For the second week in a row, Miranda Lambert's Four the Record occupies the top floor of the Billboard country albums chart. But there's a new champion song as Taylor Swift's "Sparks Fly" leapfrogs from No. 3 into the spotlight.
It appears that the Nov. 9 CMA Awards show had a tonic effect on the charts. The two songs that debut this week were both performed on the show.
They are Faith Hill's "Come Home," bowing at No. 35, and Sugarland's "Run," featuring Matt Nathanson, which enters at No. 60.
Also, the only song returning to the chart is Blake Shelton's "Footloose," which opened the show. It's back at No. 53.
Current albums by Shelton, Swift, Scotty McCreery, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Eric Church, Brad Paisley, the Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban -- all of whom performed on the special -- experienced significant jumps in sales over those of the previous week.
And what of Carrie Underwood, who splendidly co-hosted the awards show with Paisley? Well, her last album, Play On, has been out too long to stay on Billboard's current country chart. It thus now resides on the country catalog albums chart, where it also enjoyed a healthy bump in sales.
Overall, however, this week saw a dip in total country album sales from the previous week, sliding from 503,761 to 482,757, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Joe Nichols' It's All Good is the highest-charting of this week's six new albums, popping in No. 19. The others are The Best of Rascal Flatts Live (No. 32), Josh Gracin's Redemption (No. 39), Icon 2: George Strait (No. 40), Glen Campbell's Limited Edition: 2 CD Set (No. 69) and Joey & Rory's A Farmhouse Christmas (No. 75).
Trailing Lambert in the Top 5 cluster of albums are McCreery's Clear as Day, Lady Antebellum's Own the Night, Aldean's My Kinda Party and Toby Keith's Clancy's Tavern, in that order.
The No. 2 through No. 5 songs are Shelton's "God Gave Me You," Brantley Gilbert's "Country Must Be Country Wide," the Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl" (last week's No. 1) and Lady Antebellum's "We Owned the Night."
Although there are only three Christmas albums on this week's chart, there are lots of them on the country catalog chart -- 17 of the 50 titles listed, to be exact.
In fact, Swift's The Holiday Collection stands at No. 1, with Martina McBride's White Christmas, Elvis Presley's Elvis Christmas and Lady Antebellum's Merry Little Christmas holding the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively.
We have no statistics on elf population or migration patterns. By the way, are elves illegal immigrants?