As expected, Adele takes the #1 spot on this week’s chart with her sophomore effort, 21. The British singer-songwriter nails down the biggest chart week of 2011, with an impressive 352,000 units sold. To give a little perspective here, I don’t think Adele’s debut album hit the 350K mark until the Grammy nominations were announced more than six months after the album’s release. To give some more perspective, 21 is already the second biggest selling album of 2011, following Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More. That album slides back a slot to #3 on the weekly chart, but vaults over the million-sold mark. In between the two? Justin Bieber. Bolstered by a successful movie and a controversial Rolling Stone interview, the teen idol (who just celebrated his 17th birthday) sells another 102,000 copies of his Never Say Never remix LP. It’s one of two albums the Biebs has in the Top 5, as My World 2.0 rounds out the list.
Otherwise, this week’s album chart suffers from the typical post-Grammy hangover. Just about every album drops sharply in sales from the week before. Adding to the woes is the fact that Adele really had the week’s only major new release. The next highest debut comes from a band called D.R.U.G.S., who is (are?) fronted by Craig Owens of screamo favorites Chiodos. Given Craig’s numerous reported substance abuse issues, the band name seems apt, huh? Other debuts in the Top 50 come from Chiodos’ screamo brethren Bayside (#35), chilled out stoner-rock Grand Poobah G. Love (#36), Celtic Thunder (#40), and Devildriver (#42).
Taking a quick gander at the chart, it’s worth noting that two albums are nearing the 500K sold mark: P!nk’s Greatest Hits So Far and R. Kelly’s Love Letter. Why are these worth noting? One, because greatest hits compilations tend not to sell shit any more, and with the two new tracks available a la carte, it’s a testament to the size of P!nk’s audience that she was able to move half a million copies of a hits compilation in this environment (who’d have called her to win the teen-pop title, female division back in 2000?). Kelly’s sales are notable because it represents something of a comeback for him. He stumbled a bit with 2009′s Untitled, a pretty good album that only sold about 350,000 copies, but a step towards maturity in the subject matter and music (always good for a man in his forties) has turned out to be a boon to his sales.
The Power of Idol continues: after catching a brick with just about everything she floated past us for the past half decade, Jennifer Lopez looks to have a hit on her hands. “On the Floor”, her latest single (featuring the ubiquitous Pitbull) starts off at #3 on this week’s digital download chart with sales of just over 170,000 units. It’s a strong start and is almost certainly due to the increased exposure J. Lo has as one of the show’s judges. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this will translate into album sales-just ask one of the most recent artists to also collaborate with Pitbull-Enrique Iglesias. Despite the fact that their teamup “I Like It” was one of last year’s biggest hits, and “Tonight”, the follow-up, is equally popular, his latest album, Euphoria, has barely sold over a quarter-million records.
I’d bank on Adele to spend a second week at the top next week, with a Top 5 debut from Lucinda Williams (just guessing here) and quite possibly a Top Ten/Top Twenty debut from Staind’s Aaron Lewis and Floetry’s Marsha Ambrosius, but the real guns will start blazing beginning with the March 8th releases: Avril Lavigne, R.E.M., Lupe Fiasco and a new “Glee” soundtrack will all vie for the #1 position on the charts. Catch this week’s Top 20 after the jump.
2) Never Say Never-The Remixes-Justin Bieber
3) Sigh No More-Mumford & Sons
4) Now That’s What I Call Music 37-Various Artists
5) My World 2.0- Justin Bieber
6) Doo-Wops and Hooligans-Bruno Mars
9) Pink Friday-Nicki Minaj
10) Need You Now-Lady Antebellum
11) My Kinda Party-Jason Aldean
12) Greatest Hits So Far-P!nk
13) Teenage Dream-Katy Perry
14) Speak Now-Taylor Swift
15) 2011 Grammy Nominees-Various Artists
17) The Suburbs-The Arcade Fire
18) Lungs-Florence & the Machine
19) My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy-Kanye West
20) Brothers-The Black Keys
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