Alicia Keys Is Fallin’ Into The Album Chart’s No. 1 Spot

Jan 16th, 2008 // 10 Comments

asiam.jpgContrary to earlier reports, the Juno soundtrack did not take the up-the-pole position on this week’s album-sales charts–instead, the Moldy Peaches-stuffed album took the No. 3 slot, selling 68,000 copies. Instead, this week’s No. 1 was Alicia Keys’ As I Am, which sold 70,000 copies and backed into the top spot on a 38% sales dip; last week’s No. 1, Radiohead’s In Rainbows, had a 44% drop of its own and fell into the No. 2 slot.

Biggest Debuts: Sia’s some people have real problems (like eating markers) bowed at No. 26 with 20,000 albums sold; meanwhile, Kate Nash’s wordy-yet-gradually-endearing Made Of Bricks came in at No. 36, selling 16,000 copies. That’s it for debuts until No. 102, where the compilation Total Dance 2008, which brings together a lot of club mixes of last year’s hits, entered with 6,800 copies sold.

Notable Jumps: Only four of the albums in the top 100 experienced sales gains this week. Of those four, one was the result of a technicality (the Juno soundtrack’s weeklong gap between its digital release date and its physical release date); one was by a recently deceased artist (a Luciano Pavarotti greatest-hits collection); one experienced a 1% uptick (a Grammy tie-in comp); and one is an album that I can find absolutely no information on, despite it just squeaking into the top 100 with 6,800 scans. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what’s on the compilation Across The Pond?

Dropping Off: From Billboard: “Sales this week are down 20% from last week to 7.25 million units and are off 10% from the same week in 2007 (8.09 million).” That isn’t as bad as last week’s 37.5% plunge, but we should all be worried that a week where the one-week album sales total is equal to Nickelback’s 6.5 million-sale tally for All The Right Reasons may not be all that far off.

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Fergie’s The Dutchess continued to hang tough in a depressed sales field, selling 28,000 copies. The Dutchess has now sold more than three million copies after looking like a flop in its earliest weeks on shelves. Maybe there’s hope for the retooled Songs About Girls yet!

The top 20, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Alicia Keys, As I Am (70,000)
2. Radiohead, In Rainbows (69,000)
3. Juno soundtrack (68,000)
4. Mary J. Blige, Growing Pains (64,000)
5. Taylor Swift (35,000)
6. Now 26 (33,000)
7. Chris Brown, Exclusive (30,000)
8. Eagles, Long Road Out Of Eden (29,000)
9. Garth Brooks, Ultimate Hits (28,000)
10. Fergie, The Dutchess (28,000)
11. Colbie Caillat, Coco (27,000)
12. Keyshia Cole, Just Like You (27,000)
13. Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack (27,000)
14. OneRepublic, Dreaming Out Loud (26,000)
15. Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (26,000)
16. Sweeney Todd soundtrack (24,000)
17. Sugarland, Enjoy The Ride (23,000)
18. Sara Bareilles, Little Voice (23,000)
19. Daughtry (23,000)
20. Led Zeppelin, Mothership (22,000)

  1. extracrispy

    So was Mary J Blige up or down since last week?

    Just trying to understand how steroid accusations impact an artist’s sales.

  2. Maura Johnston

    @extracrispy: Down 28%. The post-steroid numbers for her, 50 Cent, Timbaland, and Wyclef won’t come until next week, but I hear they’re all locks for the Home Run Derby.

  3. scott pgwp

    Across the Pond is a compilation on sale at Starbucks, sitting right next to pen-sniffing Sia on the counter. Don’t know if it was actually released by Starbucks or not. Anyway, it’s tracks from KT Tunstall, Joss Stone, and other very obvious mainstream acts who–get this–are British.

  4. Maura Johnston

    @pgwp: Ahh, I was wondering if it was a British-music compilation. All I could come up with was this. (And the title isn’t exactly easily Googleable.) Thanks!

  5. Rob Murphy

    @pgwp: Agreed, thanks for digging that up. And you were right — the list of included artists is so obvious I had half of them before I even looked it up.

    Here’s the link to the annoyingly-flash-overloaded product page for anyone who cares.

    [www.hearmusic.com]

  6. bcapirigi

    i picked up across the pond when i begrudgingly went into starbucks the other night but literally got bored before i could finish glancing at the tracklisting.

  7. Richard Dipper

    Does anyone remember in 2001, when it was announced the week after 9/11 that System of a Down had the #1 record in America, and a week later it was corrected that Alicia Keys did? And then Alicia Keys’ management was accused of fudging figures?

    Does anyone think that happened again?

  8. Maura Johnston

    @DHMBIB: This is yet another sign that I need to leave the house more.

  9. neworiginals

    Huh… just went to the Hear Music site, and they’re selling a version of In Rainbows with the 8 bonus tracks that I thought were only available (legally) from the discbox. Is this old news?

  10. Chris Molanphy

    @Richard Dipper: Other way around – first, Alicia Keys was given the No. 1 album (online only, I believe); then, a day later, after much howling from Sony, the chart was corrected to give SotD the No. 1 spot. This is now official; Toxicity is the No. 1 album for that chart week (dated 22 Sept 01 but encompassing sales from the week of 9/11).

    (Ironically, all these years later, Sony and Alicia Keys’s label, J Records/BMG, are now merged.)

    And no, I wouldn’t say there’s any sign of foul play here. The early chart from HITS, which relies on early/raw SoundScan returns, has Juno on top, but SoundScan’s final chart (and, hence, Billboard‘s) often differs in small ways from the early chart because of various tweaks that are made on the final day. For one thing, Billboard includes sales from a small but sizable number of independent record stores that can’t afford SoundScan – particularly black-owned stores, which would explain in part why Keys got a boost.

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