Kings of Leon: Bested By Sugarland on Billboard Charts!
Kings of Leon’s new album “Come Around Sundown” was bested by Sugarland’s “Incredible Machine” on the Billboard charts.
It didn’t take a whole army of soldiers to take down the Kings of Leon, just one little country band. Kings of Leon’s album “Come Around Sundown” the much anticipated follow up to their smash hit album “Only by the Night” debuted last week and while it is worthy of the acclaim it has gotten it failed to debut at the number one spot on the Billboard Top 200. That honor went to the country band Sugarland. While it was a close battle, Sugarland and their album “The Incredible Machine” sold 203,000 copies to The Kings 183,000.
But the Kings of Leon shouldn’t be too worried. They seem to be continuing to sell well into their second week and they debuted at number one on the rock chart, digital albums chart and alternative charts. To me it is just a little bit shocking that Sugarland came out of nowhere with this release and debut. Sugarland has been a big band for a while and they do sell well, however it seems like this last year and a half has belonged to the Kings of Leon. Their song “Use Somebody” has been covered by dozens of different musical acts. YouTube is awash in people singing their versions of the song and it seems like every music magazine in the world was in love with them Everyone expected them to debut strong. I think few people expected them to only make it to number 2 on the Billboard top 200 chart.
In my mind this could also be a symptom of the audience type. What I mean is this: while the music industry is dealing with rampant piracy, the country music side of things has seen the lowest levels of illegal downloading. There could be a few different reasons for that. One could simply be that many people who are country music fans are a little more conservative in their values and they see downloading without paying as theft so instead of just taking the album, they buy it (as opposed to rock/alternative fans who many not feel the same way). The other thought is that many country music fans may still not be fully up on the technology that is out there. I’m not saying they are simple or slow, but they instead have different priorities in life than figuring out how to download an album for free. Some evidence to support this might be that currently Kings of Leon are number #3 on the iTunes album sales chart while Sugarland is all the way down at #22.
The reasons behind the big debut for Sugarland notwithstanding, they still did it and spoiled The Kings of Leon’s shot at their first number 1 debut. But in the end this discussion won’t mean much after this week when Taylor Swift‘s “Speak Now” descends from on high and crushes them all in sales.
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