Brad Paisley Peaks With Play, Taylor Swift at No. 1 Via “Love Story”

Keith Urban, George Strait Debut New Singles

Fleet-fingered Brad Paisley tops this week’s Billboard country albums chart with his mostly-instrumental extravaganza, Play. Simultaneously, Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” asserts its dominion on the country singles chart after a rapid nine-week climb.

Also arriving on the albums list are Randy Owen’s One on One, bowing at No. 14, and ’Tis the Season: A Country Christmas: 15 Country Classics, a multi-artist package, alighting at No. 74. And, yes, that is the Randy Owen, Alabama’s former lead vocalist.

There are four new songs on the chart, two of which you may have heard if you watched Wednesday night’s (Nov. 12) CMA Awards show. Those two are Keith Urban’s “Sweet Thing” (oozing in at No. 30) and George Strait’s “River of Love” (eddying at No. 45). The others are Heidi Newfield’s “Cry, Cry (’Til the Sun Shines)” (No. 56) and Adam Gregory’s “What It Takes” (No. 59).

Albums making a comeback are (take a deep breath) Bill Gaither Presents Country Bluegrass Homecoming Volume One by Bill and Gloria Gaither and Their Homecoming Friends (re-entering at No. 51) and Volume Two of this same series (bouncing back at No. 52). Brooks & Dunn’s Cowboy Town returns at No. 75.

Parading after Paisley within the Top 5 albums are Rascal FlattsGreatest Hits, Volume 1, Toby Keith’s That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy, Kenny Chesney’s Lucky Old Sun and Faith Hill’s Joy to the World, in that order.

On the singles chart, the titles at No. 2 through No. 5 are the Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried,” Tim McGraw’s “Let It Go,” Carrie Underwood’s “Just a Dream” and Montgomery Gentry’s “Roll With Me.”

Next week: The Taylor Swift chart deluge.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to