Surprising no one, Eminem’s “Recovery” maintains a second week on top of Billboard’s album chart. Perhaps surprising some folks, “Recovery” experiences a less steep second-week decline than usual, moving a still healthy 313,000 units. This vaults it over the million sold mark in only 2 weeks. It is only the fifth album in 2010 to cross the million-sold threshold.
Beginning a series of quiet weeks in the music industry, the highest debut is the third effort from R&B singer/songwriter The-Dream. “Love King”, rumored to be his final effort, bows at #4 with 58,000 units sold. This total is only about 1/3 what his last effort, “Love vs. Money” sold in it’s first week, which was only a year and a half ago. What a difference 18 months can make. Three other albums debut in the Top 20-pop group 3Oh!3 start at #7 with their sophomore effort, dance unit Scissor Sisters start at #18 with “Night Work”, and the instrumental score to “Twilight: Eclipse” bows at #20. Meanwhile, the multi-artist soundtrack to the same movie jumps 69% to land at #3 on this week’s chart, thanks to the movie’s well-publicized premiere.
This chart represents the first full tracking week after the BET Awards, and there are some small jumps made by presenters, performers, nominees and winners. Alicia Keys re-enters the Top 30, landing at #27 with “The Element of Freedom” (up 19%). Jumps are also experienced by performers Trey Songz, Monica and Janelle Monae. Michael Jackson’s catalog also continues to shine. “Thriller” and “This is It” both increase over the previous week’s sales, while “Dangerous”, “Off the Wall” and “Bad” all re-enter the Top 200 album chart.
A few more notable BET-related bumps: Chris Brown’s “Graffiti” jumps 62% in sales after his tear-stained tribute to the King of Pop. Only problem? It still only moves a meager 1,100 units. The troubled star’s album has sold an anemic 312,000 units since it’s release in December (about 1/3 what Rihanna’s “Rated R” has sold in roughly the same time period). Lifetime achievement award honoree Prince sees his “Very Best of” compilation double in sales to 2,500 units (missing the Top 200 chart by about 400 copies), while El DeBarge sold several hundred units of his various hits compilations during the tracking week. Not eye-popping totals, but consider that these albums were selling in the single digits in weeks prior.
Also-this marks the 26th tracking week of the chart year. We are already at the halfway point in 2010, and the picture is not rosy. Record sales are still plummeting, down over 10% from last year’s total, and are bound to sink further, with very few superstar releases arriving in the next few weeks. Only 5 albums have crossed the million sales barrier so far in 2010, with 18 total albums selling over half a million copies. While all genres appear to be affected by the downturn in music sales, the hardest hit appears to be rock in general, and hard rock specifically. If the year was to end today, 2010’s biggest selling rock album would be Jack Johnson’s “To the Sea”, which would rank #19 overall. If you’re looking for hard rock specifically, you’d have to scroll all the way down to #30 and the “Iron Man 2” soundtrack.
Next week, Eminem should ring up week #3 at #1. OutKast’s Big Boi could challenge for the runner-up spot, but I guarantee the total will be fairly low.
Here’s 2010’s Top 20 albums at the halfway mark:
1-“Need You Now” Lady Antebellum
2-“My World 2.0” Justin Bieber
3-“Soldier of Love” Sade
4-“The Fame” Lady GaGa
6-“Raymond v. Raymond” Usher
7-“The E.N.D.” The Black Eyed Peas
9-“My World” Justin Bieber
10-“Thank Me Later” Drake
11-“I Dreamed a Dream” Susan Boyle
12-“Rebirth” Lil Wayne
13-“Foundation” Zac Brown Band
14-“The Fame: Monster” Lady GaGa
15-“Now That’s What I Call Music 33” Various Artists
16-“Fearless” Taylor Swift
17-“The Element of Freedom” Alicia Keys
18-“Crazy Love” Michael Buble
19-“To the Sea” Jack Johnson
20-“Battle of the Sexes” Ludacris