THE BEATLES: Sgt. Pepper is #1 and #3 this week
The 50th anniversary edition of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles' 1967 album, racked up impressive first week sales and chart positions in both the U.S. and their native England.
Here in the States, Pepper debuts at number-three on the Billboard 200 with 75,000 units sold -- 71,000 in traditional album sales and 4,000 additional units for streams and downloads.
This is Pepper's first time on the chart since January 23rd of last year, and it's the Fab's highest rank on the chart since March 10th, 2001 when their greatest hits album 1 was number-three.
Meanwhile, over in England, where Pepper is the best-selling studio album in U.K. chart history, it debuted at number-one.
Commenting on being number-one, Paul McCartney says, "Wow! Who would have thought that good old Sgt. Pepper would be back at number-one 50 years on? It's great news and all of us are well chuffed. Pepper rules!"
Ringo Starr on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: "Sgt. Pepper did its thing. It was the album of the decade ... of the century maybe. It was very innovative, great songs. Glad I was on it."
PHIL COLLINS: The superstar returned to solo touring last week
Against all odds, Phil Collins returned to solo touring Friday, and the first song he played was, fittingly, "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)."
Collins' kicked off his Not Dead Yet Tour in Liverpool, England. The 21-song set was his first full-length concert since 2010 and his first full-length solo performance featuring material other than Motown covers since 2005. His show that year was prophetically called The First Final Farewell Tour.
Friday's show featured an intermission and a two-song encores. In addition to solo cuts, Collins performed two Genesis songs, "Invisible Touch" and "Follow You, Follow Me," which he's never played solo before.
On Sunday he began a string of five dates at Royal Albert Hall in London, which he'll follow with the same number in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France. He has said he plans to tour the U.S. at some point. (Consequence of Sound)
ARETHA FRANKLIN: Queen of Soul releasing a new album with Lionel Richie & Elton John
Aretha Franklin's upcoming album will be a star-studded affair. She'd previously discussed working with fellow Detroit product Stevie Wonder, but the Queen of Soul has also collaborated with Elton John on a version of "Your Song," Lionel Richie and legendary violinist Yitzhak Perlman.
She tells Billboard the still-untitled project -- her first with original material since 2011 -- will likely have 10 tracks.
But don't look for a big tour behind the album. Aretha says, "After 54 years of traveling and flying and all of that can be very tiring, and even the tour bus takes a lot out of you... I'm not happy; I'll put it like that. I'm not happy, exactly, about not doing something that you've been doing for 54 years that you really, really love. But there's a warranty on everything. Nothing lasts forever."
Next week will be a big one for Aretha. Thursday, the city of Detroit will dedicate a section of Madison Street as Aretha Franklin Way. The following night, a tribute will be held at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. Mitch Ryder is among the guest stars. Then on Saturday the 10th, she'll give a free concert as part of the first-ever Detroit Music Weekend.