Typically, musicians make headlines when their new albums rise higher than ever before or when they move millions, but this week, a number of familiar figures debut new works on the Billboard 200...though they’re not breaking any records with them. In fact, a handful of the most popular artists across a number of genres start just-released titles lower than most would have expected, but it’s all just part of working in a business that changes as quickly as the music industry does.
Here are five albums that made big moves on the Billboard 200 chart this week.
No. 3 - Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell
Lana Del Rey has been rolling out Norman Fucking Rockwell for about a year now, as the first single, “Mariners Apartment Complex,” was released last September. In the months since, she’s doled out a handful of other cuts, and each one has only increased the expectations and made her massive fan base that much more excited to hear the full product.
Sadly, despite plenty of chatter and an impatient public, the set becomes her lowest-charting yet on the Billboard 200, as it debuts at No. 3. That’s a fair start for most musicians, but Del Rey’s four other full-lengths have risen to either No. 1 or 2.
No. 10 - Travis Scott - Astroworld
When it first arrived on the Billboard 200 almost a year ago, Astroworld spent more than one frame in charge of the list, and it lived inside the top 10 for quite some time. As is the case with all full-lengths, it eventually fell down the list...but now it’s back, and it’s performing better than it has in months. Astroworld returns to the top 10 thanks to renewed interest in the set spurred by the musician’s Netflix film Look Mom I Can Fly.
No. 30 - Sheryl Crow - Threads
As she’s promoted her new album Threads, Sheryl Crow has mentioned that it might end up being her last full-length, but that still wasn’t enough to push the title toward the top. In fact, despite healthy promotion and a list of features that includes a healthy mix of new talent and musical legends, Threads debuts at No. 30 on the Billboard 200. When looking at Crow’s discography of traditional studio albums, this latest effort is now her lowest-charting.
No. 115 - Original Cast Recording - Moulin Rouge
While it’s not unheard of, it’s still fairly uncommon for cast recordings to reach the Billboard 200, and typically only a few new releases per year manage to carve out space on the tally. The latest to do so is the Moulin Rouge album, which opens at No. 115 on the all-genre list and at No. 1 on the cast recording-specific ranking.
The release doesn’t perform quite as well as the two soundtracks spun off the film that started it all, but Broadway musicals don’t typically grab the attention of the masses in the same way movies do.
No. 118 - Common - Let Love
Just as fellow star Sheryl Crow sees her new album fall short of previous peaks, rapper Common misses the mark with new album Let Love, which comes in at No. 118. Starting below the No. 100 marker is rare for someone as popular as Common, and his latest studio effort is only his second release to do so (and his first in 25 years). At this point in his career, the Emmy, Grammy and Oscar winner doesn’t need numbers to prove anything, but the low entry point is still surprising.