In a relatively slow week of music sales before the arrival of blockbusters by Drake and Taylor Swift, the country star Morgan Wallen returns to the top of the Billboard album chart, notching a 16th time at No. 1 for his newest album, “One Thing at a Time.”
Wallen’s album returns with the equivalent of 74,500 sales in the United States, including nearly 98 million streams, according to the tracking service Luminate.
“One Thing at a Time,” stuffed with 36 tracks, has been a steady streaming hit since March; only in the last month has it dipped below 100 million streams a week, a benchmark that relatively few albums reach even in their debut week, let alone their 40th. Wallen’s 16 reps at No. 1 are the most for any album since Adele’s “21,” which logged 24 weeks at the top in 2011 and 2012.
Still, Wallen’s 74,500 “equivalent album units” — a composite number that represents an album’s popularity on streaming platforms and in purchases of downloads and physical copies — is notably low. That is the least units to top the charts in almost a year and a half, since Pusha T’s “It’s Almost Dry” opened with 55,000 in April 2022.
The music industry is bracing for boffo numbers from Drake, whose long-awaited “For All the Dogs” came out Friday and is already a smash online, and for Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” which comes out Oct. 27 and is all but certain to be huge on streaming services and in sales of both CDs and vinyl LPs. (“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” her concert film, is set to open on Friday and has already surpassed $100 million in worldwide advance ticket sales.)
Ed Sheeran’s surprise “Autumn Variations” opens at No. 4, his second Top 10 new LP this year. His “-” (a.k.a. “Subtract”) opened at No. 2 in May, though it quickly plunged from there, falling out of the Top 20 after two weeks and the Top 100 after nine — a rare flop for Sheeran, one of the giants of pop’s streaming age.
Also this week, Rod Wave’s “Nostalgia” falls to No. 2 after two weeks at the top, with Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” at No. 3 and Zach Bryan’s self-titled album No. 5.