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‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ Soundtrack Hits No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart

todayDecember 23, 2022

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Vince Guaraldi Trio’s evergreen soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas hits a new peak on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart, as the set rises 5-2 (on the list dated Dec. 24). That surpasses its previous high, notched just a week ago, when the album rose 7-5, beating its earlier peak of No. 6, achieved last holiday season (Dec. 18, 2021).

The companion album to the 1965 animated TV special sold 17,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 15 (up 24%), according to Luminate. Most of that sum (14,000) is driven by vinyl album sales. A Charlie Brown Christmas is available across more than 15 vinyl variants (most differing in the color of its vinyl LP), including versions exclusive to Barnes & Noble, Newbury Comics, independent record stores, Target, Urban Outfitters, Vinyl Me, Please and Walmart.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a consistent strong performer on vinyl, as it was the top-selling holiday album on vinyl annually in the U.S. from 2012 through 2021.

Since Luminate began tracking music sales in 1991, A Charlie Brown Christmas has sold 4.3 million in traditional album sales across all formats (CD, vinyl, cassette, digital download album, etc.), with 469,000 of that sum in vinyl LP sales.

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Also in the top 10 of the new Top Album Sales chart, Taylor Swift’s Midnights holds at No. 1 for a eighth week in a row — the most weeks at No. 1 since Adele’s 30 also spent its first eight weeks atop the list a year ago). Meanwhile, Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak reaches a new peak as it re-enters the chart at No. 4 following its release on vinyl.

Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now Luminate. Pure album sales were the sole measurement utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

A Charlie Brown Christmas was released in 1965 but did not reach any Billboard ranking until 1987, when it debuted on the Top Holiday Albums chart, where it later peaked at No. 2 (Jan. 27, 2007). On the Billboard 200 chart, the set reached a new peak last season, climbing to No. 6 on the list dated Jan. 1, 2022. A year prior, it reached the top 10 for the first time (No. 10 on the Jan. 2, 2021 chart).

The A Charlie Brown Christmas TV special aired annually on CBS during the holiday season from 1965 through 2000. ABC picked up the rights to the show from 2001-19. In 2020, the Apple TV+ subscription service acquired the rights to the special – along with other classic animated Peanuts programs. A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of many animated TV specials based on the Peanuts comic characters. It was followed by familiar favorites like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973).

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A Charlie Brown Christmas made its Apple TV+ premiere on Dec. 4, 2020. Apple initially teamed with PBS to bring the special back to free over-the-air TV with commercial-free airings on PBS and sister network PBS KIDS in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, Apple TV+ and PBS did not collaborate on a Peanuts presentation. Instead, Apple TV+ offered free limited time screenings of three Peanuts specials for anyone that logs into the service using their Apple ID. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was available free between Oct. 28-31, followed by A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on Nov. 23-27 and A Charlie Brown Christmas on Dec. 22-25.

At No. 1 on Top Album Sales, Taylor Swift’s Midnights spends an eighth week in a row on top – the most weeks at No. 1 since Adele’s 30 also led for its first eight weeks on the list (Dec. 24, 2021-Jan. 22, 2022 charts). Midnights has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other Swift album since 1989 logged 10 nonconsecutive weeks in charge (2014). Since 1989, she scored seven more No. 1s albums, including Midnights.

In the latest tracking week, Midnights sold 74,000 copies – up 10%. Its cumulative U.S. sales stand at 1.666 million.

Harry Styles’ former No. 1 Harry’s House falls 2-3 with 16,000 sold (down 41%).

Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak hits a new peak as it re-enters Top Album Sales at No. 4 following its release on vinyl. The album sold 15,000 copies in the tracking week – up 956% –  with 14,000 of that sum on vinyl. American Heartbreak was released on May 20 via digital download and CD (as well as through streaming services). Its vinyl LP – a triple LP set – was not released until Dec. 9. (Unlike the many vinyl variants of the Charlie Brown Christmas album, Bryan’s set was only available in one standard black vinyl edition.)

American Heartbreak previously spent one week on Top Album Sales, debuting at No. 7 on the June 4-dated chart with 6,000 sold in its first week of availability.

Matteo, Andrea and Virginia Bocelli’s A Family Christmas falls 3-5 on Top Album Sales with 14,000 sold (down 40%), Michael Jackson’s Thriller rises 7-6 with 13,000 (up 7%), Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours climbs 8-7 with nearly 13,000 (up 8%) and Swift’s former No. 1 Evermore bumps 12-8 with 12,000 (up 21%). Rounding out the new top 10 are Michael Bublé’s former leader Christmas, ascending 11-9 with nearly 10,000 (down 5%) and The Beatles’ Revolver, jumping 14-10 with 9,000 (up 21%).

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In the week ending Dec. 15, there were 2.911 million albums sold in the U.S. (up 11.9% compared to the previous week). That’s the biggest week of 2022 and the largest for album sales since the week ending Dec. 23, 2021, when 4.231 million were sold.

In the week ending Dec. 15, physical albums (CDs, vinyl LPs, cassettes, etc.) comprised 2.526 million (up 14.7%) and digital albums comprised 375,000 (down 4.2%).

There were 1.001 million CD albums sold in the week ending Dec. 15 (up 7.7% week-over-week) and 1.521 million vinyl albums sold (up 20.1%). Both represent the largest sales weeks for each album format in 2022. Volume was last larger for both in the week ending Dec. 23, 2021, when there were 1.584 million CD albums sold and 2.113 million vinyl albums sold.

Further, the 1.521 million vinyl albums sold in the week ending Dec. 15 marks the third-largest week for vinyl since Luminate began tracking sales in 1991. (The largest week in the Luminate era for vinyl was the week ending Dec. 23, 2021.)

Year-to-date CD album sales stand at 33.822 million (down 11.3% compared to the same time frame a year ago) and year-to-date vinyl album sales total 39.659 million (up 3.5%).

Overall year-to-date album sales total 93.462 million (down 8.5% compared to the same year-to-date time frame a year ago). Year-to-date physical album sales stand at 74.013 million (down 3.8%) and digital album sales total 19.450 million (down 22.7%).

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