John Coltrane’s Blue Train, first released in 1957, has charged in at No. 1 on multiple Billboard album charts (dated Oct. 1) following its 65th-anniversary expanded reissue on September 16.
The album debuts at No. 1 on both the overall Jazz Albums chart and Traditional Jazz Albums chart (Coltrane’s seventh leader on both). It also scores the jazz legend, who died in 1967, his first leader on the 11-year-old Vinyl Albums chart. It’s also the first jazz title to reach No. 1 on the Vinyl Albums tally in nearly five years.
Blue Train additionally enters at No. 7 on Top Album Sales, No. 6 on Tastemaker Albums and No. 95 on the Billboard 200.
The set earned 11,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 22, according to Luminate. Essentially all of that sum was driven by traditional album sales. Further, that 11,000 sold marks the largest sales week for any Coltrane album in 2022.
Coltrane’s album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, while Coltrane received a posthumous lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 1992.
Blue Train was reissued in two versions as part of Blue Note Records’ Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series: a mono edition of the original five track album, and an expanded stereo edition (dubbed Blue Train: The Complete Masters). The latter adds seven alternate and incomplete takes (four of which are previously unreleased). The mono set was reintroduced on vinyl, while the Complete edition was reissued on two-LP vinyl, a double CD and digital download.
All versions of the album, old and new, are combined for tracking and charting purposes. Of the album’s 11,000 in total sales for the week, essentially all were physical sales – with just over 10,000 on vinyl and a little under 1,000 on CD. (A small number of digital download albums were also sold.)
Notably, Blue Train logs the largest sales week for a jazz album on vinyl in 2022. The last larger week for a jazz set was registered by the evergreen soundtrack to the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, when it sold 20,000 copies in the week ending December 23, 2021.
Further, Blue Train is the first jazz album to lead the Vinyl Albums chart in nearly five years – since A Charlie Brown Christmas topped the tally on the Dec. 16, 2017-dated list.