Who Charted?: Norah Jones Is Everybody’s Favorite Valentine

Feb 21st, 2007 // 1 Comment

norahcover.jpgNorah Jones performed the neat trick of failing upward this week. Not Too Late, her third album, experienced an 11% drop in sales, but its 211,000 copies sold were enough to help her reclaim the top spot on the Billboard 200 in the album’s third week on the chart.

The real story, however, came from post-Grammy bounces. This week’s top 10 was littered with artists who got some face time on the Grammys: the Dixie Chicks jumped from No. 72 to No. 8, Corinne Bailey Rae moved up to No. 4 from No. 9, Justin Timberlake inched up to No. 7 (from No. 10), and John Mayer barrelled from No. 29 to No. 10. Even the compilation of Grammy-nominated songs Grammy Nominees 2007 got in on the bouncing action, moving up from No. 7 to No. 3.

Biggest Debuts: Gerald Levert’s posthumous In My Songs entered the chart at No. 2; the album sold 165,000 copies, resulting in the late soul singer’s best chart position ever and his highest one-week sales tally of the SoundScan era. Lucinda Williams’ West debuted at No. 14, selling 57,000 copies.

Biggest Slides: Fall Out Boy’s Infinity On High took a 50% sales hit, dropping from the top spot to No. 5; other than that, and Jones’ dip, the upper tier of the charts was filled with records that had sizeable sales gains. Some albums–like Daughtry and Akon’s Konvicted–saw their chart position slip despite selling more copies than they did last week.

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: The band that inspired this category holds steady at No. 15 this week; All The Right Reasons even experienced an uptick in sales. It’s not the result of a Grammy bounce, so we’re just guessing that the shopping masses, confused by the prospect of actually being in a position to buy CDs, picked up Reasons in a panic, not realizing the medocrity that they’d be unleashing on their ears until long after they’d paid for the album.

When Cupid Meets Grammy


  1. Chris Molanphy

    The real real story is that the industry’s wish came true, and it still didn’t help: This was the first time since 2004 that the Grammys and Valentine’s Day fell in the same week – a double-whammy that retailers pray for but don’t always get – and sales were still down from the comparable 2006 week (10.5%, to be exact).

    I’m going to repeat something I said here a couple of weeks ago: Releasing the Jones album nearly three weeks before Valentine’s was a mistake. It should’ve been one week, tops. In ’04, when her second record came out the Tuesday before V-Day, it sent a stampede of yuppies into the stores just as the Grammys were announced, and it was harmonic convergence: huge sales all around, the biggest non-fourth quarter week ever. This year, she’s sold ~850K in three weeks, less than she did in one week in 2004 (a little over 1 million). Of course, the market is in a slump now, so she was primed for a fall, but I guarantee, if the Jones-worshipping yuppies had been forced to wait until the week of the Grammys to buy the new Norah, they’d have bought more of it and more of everything else. Spreading Jones’s pre-V-Day sales over three weeks clearly hasn’t worked.

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