielsen SoundScan. Can’t avoid that one – most of us get our music online. RIP record stores.
Anyway, back to Florence + the Machine. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is the band’s third album and these songs are nothing short of epic. Listen to “Ship to Wreck” and “What Kind of Man” first– I’ve played both on my radio show and they are vocal and musical forces to be reckoned with. Clearly Florence went through a serious breakup and she’s not afraid to sing her heart out about what happened. Good for her.
Marking Florence + the Machine’s best sales week in their history, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful sold 137,000 units in its first week. This impressive figure shatters the band’s previous record of 105,000 copies, which earned 2011’s Ceremonials the number six spot. The band’s 2009 debut Lungs peaked at number 14 which surprises me considering that record included huge hits like “Dog Days Are Over” and “You’ve Got the Love.”
Hopefully this new record stays on top for at least a few weeks – this band definitely deserves the recognition.