Yet another busy week for new releases…and this week’s victor is Pearl Jam. Their “Backspacer” album bows at the top with 189,000 units sold. It’s the first #1 album from the rock legends since “No Code” back in 1997. Something worth noting about this release is that you won’t find it at Wal-Mart or FYE or Best Buy…”Backspacer” is only available through Target, iTunes and independent retailers. Support your local indie record store and keep people who really give a shit about music employed!

(jumps off soapbox)

Other notable debuts include rock bands Three Days Grace, Brand New and Five Finger Death Punch at #s 3, 6 and 7, singer/actor Harry Connick Jr. at #8, the David Crowder Band (who?) at #11, Welsh singer/songwriter David Gray at #12, and flamboyant British pop singer Mika at #19.

Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 3” hangs tough at #2 with 134,000 units. In 3 weeks, this album is less than 100,000 units away from Platinum status. Not bad, especially for a veteran clocking nearly 15 years in the biz.

Epic fail of the week has to go to reggae/pop singer Sean Kingston. After his debut album was a Gold success, and with a hot single “Fire Burning”, that stayed in the Top Ten for most of the summer, all Kingston’s “Tomorrow” could manage was a #37 debut and 13,000 scanned. Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.

On the singles side of things, there are two noteworthy items, at least from a positive standpoint. Lady GaGa holds at #7 for a second week with “Paparazzi”. It’s the fourth top ten single from her album “The Fame”, making her the first debut artist to reach that designation since Christina Aguilera back in 2000. Meanwhile, Carrie Underwood blasts up the chart with “Cowboy Casanova”. The first single from the country starlet’s third album jumps from #96 to #11, boosted by it’s availability on iTunes.

Other artists who had songs debut on iTunes last week? Not so lucky. “Make Me”, the first single from Janet Jackson’s upcoming Number Ones album, enters the digital singles chart at a lowly #181. Only six spots above it, at #175, is the first new music in seven years from Creed, one of the biggest selling rock bands of the past decade. Turns out audiences weren’t so overcome by their single “Overcome”. For cpmparison’s sake? The song at #174 is Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, which is 27 years old.

Next week, it appears to be a horse race between Paramore and Mariah Carey to see who has the week’s top-selling album. Stay tuned to SonicClash to see how it all turns out.

This Week’s Top Albums on Billboard’s Comprehensive Albums Chart:

1) “Backspacer” Pearl Jam

2) “The Blueprint 2” Jay-Z

3) “Life Starts Now” Three Days Grace

4) “I Look to You” Whitney Houston

5) “The Time of Our Lives EP” Miley Cyrus

6) “Daisy” Brand New

7) “War is the Answer” Five Finger Death Punch

8) “Number Ones” Michael Jackson

9) “Your Songs” Harry Connick Jr.

10) “So Far Gone EP” Drake

11) “The Resistance” Muse

12) “Church Music” David Crowder Band

13) “Draw the Line” David Gray

14) “Fearless” Taylor Swift

15) “Only by the Night” Kings of Leon

16) “Monsters of Folk” Monsters of Folk

17) “Abbey Road” The Beatles

18) “The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)” The Black Eyed Peas

19) “Man on the Moon: The End of the Day” Kid Cudi

20) “Foundation” Zac Brown Band