Jason Aldean may not have been nominated for CMA Entertainer of the Year in 2016—or any CMAs for that matter—but his crossover appeal is undeniable. To borrow a bit of basketball parlance: Jason has an ankle-breaking crossover.
In addition to hitting the No. 1 spot on Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart this past week, Jason’s They Don’t Know is also the No. 1 album on the all-genre Billboard 200. They Don’t Know marks Jason’s third consecutive album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200, following 2014’s Old Boots, New Dirt and 2012’s Night Train.
“Selling albums and people wanting to go buy a full-length album, those days are dwindling fast, man,” says Jason to Nash Country Daily. “It’s unfortunate because as a fan growing up, buying people’s albums, I thought that was great. I couldn’t wait to go buy an album and get home and listen to the songs. Not only the ones that were on the radio, but all the other ones and sit down with my guitar and try to learn how to play all those songs. It’s almost kind of like a lost thing anymore. For me, it’s like if people are going to go out and spend 15 bucks on a record or whatever it is, I want to give them as much as I can give them for 15 bucks, you know.”
They Don’t Know is the first country album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since Luke Bryan’s Kill the Lights in August 2015. After the 2015 CMA Awards in November, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller re-entered the chart and stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for two weeks.
“We try to just give them more bang for their buck, I guess,” says Jason about his new 15-song album. “If you’re going to go spend the money on it, we want you to feel like it’s worth it in the end. A lot of times for me it’s hard to narrow it down to 10 songs on a record. There’s songs that I feel like are hits that we’re not able to cut, and so I want to cut as many as I can, too. It’s just kind of something we started doing for a while now and it’s just kind of become the way it is for me. It’s just knowing we’re going to cut 15 songs, and that’s just the way it is.”
You can catch Jason on his current Six String Circus Tour. He also sat down and talked with us about the above topic and more on our The Writers Room podcast.