On the Charts: Eric Church rules, Beatles get a bump, Imagine Dragons break a record

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Image Credit: John Peets

Though the year is still young, Eric Church has established himself as the 2014 music sales king. His just-released fifth album The Outsiders debuted with a walloping 288,000 copies in its opening week. That’s Church’s second number one debut and his biggest sales week ever (his previous high was his fourth album Chief, which moved 145,000 units on its way to a chart-topping bow back in 2011).

Church didn’t have much competition at the marketplace, as there were not any other top 10 debuts this week—the next highest debut was the new album by Glitch Mob, which came in at number 13 with 22,000 copies sold. But elsewhere on the Billboard 200, there was one clear trend: the rise of the Beatles. Between the Grammys and the television special commemorating the 50th anniversary of the group’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Fab Four sold a total of 65,000 copies across their catalog, placing a grand total of 13 releases on the chart. The biggest winner was the band’s 2000 compilation 1, which landed at number 20 with 18,000 copies sold. The rest of the big winners were also compilations, including the soundtrack to Cirque Du Soleil’s Beatles-focused Love, the two volumes of Greatest Hits, and last year’s compendium Live at the BBC Vol. 2.

Over on the Billboard Hot 100, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” logs another week at the top of that chart, narrowly edging out Pharrell’s Oscar-nominated “Happy.” It’s Perry’s fourth week on top, boosted primarily by its ascent to the top of the Radio Songs chart, which means it was the most-played song on radio last week—via radio, it reached an audience of 143 million people, which is pretty staggering. (Vin Deisel approves!)

And with the official video premiering on Thursday, it’s almost a lock to stay at number one for a fifth week, though “Happy” continues to do brisk digital sales, and Jason DeRulo’s 2 Chainz-assisted “Talk Dirty” is also on the rise, reaching number three this week.

Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” is at number 26 on the Hot 100 this week, which isn’t all that impressive, but it does represent that song’s 77th week on the chart—a new record for any tune.

It breaks the record previously held by Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” and AWOL Nation’s “Sail,” both of which spent 76 weeks on the Hot 100. What’s remarkable is that in its 77th week, “Radioactive” still has strong showings on radio and streaming services, which should keep it solidly on the chart for another dozen weeks at least.

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