Chris Stapleton Makes Historic Mark with 3 of the Top 5 Albums on the Country Charts
When it comes to country music albums, it is Chris Stapleton, and everyone else. And it’s not even close.
After the release of Stapleton’s latest record, From A Room: Vol. 2, Chris Stapleton holds three of the top four spots on the country albums charts. From A Room: Vol. 2 easily comes in at #1 in country with an estimated 131,000 albums sold, which is also good enough for #2 in all of music, only getting inched out by U2’s latest album Songs of Experience. Stapleton also comes in at #3 in country with his first installment from the From A Room series selling an estimated 20,000 additional albums last week, and his debut album Traveller comes in at #4 with more than 18,000 albums of the now over two-year-old album being purchased.
Having three albums consecutively in country music’s Top 5 has only been accomplished twice before in the modern era, and it was done by the same artist who played spoiler to Stapleton’s bid to make it a clean sweep of the Top 3 of the country albums charts this week—Garth Brooks. Garth’s The Anthology Part I: The First Five Years, which consists of large portions of previously-released material repurposed for Holiday buying, comes in at #2 on this week’s country album charts, with roughly 41,000 records sold. These are the numbers tabulated by HITS Daily Double’s SPS Chart. Billboard will update their album charts on Tuesday (12-12).
Before Stapleton, Garth was the only one with the commercial prowess to pull off what Stapleton has just done in the modern era. In 1992 during Garth’s heyday, he dominated the country albums charts with multiple entries. On October 10th, 1992, Brooks ruled with The Chase (#1), Beyond the Season (#3), No Fences (#4) and Ropin’ the Wind (#5). Garth would accomplish a similar feat 24 years later, and once again boosted by a Christmas release and holiday bundling when Christmas Together (#2), Christmas Together/Gunslinger (#3), and Gunslinger (#4) took three of the Top 5 spots.
For Chris Stapleton to now be considered in the same breath as Garth Brooks, and without the aid of a Holiday release speaks to the scope of the Chris Stapleton phenomenon. Garth Brooks is the greatest-selling American-born music artist in American history, even beating out Elvis. Only The Beatles have sold more records.
Previous artists who also saw multiple albums in the Top 5 of country simultaneously are Charlie Rich and Glen Campbell. In 1974 Charlie Rich’s, There Won’t Be Anymore, Behind Closed Doors, Very Special Love Songs and The Best of Charlie Rich came in #2-#5 respectively on the country charts. In 1968, Glen Campbell’s Gentle on My Mind (#1), Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell (#2), By the Time I Get to Phoenix (#4) and A New Place in the Sun (#5) all topped the charts.
Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Vol. 1 recently won the 2017 CMA award for Album of the Year, and is nominated at the 2018 Grammy Awards for Best Country Album. Traveller has now sold over 2.1 million copies and is certified double platinum. From A Room: Vol. 1 has sold over 586,000 copies, and is been certified gold. Debut sales for From A Room: Vol. 2 are slightly down from the first volume, but still have to be considered very strong since it is Stapleton’s 2nd release in a year.
December 11, 2017 @ 12:36 pm
In an era when the genre is probably more singles-driven than ever before (post-50’s, at least), Stapleton continues to defy the trends. It’s very shocking, honestly, given the plummet of the “album” concept as of late given the rise of streaming and digital sales. I wonder how long it will be until most mainstream artists just stop releasing full albums entirely.
December 11, 2017 @ 1:18 pm
The concept of the Extended Play seems to be making a massive comeback.
December 12, 2017 @ 9:43 am
They never really went anywhere. Labels release them nowadays as a holdover while an artist completes an album assuming it takes a while. That said they still hardly do well
December 11, 2017 @ 12:40 pm
Somebody should do a deep dive into the numbers and compare the sales of albums of past acts with Stapleton and crunch the number of albums sold overall then vs now because while 2.1 million doesn’t sound that big compared to the numbers of Brooks in his heyday or even some of Strait and Jackson’s albums but when you look at how many albums are sold overall that is a huge number.
I would just guess that the 2.1 is comparable to maybe 8-10 million in the 1990s.
December 11, 2017 @ 12:48 pm
Adjusted for internetflation.
December 11, 2017 @ 1:54 pm
How many of those album sales are due to aging Xers nostalgic for the big voices of arena rock?
December 11, 2017 @ 2:11 pm
False. Elvis’ album slales may not compare to garth brooks but realise that Elvis presley was popular in the singles era and upon equating singles to modern sales Elvis far outsells Garth its basic mathmetics while garth maybe outsold Elvis on albums thats not a far comparison since elvis was more of a singles artist also elvis had movies and stuff so hes far out of garths level
December 11, 2017 @ 3:17 pm
Nothing that you said makes anything in this article “false.” Yes, Elvis existed in the singles era. So did Hank Williams. A fine addendum. Not a falsification of the fact that Garth has sold lots, and lots of albums.
December 12, 2017 @ 6:18 am
I never said that Garth didnt sell lots of albums hes a favorite artist of mine whom I have tons of respsectct for but the fat remains that a blanket statement that he outold Elvis Presley is if not false then misleading because of course Garth outsold him in albums but when you aculate shingles into the equation see RIAA does not accoutn for singles sales PLUS RIAA only calculates perfeclty rounds numbers meaning that thousands of units from Elvis NBC christmas special go unspoken for and when you consider the number of Garth releases compared to Elvis releases then the lost numbers from this rounding down will hurt Elvis numbers more than Garths numbers because he has more units to round down and here’s a article about some of these numbers yeah its from a while ago so its no longer fully accurate
and lets factor in other media i mean people arent flocking to see garth brookes movies or buying plates and christmas tree ornaments and wall hangings and pocket knifes with garths likeness on them no sir thats elvis and to just utter a blanket statement that he outsold elvis without an explanation that sales factors are very different and calculated differently and that the industry has changed makes the statement misleading because if we could equalize the sales as though from the same era Elvis would easily outsell garth brooks
December 11, 2017 @ 2:21 pm
I’m glad that an artist like Chris Stapleton are making great high quality country music and not caving in to today’s musical climate, especially when you have morons like Sam “Douchebag” Hunt putting out R&B songs that The Powers That Be are passing off as legitimate country songs.
Old Man Jenkins
December 11, 2017 @ 2:41 pm
I am very happy for Stapleton, but while I never expected him to be a country music savior, I thought he would at least influence radio to allow artists to put out more “traditional material.” Sadly though, Stapleton has just become an anomaly and outlier in his own little incredibly successful world. The industry has done a great job at reducing his success into a small niche where none of it can bleed over to influence the mainstream. With the success of “body like a back road”especially, along with many other hits this year, Stapletons success does not matter to radio at all. I almost wonder if Shane McAnally purposely made Sam Hunt keep that song as an ace in the hole in case people started wanting more traditional music to turn the tide back in his favor. I also wonder if Stapleton’s record company purposely underpromotes his releases so as to not take attention away from other artists in the mainstream. Also, sure Midland was created but they are just a vehicle through which radio can say they promote one traditional song per 50 shitty ones, they are not authentic, and they are under borchettas thumb. Midland is Borchetta throwing a bone to people who complain about country radio except the bone is actually a shit sandwhich. They are a lame excuse for a band, but people now will say Midland is on the radio now so you should be happy a traditional band is playing. Things are not as bad as you think. It makes me sick how calculated everything is, how good the industry is at manipulating dumb people, and how they can justify destroying a whole genre of music. I dont think its right to say country radio doesnt know how to handle Stapleton. I would say that the industry is handling him exactly the way they want to.
December 11, 2017 @ 2:46 pm
Lots of good points here.
December 11, 2017 @ 4:11 pm
The promotion on these albums has been deplorable, and embarrassing. I think you could easily make the case that if Stapleton got even half the amount of press coverage someone like Margo Price has received, he’d sell twice as many albums that the already incredible amount he’s sold.
December 11, 2017 @ 4:14 pm
The only time I’ve seen him promote his new album was on Ellen, of all places.
December 11, 2017 @ 4:25 pm
Yes, because Ellen is a bastion of the type of country fans Chris Stapleton appeals to….
December 11, 2017 @ 5:04 pm
December 11, 2017 @ 6:23 pm
Trigger. I can hear the salt and sarcasm in your response and I couldn’t agree more with what you said. At least Stapleton isn’t following what’s hip and trendy on mainstream country radio thank God!
Cool Lester Smooth
December 11, 2017 @ 6:53 pm
You joke…but NPR country moms LOVE Chris Stapleton.
December 12, 2017 @ 10:55 am
Maybe not country but certainly she is a bastion for hipster Americana fans which Chris crosses over to. I’d even argue that group of fans is probably more responsible for his initial wave of success which then propelled him to the CMA’s, etc.
December 15, 2017 @ 12:09 am
U can’t say things aren’t going on the right direction tho with midland doing well , Jon Pardi doing great chris doing great etc.
December 11, 2017 @ 2:55 pm
Midland is country music’s version of the Backstreet Boys, masterminded by producers looking to make a mark on Billboards country charts. Plain and simple.
December 12, 2017 @ 9:27 am
Wrong, I don’t care how they were “put together” or that Shane helps write and produce those great songs they were nothing like that live and the album is great. I have no idea why you guys have to bring Midland into this discussion. What the fuck does Midland have to do with Stapleton and his people not knowing how to promote themselves? Tell me where Midland gets this huge promotion your talking about. If you think Midlands album is equal to Spinal Taps “Shit Sandwich” I’ll eat that shit any day over most of the stuff ass kissed on this site everyday. Midland is the least of Stapleton’s problems believe me!
December 12, 2017 @ 9:28 am
Sorry, I meant this as a reply to Old Man Jenkins thread above you.
December 12, 2017 @ 10:38 am
Well I guess that’s just like your opinion man.
December 12, 2017 @ 9:39 am
They are not that bad. Their music is actually enjoyable. “Fourteen Gears” is a good example of their desire to be in the direction of traditional country music. It doesn’t bother me really if they were put together by producers as long as the outcome is more traditional sounding country music hitting the airwaves. It’s not the ideal route but it is a net gain for the promotion of traditional country music. Some people on here have pointed out that there have been other notable country artists/musicians that were put together in a similar fashion. I’m more concerned about these Americana/Hipster/Indie bands usurping country music and being promoted by latte sipping gender neutral motherf**kers.
December 15, 2017 @ 12:06 am
That’s exactly what I was thinking!!! U said it perfectly
December 12, 2017 @ 9:41 am
Why people can never be happy and see this as an opportunity to bash Midland is beyond me.
Their music is good, whether you like it or not, and they are making traditional country that is rocketing up the charts- something that would have been unheard of even last year.
Even the whole authenticity debate is way overblown in my opinion- for gosh sakes Mark Wystrach grew up on a cattle ranch and Jess Carson’s wife is a rodeo competitor- what more do you want?
December 11, 2017 @ 2:57 pm
Why do people keep buying all these redundant Garth Brooks compilations?
December 11, 2017 @ 2:59 pm
It is one of the mysteries of life. Who the hell are these people that have like 11 versions of ‘Ropin’ The Wind’?
What a con!
December 11, 2017 @ 3:03 pm
Hold that thought ….
December 11, 2017 @ 4:22 pm
Good!!! I’ve been waiting….
December 11, 2017 @ 3:12 pm
Because it’s a super lazy xmas gift for people who don’t know what to get someone.
December 11, 2017 @ 3:28 pm
Good for Chris! I just got around to picking up ‘Vol. 2’ today. 🙂
December 11, 2017 @ 3:55 pm
I have it on bad authority that Stapleton is planning to sneak in a christmas album in the next few days called Brown Beard Santa’s Whiskey Egg Nog Christmas
December 11, 2017 @ 4:49 pm
and why the hell not? I’d buy it out of sheer protest if I thought he was serious
December 11, 2017 @ 4:10 pm
A little clarification on the Garth/Elvis sales debate. In US. Garth wins. Worldwide, not even close, Elvis way ahead.
December 11, 2017 @ 5:15 pm
Presley holds the records for most songs charting in Billboard’s top 40 and top 100: chart statistician Joel Whitburn calculates the respective totals as 104 and 151; Presley historian Adam Victor gives 114 and 138. Presley’s rankings for top-ten and number-one hits vary depending on how the double-sided “Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel” and “Don’t/I Beg of You” singles, which precede the inception of Billboard’s unified Hot 100 chart, are analyzed.[d] According to Whitburn’s analysis, Presley and Madonna share the record for most top ten hits with 38; per Billboard’s current assessment, he ranks second with 36. Whitburn and Billboard concur that the Beatles hold the record for most number-one hits with 20, and that Mariah Carey is second with 18. Whitburn has Presley also with 18, and thus tied for second; Billboard has him third with 17. Presley retains the record for cumulative weeks at number one: alone at 80, according to Whitburn and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; tied with Carey at 79, according to Billboard. He holds the records for most British number-one hits with 21, and top-ten hits with 76. In 2016, the album The Wonder of You, which sets Presley’s vocals against music by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was released and reached No. 1 in the UK in October. According to Billboard, this created two new records for Presley: with 13 UK No. 1 albums (The Beatles’ total is 15), he is the solo artist with the most number one albums, and the album set a new record for “the longest span between No.1 albums in the UK”: Presley first charted at No.1 in 1956 with his self-titled debut album.
I just happened to look this up last week. Pretty informative.
December 11, 2017 @ 5:23 pm
Joel Whitburn’s chart books are THE best resource for anybody that is a fan of chart history. I have several editions of both his Hot Country Songs book and the Hot 100 book.
December 11, 2017 @ 6:01 pm
i’m gonna do my damndest to convince myself that the success of Stapleton on such an undeniable scale means that people DO know the difference , they will respond to the real thing …STILL ….and are tired of the stuff they’ve had pushed down their throats by radio . They DO want to hear Alan Jackson’s stuff …they DO want to hear Joe Nichols the country singer not Joe the jingle singer ……they WILL listen to something with no auto tune ,no handclaps ,no finger snaps, no ” whoa whoa whoa ” and with only as many words as are needed to tell the story . i really want to believe this but every time i take a positive tack somebody releases another giant turd to radio and the punters lap it up yet again . ( Body Like A Backroad , almost anything by Shelton ).
December 11, 2017 @ 6:05 pm
the only lever is the dollar: BUY the music you want and respect
I just bought Bottles and Bibles on cd and will crank it in car with the kids tomorrow
they liked Purgatory
December 11, 2017 @ 6:31 pm
hear ya corncaster…..i bought vol 2 by stapleton , lee ann womack and some mavis staples this past month or so
December 11, 2017 @ 6:54 pm
how’s the womack? even across the board, or a single or two?
December 11, 2017 @ 8:13 pm
i’m a womack fan ……for me this album misses the mark ….but hey ….its lee ann womack ……..y’know ……” sing me the phone-book lee ann “
December 11, 2017 @ 8:20 pm
Big and burly, bushy beards, with long wispy hair, hanging down beefy shoulders, is considered hot by the women these days. Big bear boys, janglin keys, clipped to their belt are getting the women pregnant just by looking in their direction. It’s a new day.
December 11, 2017 @ 10:32 pm
It just a throw back to the old days when men were men. I’m tired of Keith Urban’s highlights and girlie jeans.
December 11, 2017 @ 10:33 pm
Or not it.
December 12, 2017 @ 10:38 am
Luke Combs just called. He says he agrees! Minus the “Janglin keys” of course.
December 12, 2017 @ 8:27 am
So many negative comments towards Garth. Garth is the reason I fell in love with country music. I heard the song Rodeo and thought this is great. I went and got the cassette of Ropin the Wind. I still think it is one of the all time best country albums. In would like for anybody to listen to that album and tell me one song that sucks. Not going to happen. I do really like Stapleton too and I have all three of his albums and love them.
December 12, 2017 @ 10:34 am
“… In would like for anybody to listen to that album and tell me one song that sucks. Not going to happen.”
Oh yes, it is. “The River” and his version of “Shameless” both suck.
December 12, 2017 @ 1:26 pm
So did Garth’s “set” sell a little over 8000 actual units but it counts as 41,000 since it has 5 CD’s??