Perhaps because tongues wagged when she performed at Kenny Chesney’s launch of The Big Revival tour in Nashville and planted a big kiss on his lips, perhaps because she won at the recent iHeartRadio Awards, or maybe just because she’s Taylor Swift, but the pop superstar’s country-labelled back catalogue in back on the up on Country Albums this week. ‘Red’ takes the top spot, followed by its deluxe version at #8 and a host of others; these include ‘Speak Now (Bonus Track Version)’ at #11, ‘Taylor Swift’ at #12, ‘Fearless (Platinum Edition)’ at #14 and ‘Fearless’ at #19. The Shires, meanwhile, are bringing up the rear at #2 and #13 with their deluxe and standard versions of ‘Brave’, while Darius Rucker brings a new entry at #3 with ‘Southern Style’, his fourth country album released just yesterday. Also relatively new to the chart are Striking Matches, whose debut album ‘Nothing But The Silence’ remains at #4 after surviving the potential second-week drop.
Dolly Parton as usual is making her presence known on the chart, as ‘Blue Smoke’ takes #10, ‘The Very Best of’ takes #21, and her inclusion in the compilation album ‘First Ladies of Country’ sees it hold strong at #7. Shania Twain, too, picks up the throwback baton for two versions of ‘Come On Over’ at #6 and #17 respectively, while Tim McGraw’s ‘Love Story’ compilation mysteriously jumps to #9 this week. There’s also Johnny Cash, although his usual multiple entries are narrowed down to just one this week: ‘The Legend of Johnny Cash’ at #5, above John Denver’s ‘Ultimate Collection’ at #18 and Glen Campbell’s ‘Twenty Gold Greats’ at #23. And of course, such is the popularity of compilations and Greatest Hits records, there are two miscellaneous ones here this time around, at #15 and #24.
All things told, it’s a story of Taylor Swift and the oldies on this week’s chart, although The Music of Nashville sees ‘Season 2: Volume 2’ and ‘Season 1: Volume 2’ lurk further down at #16 and #20, and Luke Bryan’s ‘Crash My Party’ peeps in at #22. Even Lady Antebellum are hardly noticeable, with ‘Own The Night’ just making it into the roundup at #25. A similar picture exists on Country Songs, with Miss Taylor dominating (she steals the top four spots and many others going down), as only Lady A manage to challenge her with ‘Need You Now’ at #5. Entries from Johnny Cash, Shania Twain, John Denver and Dolly Parton serve to litter much of the rest of the top 25, although Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Biscuits’ enjoys a place at #14 and The Shires’ ‘Friday Night’ holds at #17. There’s also Carrie Underwood’s ‘Something In The Water’ at #20, Faith Hill’s ‘This Kiss’ at #19, The Band Perry’s ‘If I Die Young’ at #24 and Uncle Kracker’s ‘Follow Me’ at #25, but if we’re looking for current material Kacey, The Shires and perhaps Carrie are the only ones ticking that box. Not a very good place to be at.
That’s it for this week; come back next Tuesday for another iTunes UK country chart roundup!