That was fairly innocuous as far as groan-inducing puns go, right?
Anyway, Boston-based hard rock band Godsmack lead off the Billboard 200 Album chart this week, selling 117,000 copies of their latest album, “Oracle”. I don’t really have much to say about this development. They’re a pretty popular band so a #1 debut isn’t unexpected. My only real experience with the band was seeing them last summer at Crue Fest (from, like, the second row), and being really impressed by their pyro. Hey, I’m easily impressed.
The chart is thick with debuts this week. Contemporary Christian outfit MercyMe starts off at #3 with 88,000 units sold of their latest, “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” (talk about groan-inducing), and they’re followed by the legendary team up of James Taylor and Carole King with a live album at #4. It’s the highest chart entry for Carole in at least three decades, so kudos to her. Other debuts this week come from California hard rock outfit The Deftones (#6), 2/3 of the Dixie Chicks as the Court Yard Hounds (#7), R&B diva Toni Braxton (#9), Southern femcee Trina (#13), the return of Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony (#14), a live set from Grammy winners Zac Brown Band (#17) and alternative rockers The New Pornographers at #18.
Since the last tracking week included Mother’s Day, it’s no surprise that Mom-friendly titles are strong on this week’s chart. Lady Antebellum holds on to the runner-up spot and “Need You Now” becomes the first album of 2010 to cross the 2 million sold threshold. Other big jumps come from Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr., who has the benefit of being mom-friendly AND guest-judging on “American Idol” last week.
Over on the singles chart, Eminem’s “Not Afraid” explodes to the top of the Hot 100. It’s Eminem’s first single to debut at the top of the chart. The song sold a healthy 379,000 paid downloads. It pushes Usher’s “OMG” down to #2 on that particular chart. “OMG” may actually be saving “Raymond v. Raymond” from being a disappointment. The album actually increases in sales this week. Looks like “Raymond” might match the sales of Usher’s previous album, “Here I Stand” after all.
Usher’s also making noise on the R&B charts, where he has three songs in the top ten (at #s 8, 9 an 10). “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)”, “Lil Freak” and “There Goes My Baby” are the songs that do the trick. Usher’s “OMG” partner, will.i.am, also scored a milestone on that chart last week. The Black Eyed Peas’ “Imma Be” jumped to #12 on that chart last week. It’s the first, and so far only, song in the BEP’s decade long career to even hit the Top 30 on the R&B charts. Finally, Alicia Keys’ “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)”, the video of which premiered yesterday, jumps from #5-#1 on the R&B singles chart, becoming the first chart topper from Keys’ latest “Element of Freedom” album.
Without any big releases, next week’s chart should be fairly quiet. I’d expect Lady Antebellum to jump back into the top position with a sales total that just might rival one of the lowest numbers to ever top the Billboard chart. Check back next week to see what happens.
Meanwhile, here are this week’s Top 20 albums:
1) “Oracle” Godsmack
2) “Need You Now” Lady Antebellum
3) “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” MercyMe
4) “Live at the Troubadour” Carole King & James Taylor
5) “My World 2.0” Justin Bieber
6) “Diamond Eyes” Deftones
7) “Court Yard Hounds” Court Yard Hounds
8) “Iron Man Soundtrack” AC/DC
9) “Pulse” Toni Braxton
10) “Raymond v. Raymond” Usher
11) “The Fame” Lady GaGa
12) “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” B.O.B.
13) “Amazin'” Trina
14) “Uni5: The World’s Enemy” Bone Thugs ‘n Harmony
15) “Crazy Love” Michael Buble
16) “Now That’s What I Call Music 33” Various Artists
17) “Pass the Jar” Zac Brown Band
18) “Together” The New Pornographers
19) “Glee: The Power of Madonna” Glee Cast
20) “Fearless Love” Melissa Etheridge