Ladies and gentlemen, the highest first-week total for an album in 2009 is now owned by…Susan Boyle?

Yep, she first wowed ’em on “Britain’s Got Talent”, and now a frumpy, middle-aged Brit has scored a first week better than Eminem, 50, Jay-Z, Britney, John Mayer and even the King of Pop’s last albums. “I Dreamed a Dream” starts with an amazing 701,000 units. It also broke records in Boyle’s native country, where it had the biggest-selling debut week in HISTORY.

Add in a #2 finish for Andrea Bocelli’s Christmas album and it’s fairly obvious to see who comprises the record-buying public these days. Expect these two albums to be the top sellers of the holiday season.

It’s hard to say whether Adam Lambert’s outrageous awards show appearance helped or hurt his sales. His “For Your Entertainment” bows at #3 this week with sales of 198,000 copies. For the sake of reference, last year’s second place finisher, David Archuleta, opened with 183K, and it’s fair to say Lambert’s gotten much more of a promotional push than Archie did. All things considered, I’d say those numbers are probably something of a disappointment.

Other debuts this week: Rihanna pops in at #4 with a so-so 181K (to be truthful, none of her albums has had especially strong first week sales, though), while Lady GaGa’s 8-track “Fame: Monster” EP crashes onto the charts with 174,000 sold. Right behind it? Lady GaGa’s original “Fame” LP, which has been repackaged with the additional tracks from “Monster”. That scanned 151,000 copies, making it the week’s biggest gainer.

The week’s biggest disappointment has to be Shakira’s “She Wolf”. Coming off of the wildly succesful “Oral Fixation” album and the hit “Hips Don’t Lie”, PLUS an “SNL” performance and a Rolling Stone cover, I’m sure the album was expected to do better than a #15 finish and 89,000 copies sold.

The American Music Awards, as expected, were a big catalyst for some of the chart jumps this week. Five-time winner Taylor Swift jumps 24% in scans this week to sell another 125K and inch closer to the 5 million sold mark on “Fearless” (she might reach it before the end of the year), while Michael Jackson’s “This is It” soundtrack jumps 13% to 108,000 sold this week, putting it a week or so away from a million sales.

John Mayer takes a bit of a tumble, as “Battle Studies” falls from 1-13 with just over 92K sold, bringing it’s two week total to a not-bad 400,000 copies. Still, that drop has got to be alarming, as was Bon Jovi’s 1-19 fall last week. However, that’s not the biggest chart drop in history. Incubus’s last album, “Light Grenades” freefell 1-37 in it’s second week out. And it still wound up selling 800,000 copies. So, a large drop isn’t necessarily a death knell.

Altogether a nice Thanksgiving week. 12 albums sold more than 100,000 copies, giving us a taste of the good old days. Sales should drop sharply for all titles next week, as relatively normal buying habits resume. Boyle should retain her #1 title, with albums from Allison Iraheta and R. Kelly bowing in the Top Ten.

Here’s this week’s Top 20 albums:

1) Susan Boyle “I Dreamed a Dream”
2) Andrea Bocelli “My Christmas”
3) Adam Lambert “For Your Entertainment”
4) Rihanna “Rated R”
5) Lady GaGa “The Fame Monster (EP)”
6) Lady GaGa “The Fame”
7) Miley Cyrus “Time of Our Lives (EP)”
8) Taylor Swift “Fearless”
9) Carrie Underwood “Play On”
10) Norah Jones “The Fall”
11) Michael Jackson “This is It”
12) Various Artists “Twilight: New Moon Soundtrack”
13) John Mayer “Battle Studies”
14) Justin Bieber “My World”
15) Shakira “She Wolf”
16) Various Artists “Now 32”
17) Casting Crowns “Peace on Earth”
18) Michael Buble “Crazy Love”
19) Glee Cast “Glee-the Music Vol. 1”
20) 50 Cent “Before I Self Destruct”