This week’s Billboard albums chart brings a historic first. The “Hope for Haiti” benefit album, featuring selections from the telethon last Friday, debuts at #1 with over 171,000 units sold. It is the first completely digital release to debut at the top of the charts. I assume it won’t be the last.
It’s also the fourth album to hold the #1 spot this month (following Vampire Weekend, Ke$ha and Susan Boyle), which is also a record. Also, it’s scan total means that this is the first January on record in which every #1 album has sold at least 100,000 copies-at least some good news for a hurting music biz.
Indie rock favorites Spoon debut at #4 with their latest album, “Transference”, selling 53,000 copies. Right behind it is the compilation “Grammy Nominees 2010” with 49K. The other debuts in the Top 50 come from Motion City Soundtrack at #15, and an actual motion picture soundtrack (from the Jeff Bridges film “Crazy Heart”) at #38.
SuBo’s hanging in a lot tougher than I thought she would. “I Dreamed a Dream” holds at #2 this week with a 12% increase over the previous week’s sales. An “Oprah” appearance was the reason for this increase, similar to the increase Lady Gaga (who is right behind Boyle at #3) enjoyed last week (when I didn’t publish a Chart Chat column. Boo, me).
The biggest percentage increase on the chart went to another Oprah guest, Adam Lambert. His “For Your Entertainment” jumps fourteen spots to #21, with a 60% increase in sales. Lambert is now a week or two away from Gold status, and airplay picking up for the new single “Whataya Want from Me” should continue to keep sales steady.
Next week, country trio Lady Antebellum is expected to debut at the top with the biggest first-week numbers of the still young year. A strong move is expected for Michael Jackson’s “This is It” soundtrack (with the DVD release yesterday), and we should also expect a few bumps from Grammy Award coverage, although the true increases won’t really come into play until the following week.
Here’s this week’s Top 20:
1) Various Artists “Hope for Haiti”
2) Susan Boyle “I Dreamed a Dream”
3) Lady Gaga “The Fame”
4) Spoon “Transference”
5) Various Artists “Grammy Nominees 2010”
6) Vampire Weekend “Contra”
7) Alicia Keys “The Element of Freedom”
8) Ke$ha “Animal”
9) The Black Eyed Peas “The E.N.D.”
10) Taylor Swift “Fearless”
11) Lady Gaga “The Fame: Monster (EP)”
12) Soundtrack “Alvin & the Chipmunks 2: The Squeaquel”
13) Justin Bieber “My World (EP)”
14) Mary J. Blige “Stronger Witheach Tear”
15) Motion City Soundtrack “My Dinosaur Life”
16) Lady Antebellum “Lady Antebellum”
17) Michael Jackson “This is It Soundtrack”
18) Michael Buble “Crazy Love”
19) Rihanna “Rated R”
20) Owl City “Ocean Eyes”