The title of the new album from BTS, “BE,” was short for behemoth, at least in its first week, as the collection easily topped the album chart with 217,100 album units, more than double the number of the first runner-up.
“BE” had what counts as a blockbuster number nowadays for full-album sales, selling 136,700 full copies. Individual song sales were also huge for the frame, at 241,700. Those robust figures more than made up for the K-pop group’s merely okay streaming numbers (27.2 million song streams); it’s clear that the BTS ARMY is very much into ownership of the outfit’s releases.
The big album sales came despite the fact that the only physical edition of “BE” that could be purchased was a deluxe edition that retailed for about $50 in most stores, which did not seem to be a big barrier to entry. Of course, the digital version could be had for around $10; figures were not broken down on the Rolling Stone album chart for how many of the 136,700 were pricey CDs and how many were inexpensive downloads.
In at No. 2 was Megan Thee Stallion’s full-length debut album, “Good News,” with 89,500 album units. By comparison to BTS, she did not sell a tenth as many either in the album or song sales departments (with 11,000 and 21,700, respectively). On the other hand, she was streamed more than three times as often as the K-pop group, with a robust 95.3 million individual song streams.
Megan’s “Good News” album does not include the mega-single “WAP” — which is apparently being saved for inclusion on the next album by duet partner Cardi B — although it stretches the provocative sexuality of that hit song to full album length, and added a highly charged song about her anger toward alleged shooter Tory Lanez besides.
Those were the only two albums debuting in the top 10, although Josh Groban’s “Harmony” came close, in at No. 11 with 29,800 album units.
Among holdovers on the album chart, Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” was back up to No. 3, thanks to another campaign involving autographed CDs and the release of exclusive vinyl at a big-box store, taking her album units number up to 68,400. Ariana Grande’s “Positions” held at No. 4, with 59,200.
Other returning favorites in the top 10 included Pop Smoke, Lil Uzi Vert and Future, Harry Styles, Juice WRLD, Chris Stapleton and Michael Buble’s Christmas album in the Nos. 5-10 slots.
While Stapleton fell only seven spots from his No. 2 debut this week, AC/DC lost a lot more ground, declining from No. 1 to No. 24 in week 2.
Buble had the top holiday album at No. 10, but others were at his heels. Carrie Underwood’s Christmas set was up to No. 12, followed by “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at No. 13. Other seasonal sets: Mariah Carey at No. 19, Dolly Parton at No. 22, Bing Crosby at No. 26, Andy Williams at No. 41, Nat King Cole at No. 42 and Pentatonix at No. 50 and No. 53 and No. 56.
On the Rolling Stone songs chart, “Mood” by 24kgoldn featuring Iann stood on top with 137,100 song units. Nearly taking that top position was a new entry, “Monster” by the team of Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber, claiming second place with 132,500.
Other debuting tracks: Morgan Wallen’s “Somebody’s Problem” at No. 4 (125,100 song units), Megan Thee Stallion’s “Body” at No. 6 (120,800) and two new BTS tracks, “Life Goes On” and “Blue & Grey,” back to back at Nos. 11-12.