Surprising no one, Jay-Z and Kanye West debut at the top of Billboard’s album charts this week with Watch The Throne. The highly anticipated wap cowabbowation (sorry, that was my RZA voice) scores 2011’s second-biggest first week, after Lady GaGa’s Born This Way (which is still holding on at #18). Unlike GaGa, Jay and ‘Ye didn’t benefit from special pricing at a digital account. Actually, it could be argued that Throne was a limited release. It was available for half the week only through iTunes (keep in mind that there are a lot of folks who haven’t transitioned to digital yet, as 2 of every 3 albums bought are physical CDs still), and even once it rolled out to record retail on Friday, the deluxe version was only available at Best Buy stores. So, all things considered, a pretty solid debut for the two moguls.
This week’s next biggest news comes courtesy of the singles chart. Over on the Billboard 100, Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” scoots up one spot to become the fifth chart-topper from Perry’s album, Teenage Dream. This ties her with the late Michael Jackson for most #1 singles scored off of a single album. MJ pulled that trick in 1987-1988, when five singles from his Bad album topped the charts (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror” and “Dirty Diana”.) Granted, Perry’s ascent to the top this week is assisted by a Missy Elliott-featured remix (similar to the way “E.T.” made it to the top on the strength of the Kanye West-featured remix), but also keep in mind that MJ’s run of chart-toppers happened before the arrival of the computer age, when sales and airplay were more or less dictated via the honor system.
Also worth noting-this week’s new #1 digital single is “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera. After free-falling down the chart in recent weeks, this superstar summit has zoomed back up in the past two weeks, with the most recent driver being the premiere of the song’s video.
Back to the album chart for a minute. Three albums beside Watch The Throne debut in the Top 10 this week. Country star Luke Bryan scores his highest chart entry ever, arriving at #2 with Tailgates & Tanlines (country is representing HARD on the charts this week). The 39th edition of the Now That’s What I Call Music series starts at #3 with a healthy 110,000 copies-the first time in a while that sales of each of the top three albums has exceeded the six-figure mark. Ace Hood’s Blood Sweat & Tears is the other Top 10 debut, bowing at #8.
Adele’s 21 gets pushed back to #4-marking the first time since the album’s release that it has not been one of the country’s top three sellers. While Adele’s drop is not alarming, the #16 debut of the soundtrack to the Glee Concert Movie might be. With a shade under 20,000 units scanned, it’s the lowest first week for any CD associated with the popular TV show, and it’s also the first Glee-related title to not debut in the Top Ten.
Next week, Watch The Throne should easily capture a second week at the top, since no major new releases hit stores or online retailers. The week after that, Barbra Streisand (always a safe bet for a six-figure sum) comes out with a new album, as does The Game’s oft-delayed R.E.D. Album. The week after that, all bets are off, as Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV will challenge Watch The Throne for the title of biggest first week of 2011 by a rap album.
Check out the full Top 20 after the jump.
1) Watch The Throne | Jay-Z & Kanye West
2) Tailgates & Tanlines | Luke Bryan
3) Now That’s What I Call Music 39 | Various Artists
4) 21 | Adele
5) Chief | Eric Church
6) My Kinda Party | Jason Aldean
7) 4 | Beyonce
8) Blood, Sweat & Tears | Ace Hood
9) Dream With Me | Jackie Evancho
10) Kidz Bop 20 | Kidz Bop Kids
11) Hell: The Sequel | Bad Meets Evil
12) Victorious: Musical Score | Cast of Victorious
13) In Waves | Trivium
14) Red River Blue | Blake Shelton
15) Torches | Foster The People
16) Glee: The 3-D Motion Picture Soundtrack | Glee Cast
17) When The Sun Goes Down | Selena Gomez & The Scene
18) Born This Way | Lady GaGa
19) You Get What You Give | Zac Brown Band
20) Proud To Be Here | Trace Adkins
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