Jason Isbell Hits Multiple #1’s with New Album “Reunions”

photo: Brad Coolidge

Jason Isbell has once again landed at #1 in both country and rock, as well as folk/Americana with his latest record Reunions. This is the third time in a row the Alabama native has landed at the top of all three metrics with an album debut, and all from an artist who rarely makes it onto commercial radio. And this time Isbell does it with a multi-week release that could have put his string of #1’s in peril.

Jason Isbell’s Reunions sold around 31,000 in physical sales, and accrued another 6,000 in equivalent stream and downloads for a grand total of 37,000 total album units, beating out all comers, including Luke Combs who came in 2nd in country with 28,000 units sold of his latest record What You See Is What You Get. Isbell beat out Queen’s Greatest Hits, and a ton of other Greatest Hits packages in rock to take the #1 spot this week. Reunions also comes in at #1 on the all-genre Billboard Top Album Sales chart which doesn’t factor in streaming, and #9 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart.

What made this an especially tough achievement for Isbell this time was his decision to sell physical copies of Reunions via brick and mortar record stores a week early in an effort to help the struggling businesses forced to shut down or only sell via delivery or curbside amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Just with these sales, Isbell was able to move over 7,100 albums and hit #1 on Billboard’s Top Vinyl Albums chart, #6 on Billboard’s all-genre Top Album Sales chart (physical only), as well as #17 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart, and #20 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart last week.

However the concern was those 7,100 in early physical sales which weight so significantly on album charts would put Jason Isbell at a disadvantage on his official debut week. But Reunions with his band The 400 Unit was still strong enough to overcome all competition on a week with not a lot of other major releases.

Overall, debut sales and streams were slightly down for Isbell from his previous two releases when combining both 1st and 2nd week sales for a grand total of 44,000. His previous record, 2017’s The Nashville Sound came in with a total of 54,000 in sales and streaming equivalents, and his 2015 album Something More Than Free came in with 46,000 total units.

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