John Prine Songs & Albums Spike on the Charts

John Prine was never known for his chart performance or super hits. He was a songwriter’s songwriter whose greatest contribution to music was critical-acclaim and influence. Well, until the final record of his career, 2018’s Tree of Forgiveness, which shocked the world by selling 54,000 equivalent albums upon it’s debut (and 53,000 album in pure sales). To put that into context, that’s 8,000 more albums that “country” superstar Sam Hunt’s new album Southside sold upon its debut.

Now John Prine is back in the charts, but this time for a much more somber reason. As fans and fellow artists took to remember John Prine through his music, songs and albums of the musical legend who passed away on April 7th at 73-years-old spiked on a number of charts.

Since some of Prine’s work has been labeled “rock,” and some of it “country” or “folk/Americana,” you have to really dig into the charts to find it all, speaking to the wide influence Prine had over his career.

The two albums from John Prine that saw the greatest spikes in sales upon his death were his first and his last. This week, Prine’s 1971 self-titled debut album finds itself at #1 on the folk/Americana chart, and #5 on the Top Rock Albums chart with 12,000 equivalent album units moved. 2018’s Tree of Forgiveness ended up at #3 in folk/Americana, #12 on Top Country Albums, and #15 on the Rock Albums charts with roughly 8,150 album equivalents totaled with sales, downloads, and streams.

As far as songs go, numerous John Prine titles ended up on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart this week.

#5 – “In Spite of Ourselves” w/ Iris Dement – 1.3 millions streams, 6,000 downloads.
#11 – “Angel from Montgomery” – 1.4 million streams, 3,000 downloads.
#18 – “Hello in There” – 844,000 streams, 3,000 downloads.
#19 – “When I Get to Heaven” – 894,000 streams, 2,000+ downloads.
#20 – “Angel From Montgomery” w/ Bonnie Raitt – 431,000 streams, 5,000 downloads.
#24 – “That’s the Way the World Goes Round” – 873,000 streams, 3,000 downloads.

On the Billboard Digital Rock Songs Sales Chart, John Prine appeared at:

#2 – “In Spite of Ourselves”
#15 – “Sam Stone”
#17 – “Angel from Montgomery” w/ Bonnie Raitt
#21 – “Illegal Smile”

No, John Prine songs did not appear on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart, but they did show up on the Billboard Digital Country Songs Sales Chart:

#4 – “In Spite of Ourselves” w/ Iris Dement
#15 – “When I Get to Heaven”
#24 – “Paradise”

And if you were wondering if people were discovering John Prine’s music for the first time after his passing, looking through the data of people searching for song lyrics is a good indication. In that case, John Prine absolutely the dominated Billboard LyricFind chart this week, so much so that the answer would be very resounding “yes.”

#1 – “Angel From Montgomery”
#3 – “Illegal Smile”
#4 – “Hello In There”
#5 – “Sam Stone”
#9 – “Six O’Clock News”
#10 – “Linda Goes to Mars”
#11 – “Spanish Pipedream”
#13 – “When I Get to Heaven”
#14 – “How Lucky”
#15 – “Souveniers”
#16 – “Donald and Lydia”
#20 – “Paradise”


All numbers via Billboard.

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