Tim McGraw Rules Three Charts

New CDs by Alabama and Jack Ingram Debut in Top 10

First-week sales of Tim McGraw’s new CD, Let It Go, were less than half the number he enjoyed three years ago when he released Live Like You Were Dying, but he still moved an impressive 325,000 copies to debut atop Billboard’s country albums chart and the all-genre Billboard 200.

Significantly, Let It Go edged out six other titles that debuted this week in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. Among them were Now 24 (the latest in the all-star pop music compilation franchise), new projects from Good Charlotte and Young Buck, an Elton John compilation and a Spanish-language album from Jennifer Lopez.

McGraw is also in an enviable position on Billboard’s country singles chart now that the album’s first single, “Last Dollar (Fly Away),” has reached No. 1. Additionally, he and wife Faith Hill have the highest-debuting country single of the week with “I Need You,” another track from Let It Go.

On the country albums listing, McGraw’s arrival knocked Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts back to second place, followed by two other debuts — Alabama’s Songs of Inspiration II and Jack Ingram’s This Is It — at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. The three additions to the Top 10 resulted in downward moves to fifth through eight place, respectively for Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts’ Me and My Gang, Gary Allan’s Greatest Hits and the Dixie Chicks’ Taking the Long Way. Josh Turner’s Your Man and Rodney Atkins’ If You’re Going Through Hell are holding steady at No. 9 and No. 10.

The only other country albums entering this week’s charts are greatest hits compilations, including two in the Universal Music Group’s successful series, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection. Reba McEntire lands at No. 66 and Vince Gill at No. 70. And yet another Alabama compilation — this one titled 16 Biggest Hits — materializes at No. 74.

With “Last Dollar (Fly Away)” in the top spot on the country singles chart, Underwood’s “Wasted” rises to No. 2, Kenny Chesney’s “Beer in Mexico” flattens out from No. 1 to No. 3 and Rascal Flatts’ “Stand” remains at No. 4. Rounding out the Top 10, in descending order are Sugarland’s “Settlin’,” Martina McBride’s “Anyway,” Joe Nichols’ “I’ll Wait for You,” Toby Keith’s “High Maintenance Woman,” Billy Currington’s “Good Directions” and Dierks Bentley’s “Long Trip Alone.”

In addition to the McGraw-Hill collaboration, other new singles debuting this week are Jamie O’Neal’s “God Don’t Make Mistakes” (No. 50), Chris Young’s “You’re Gonna Love Me” (No. 51) and Trace Adkins’ “I Wanna Feel Something” (No. 52).

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.