To add thrust to Lady A's already crushing momentum, they also boast this week's top country song, "American Honey." It rocketed to No. 1 in just 17 weeks. While that's a faster than usual trip up the charts, it's worth noting that Kenny Chesney's "Ain't Back Yet," which currently ranks at No. 4, took a mere nine weeks to get there.
Loretta Lynn's 50th Anniversary Collection is this week's highest-debuting album, breaking through at No. 44. The other newcomers are The Band Perry's self-titled EP (No. 46), the Grascals' The Famous Lefty Flynn (No. 61), Kenny Rogers' 10 Great Songs (No. 68) and Kyle Park's Spring 2010 EP (No. 69).
Returnees include the multi-artist Best of Country Gospel (back on at No. 64), Joey & Rory's The Life of a Song (No. 72) and Brantley Gilbert's A Modern Day Prodigal Son (No. 73).
The week's new songs are Jake Owen's "Tell Me" (No. 57), Josh Turner's "All Over Me" (No. 59) and Trailer Choir's "Rollin' Through the Sunshine" (No. 60).
Arrayed directly behind Need You Now in the Top 5 albums cluster are Alan Jackson's Freight Train, the Zac Brown Band's The Foundation, Swift's Fearless and Miranda Lambert's Revolution, which takes a big jump from No. 11 to No. 5.
The remaining Top 5 songs the Zac Brown Band's "Highway 20 Ride" (No. 2), Keith Urban's "'Til Summer Comes Around" (No. 3) and Joe Nichols' "Gimme That Girl" (No. 5).
Lyric Street Records, home to Rascal Flatts, closed as a Nashville label this week, although it will keep its promotion department intact for the time being to service its existing acts.
And Joe Galante, the man who helped mastermind the careers of such behemoths as Jackson, Chesney, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Alabama, Clint Black and Brad Paisley, has relinquished the helm at Sony Music Entertainment. These are certainly tremors to an already shaky recording industry. The question is: Do they portend an earthquake?