For the past two weeks, regional Mexican music has claimed the #1 spot on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart. Keep in mind, these were two very slow weeks. How slow? Remember the week Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star was the #1 movie in America? THAT slow.

Last week Intocable was on top with their live album XX: 20 Aniversario. The week before was led by Disa’s annual compilation Las Bandas Románticas de America. (Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Wanna role-play a “tryst with the vintner’s daughter” scenario?) We’ve got a stopgap in Intocable’s case and a brazen moneymaker for Disa, neither designed to put new songs into the world. But musical irrelevance isn’t the whole story. Just behind Bandas Románticas was Privilegio, the Sony debut of hotshot corridista Alfredo Olivas. I’d assumed some pent-up hunger for this guy, who’s had multi-million-hit videos and a Triunfo cover. But sales figures reveal otherwise:

The compilation set Las Bandas Romanticas de America 2015 leads the list at No. 1 (over 2,000 units shifted, according to Nielsen Music). The album follows the 2014 edition which spent four weeks at No. 1. Newcomer Alfredo Olivas bows in the No. 2 spot with his first charting album Privilegio, starting with 2,000 copies sold. The singer-songwriter spends a second consecutive week at No. 30 on Regional Mexican Airplay with the set’s lead single “Mi Porvenir,” its peak. The track climbs 11 percent in audience impressions, to 1.5 million, in its sixth week on the chart.

I’d like to say it took a population the size of my podunk hometown to top the Latin Albums chart, but my podunk hometown was more than twice that size. 2,000 people lived in the even podunker town next door. That was the town we all made fun of. 2,000 people is not very many. Intocable didn’t do much better:

Regional Mexican group Intocable scores its seventh No. 1 on Top Latin Albums, as XX Aniversario debuts atop the list with 3,000 sold in the week ending Feb. 1, according to Nielsen Music.

This chart is not always so slow, especially when it comes to fresh-faced crossover prospects. Luis Coronel’s second album debuted to 10,000 copies sold last year, which got him to #33 on the overall Billboard 200. The year before, Gerardo Ortiz moved 14,000 copies of Archivos de Mi Vida in its first week, enough to peak at #68 on the top 200. (A busier week, apparently; he’d peaked higher in the past.) But things are down all over, right? People are setting dubious records left and right. Last April, Pharrell scored the lowest selling No. 2 album in history when he sold 29,000 copies of G I R L. I don’t bring up these low numbers to mock Intocable, Olivas, or Disa’s roster of heartthrobs. It’s just good to have a sense of scale.

Also worth noting: Top Latin Albums measures album sales only, while the top 200 has moved to a new “multi-metric” algorithm, with digital track sales contributing to an album’s placement on the big chart. This is how Enrique’s latest album is the highest Latin album on the top 200, down at #190, without topping the Latin album chart. “Bailando” still going strong! Stream it 1500 times and Enrique gets his wings a sale.

Advertisements