Looking at the top of the album chart, you could almost believe you accidentally clicked on a landing page for the Republic Records roster. The label is enjoying an almost ridiculous level of dominance at the moment, with its lineup claiming all four of the top spots and six out of the top 10. All things being unequal, Republic could justifiably change its name to Oligarchy Records right about now.
Morgan Wallen, Pop Smoke, Taylor Swift and the Weeknd have the top four spots locked up on the chart for the week ending Jan. 28, which was revealed Monday. After a one-spot interlude for Interscope’s Lil Durk at No. 5, a second album by Swift holds the No. 6 spot, and another resurgent Republic artist, Ariana Grande, is at No. 8. Sixty percent dominance of the top 10, and 100% of the top four, are virtually unheard of in modern chart times.
The stranglehold loosens up some once you move to lower rungs on the Rolling Stone album chart. Looking at the top 30, Interscope can claim nearly a third of those albums — nine, to be exact — slightly besting the eight that Republic has on that list. So it’s not as Republic has obliterated the competition and especially not Interscope’s bragging rights.
But that clot at the top may not be broken up for weeks, considering that Wallen, currently in his third week at No. 1, is already enjoying the longest run at the top for any country artist since Swift was still classified as one; the album by the late Pop Smoke has spend nearly every one of the 30 weeks it’s been out in the top five; Swift’s two 2020 releases seem to keep boosting rather than cannibalizing each other; and the Weeknd will be capitalizing on far more visibility in the next two chart weeks with his Super Bowl halftime appearance.
In its third week, Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” didn’t double the nearest competition — he tripled it, with 127,600 album units to No. 2 Pop Smoke’s 42,900 units. The Wallen album was not so dangerously down from its second week, where it racked up 154,700 album units. Wallen’s song streams continue to be massive for a country artist — and, of course, for any artist — with 139 million streamed in week three.
The gap between Swift’s two releases is not too broad, with the earlier of the two, July’s “Folklore,” now back in the lead over December’s “Evermore.” The former moved up to No. 3 in its 27th week out, with 40,000 album equivalent units. (Remarkably, 10,900 of those were in actual full album sales, hard as it is to believe that any Swiftie who wants the album would not have purchased it already in its first six months.) “Evermore” held steady in sixth place with 32,000 overall album units in this, its eighth week of release.
The non-Republic albums in the top 10: Lil Durk at No. 5, followed by Juice WRLD at No. 7, Luke Combs at No. 9 (remember when he was the new, huge country thing? Well, he kind of still is) and Lil Baby at No. 10.
The sole debuting album in Rolling Stone’s top 30 this week was “Los Dioses” by Ozuna and Anuel AA, in at No. 15.
On the Rolling Stone songs chart, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” holds the No. 1 spot for a third week, to the surprise of no one. It had 37.4 million streams, down from 53.2 million the prior week.
Last week’s No. 2, the “34+35” remix with Grande joined by featured guests Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, slipped a spot to No. 3. Moving up into second place was SZA’s “Good Days,” which had 17.7 million streams in its fifth week out.
Doja Cat doesn’t have much to complain about. Even if her featured appearance with Grande slipped a spot, she has two songs in the top four, as her solo number, “Streets,” moves up to No. 4 in its third week.
Republic’s dominance on the songs chart is more spread out than it is on the albums chart, yet the label commands an ever larger percentage in some stats. The label has nine of the top 20 singles, starting with Grande’s “34+35” at No. 3 and moving on to five Wallen tunes at Nos. 6, 10, 11, 12 and 20, followed by the Weeknd’s evergreen “Blinding Lights” at No. 7 (61 weeks into its run) and “Save Your Tears” at No. 13, and Pop Smoke’s “For the Night” at No. 17.