March 20, 2018

Bon Jovi Falls a Record 168 Spots as ‘Black Panther’ Is No. 1 Again

Jon Bon Jovi at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday. His band’s 2016 album returned to No. 1 last week, then plunged to No. 169. Credit Chris Pizzello/Invision, via Associated Press

On the volatile Billboard album chart these days, one week you can be No. 1, and the next you drop to No. 169.

Case in point: Bon Jovi’s “This House Is Not for Sale.” The album, which came out almost a year and a half ago, returned from oblivion last week to reach No. 1, thanks to a deal that bundled the CD with the cost of concert tickets for Bon Jovi’s latest tour.

Such deals have become the music industry’s favorite new sales gimmick, used by everyone from Metallica and Arcade Fire to Pink. And since chart positions are now computed by looking at both sales and streams — with sales of full albums given the most weight by far — a well-timed ticket bundle can be a quick path to No. 1. This practice has raised concerns, but Nielsen denies any chart manipulation.

Bon Jovi’s 168-spot plunge, however, is the biggest drop for a No. 1 album in the six-decade history of the chart, according to Billboard. (The previous record-holder was the emo band Brand New, whose album “Science Fiction” fell 96 spots last September.)


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According to Nielsen data, “This House Is Not for Sale” had the equivalent of fewer than 5,000 sales in the United States last week — a 96 percent drop in sales volume from the week before, when it bumped the “Black Panther” soundtrack from the top slot.

This week, “Black Panther” returns to No. 1, its third time at the top, with 15,000 sales and nearly 82 million streams. Another soundtrack, for “The Greatest Showman,” is in second place, and “Memories Don’t Die,” the new album by the Canadian rapper Tory Lanez, opens at No. 3.

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