Billboard Magazine Reflects On John's Sad Clowns Chart Debut

Billboard Magazine's long running "Chart Beat" column (written by Keith Caulfield) reflects on John's long career in celebration of John's 19th Top 40 Album Sad Clowns & Hillbillies.

"John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies – No. 11 — John Mellencamp notches his 19th top 40-charting album on the Billboard 200 with the arrival of Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. The set, which features Carlene Carter, bows with 35,000 equivalent album units earned (of which nearly all were in traditional album sales). That sum of 35,000 copies sold is Mellencamp’s biggest sales week for any album since 2008, when Life Death Love and Freedom bowed with 56,000 sold.

Mellencamp clocked his first top 40 album almost exactly 36 years ago, when Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did reached the region on the list dated May 16, 1981. (That week, the album rose 41-39. It peaked at No. 37 a week later.)

Mellencamp made his Billboard 200 debut with the John Cougar album on Aug. 18, 1979. The set bowed at No. 185 and eventually peaked at No. 64 on Jan. 5, 1980. In total, Mellencamp has visited the top 10 a total of 10 times, and topped the list with his 1982 effort American Fool.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA)."