Remember how The Greatest Showman dominated the albums chart for two years?
The soundtrack album was even blamed for crowding out artists on the main chart, where it racked up 28 weeks at the summit and more than two million sales from late 2017 to the end of 2019.
A year ago, the Official Charts Company made a change to the rules that saw soundtracks move from the albums chart to the compilations rundown. As a result, The Greatest Showman has now become a perennial in the compilations Top 10 and was the overall No.1 compilation last year with sales of 190,864, according to the Official Charts Company.
Just to put that in context: if it had been on the albums chart, then The Greatest Showman (Atlantic) would have been the ninth biggest album of 2020. Its career sales now stand at 2,347,935 (including 1,080,120 physical copies, 948,523 from streams and 319,292 downloads).
While its sales may have slowed since the 2018 peak, the soundtrack still racked up 147,976 sales from streams last year. Even in the quiet first week of January, it moved 4,300 copies and climbed from No.2 to No.1 in the compilations chart.
Now That’s What I Call Music 107 had to cede No.1 to The Greatest Showman last week. And it’s the Now compilation brand that has perhaps suffered most from the change to chart rules. While streams register to soundtracks’ sales, compilation albums’ chart placings are only based on pure sales (any streams for those songs accrue to any studio album and the biggest-selling greatest hits).
Now albums held the Top 5 positions in the overall compilations chart of 2019. But the highest-charting edition overall of 2020 was Now 105 at No.4 (112,047 sales last year), followed by Now 106 at No.5 (111,853), Now 104 at No.6 (88,225) and Now 107 at No.7 (86,878).
Soundtracks took up the rest of the Top 10, with Frozen 2 (Walt Disney/UMC) at No.2 overall last year (165,830 sales in 2020) and Hamilton (Atlantic) at No.3 (120,776).
The compilations chart has now become home to OST catalogue titles, with the rest of the Top 10 made up of 2016’s Moana (Walt Disney) at No.8 (85,252), 2013’s Frozen (Walt Disney/UMC) at No.9 (64,594) and 2018’s A Star Is Born (Polydor/Interscope) at No.10 (63,869).
While soundtracks have taken up residency in the compilations weekly rundown, the overall chart of 2020 also includes familiar brands, such as 100 Percent Clubland Trance (UMOD) at No.19 (44,550 sales) and Dreamboats & Petticoats – Music That Lives (Decca) at No.20 (39,743).
Top 10 Compilation Albums 2020
1 The Greatest Showman (Atlantic)
2 Frozen 2 (Walt Disney)
3 Hamilton (Atlantic)
4 Now That's What I Call Music 105 (Sony Music CG/EMI)
5 Now That's What I Call Music 106 (Sony Music CG/EMI)
6 Now That's What I Call Music 104 (Sony Music CG/EMI)
7 Now That's What I Call Music 107 (Sony Music CG/EMI)
8 Moana (Walt Disney)
9 Frozen (Walt Disney)
10 A Star Is Born (Polydor/Intersope)