With the economy spiraling into a recession this holiday season, music has proven to be great, affordable gift for many and with the release of this week's Billboard Hot 200 Albums the proof is in the 'pudding' as many of the albums on the chart showcase healthy sales gains. The chart topping album this week is "Fearless" from Taylor Swift. With 33% more in sales over last week, the album has moved over 1.8 million copies in its six weeks of release and when this week's sales are released next week, there's no doubt that the album will have moved over 2 million copies during the last two weeks of the year, thus giving Taylor Swift an outside chance to surpass Coldplay to score the year's biggest release.
Like last week, country music sales continue to do pretty well with Faith Hill's holiday project "Joy to the World" selling another 90,000 copies this week, it should hit the gold mark next week as the album sits at 430,000 copies sold. Elvis Presley's "Christmas Duets," which features duets with female Country artists, has moved over 300,000 copies in its 10 weeks on the charts. Swift's 2-year old debut project sold an additional 70,000 copies to move the album to just under 3.8 million copies sold. Rascal Flatts has now moved nearly 400,000 copies of their first Greatest Hits project while Sugarland's places 30th on the charts with their 22-week-old "Love on the Inside." The album has now moved nearly 1.3 million copies since it was released. Kenny Chesney's "Lucky Old Sun" has now moved over 500,000 copies.
Other country albums doing well include Zac Brown Band with the Foundation having moved over 160,000 albums and earning a place inside the Top 50, a position that Darius Rucker has done with his "Learn To Live" album as well. That record has moved over 300,000 copies in 14 weeks of release. Other country artists inside the Top 75 include Carrie Underwood ("Carnival Ride" now over 2.5 million sold), Toby Keith with "That Don't Make Me A Bad Guy," George Strait, with "Troubadour" having sold nearly 3/4 of a million copies.
With artists like Jamey Johnson, Trace Adkins and Lady Antebellum also inside the Top 200 with their latest albums, Country music fans are certainly keeping the genre in good spirits this holiday season. While the numbers will likely fall drastically in two weeks, next week should still be a decent week of sales as Christmas sales from Sunday through Wednesday (not to mention post-holiday sales) will be brisk.