Did you watch NBC's live airing of "Jesus Christ Superstar" on Easter Sunday? Nine million people did, and enough of them went straight to Amazon to buy the soundtrack that it shot straight to #1. Along with it, the 1972 JCS motion picture sountrack hit #12 while the original Broadway cast recording hit #7.
We're not talking Billboard charts here. Instead, we looked at daily sales ranks for March at e-commerce giant Amazon to see what people are actually listening to.
For March 2018, the '60s were resurrected, gospel rubbed shoulders with death metal, and soundtracks dominated the charts.
JCS wasn't the only musical - "Hamilton", now in its third smash year on Broadway, averaged a 5.125 ranking, and while the "Greatest Showman" motion picture didn't do as well as its backers hoped at the box office, it dominated the album charts with an average daily rank of 1.47 (which means it was pretty much constantly at either #1 or #2 throughout all of March).
On March 9, Sony released an archival compilation of Jimi Hendrix recordings titled "Both Sides of the Sky". And so, 48 years after his untimely death, Jimi was back in the charts - averaging a daily rank of 6.56. Also on March 9, a new album from a band many might have expected was long dead, Judas Priest, roared back up the charts for an average rank of 13. Meanwhile, Zepplinesque rockers Greta Van Fleet (who are young enough to be Robert Plant's grandchildren) locked in a solid 12.78. Finally, Imagine Dragons' "Evolve" continued to sell strong 9 months after its release at a respectable 14.25 daily average rank.
A little country, a little folk
Alan Jackson's country gospel album, "Precious Memories Collection", dominated all month, with an average of 7.56. Meanwhile on that other chart, his country colleague Chris Stapleton saw his new single, "Broken Halos" spend much of the month at #1, which dredged up interest in his earlier albums: "Traveler", first released in 2015, sat near the top of the charts all March, averaging 15.69, and his "From A Room: Volume 2" also charted.
Indie folk returned to the charts, too, with an average showing of 13.3 by Bon Iver's new "22, A Million", and 14.97 for Ed Sheeran's "Divide" (more than a year after its release), and "Whistle Down the Wind," the first album in a decade from 60s folk icon Joan Baez, averaged 16.88.
|Name||# of days on Amazon's chart||Average rank|
|1||Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event)||1||1.00|
|2||The Greatest Showman Soundtrack||32||1.47|
|3||Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)(Explicit)(2CD)||32||5.13|
|4||Both Sides Of The Sky - Jimi Hendrix||32||6.56|
|5||Jesus Christ Superstar / Original Cast Recording||1||7.00|
|6||Precious Memories Collection - Alan Jackson||32||7.56|
|7||Jesus Christ Superstar: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Album||1||12.00|
|8||From The Fires - Greta Van Fleet||32||12.78|
|9||FIREPOWER - Judas Priest||38||13.05|
|10||22, A Million - Bon Iver||3||13.33|
|11||Evolve - Imagine Dragons||32||14.25|
|12||Divide (Deluxe Version) - Ed Sheeran||32||14.97|
|13||Traveller - Chris Stapleton||32||15.69|
|15||Whistle Down the Wind - Joan Baez||33||16.88|
|16||And Justice for None - Five Finger Death Punch||20||18.15|
|17||ZOMBIES (Original TV Movie Soundtrack)||32||18.28|
|18||Moon Safari (20th Anniversary)(Phosphorescent/Glow In The Dark Vinyl)||4||19.00|
|19||Rifles & Rosary Beads - Mary Gauthier||3||19.33|
|20||From A Room: Volume 1||32||20.00|
|21||Atomic Blonde - Original Soundtrack||9||20.67|
|22||Playlist: The Very Best of MercyMe||18||22.50|
|23||I Can Only Imagine - The Very Best of MercyMe||30||23.17|
|25||The Tree of Forgiveness - John Prine||32||26.03|
|26||From A Room: Volume 2 - Chris Stapleton||32||26.31|
|27||By The Way, I Forgive You - Brandi Carlile||32||27.56|
|28||Odelay [LP] - Beck||4||27.75|
|29||Girl Going Nowhere - Ashley McBryde||5||27.80|
|30||The Greatest Showman Soundtrack (Vinyl w/Digital Download)||33||29.12|