Eminem’s “Recovery” scores the biggest first week sales of 2010. So says this week’s Billboard chart. Slim Shady bows with over 741,000 units sold, incredibly marking an increase of over 100,000 units on the first weeks sales of his last album, 2009’s “Relapse”. If you were to compile the year’s top selling albums, “Relapse” would be at #8 after just 6 days in stores.

This is interesting on any number of levels. First of all, it’s incredibly rare for an artist past their commercial prime to pull an increase over prior album sales. Secondly, it calls into question whether the well-publicized leak of “Recovery” may have actually HELPED first week sales of the album. There’s no scientific way to quantify them. I’d be more inclined to say that fans knew that “Relapse” was going to be a piece of shit, and all indications pointed to “Recovery” being a return to form. That’s why I bought it and passed on “Relapse”.

Elsewhere on the chart, Miley Cyrus bows at #3 with her tramp-stamped reinvention attempt “Can’t Be Tamed”. Considering Cyrus’s previous sales totals, the 102,000 units it sold should probably be considered something of a disappointment. Other debuts this week include titles from a slew of returning veterans: Ozzy Osbourne (#4), The Roots (#6), Keith Sweat (#13), Cyndi Lauper (#26) and Danzig (#31).

The first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death resonates strongly on the charts. Four of his albums appear on this week’s Top 200, and all four (“The Essential Michael Jackson”, ‘Number Ones”, “Thriller” and “This is It”) post gains of over 50%. The four titles combined sell about 30,000 units.

With no major new releases next week, Eminem should handily hold the #1 spot next week (and probably for at least a couple of weeks after).

One notable debut this week comes from a band called Jaron & the Long Road to Love. This country band scores the #16 spot with “Getting Dressed in the Dark”. Lead singer of the band is Jaron Lowenstein, who some of you might remember as 1/2 of Evan and Jaron. This duo, featuring Jaron and his twin brother Evan, had hits a decade or so ago with “Crazy for This Girl” and “The Distance”. Jaron’s success proves that there are indeed second acts in the music business. There’s apparently also room for a Jewish country singer-that’s the first time I’ve noticed that particular phenomenon.

This week’s top 20 albums:

1) “Recovery”-Eminem
2) “Thank Me Later”-Drake
3) “Can’t Be Tamed”-Miley Cyrus
4) “Scream”-Ozzy Osbourne
5) “Now 34”-Various Artists
6) “How I Got Over”-The Roots
7) “To the Sea”-Jack Johnson
8) “My World 2.0”-Justin Bieber
9) “Laws of Illusion”-Sarah McLachlan
10) “Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack” Various Artists
11) “Mojo” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
12) “Need You Now” Lady Antebellum
13) “Ridin’ Solo” Keith Sweat
14) “Raymond v. Raymond” Usher
15) “Live from the Troubadour” Carole King & James Taylor
16) “Getting Dressed in the Dark” Jaron & the Long Road to Love
17) “The Fame” Lady GaGa
18) “Foundation” Zac Brown Band
19) “Glee: Journey to Regionals” Glee Cast
20) “The Adventures of Bobby Ray” B.O.B.

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