Americans Apparently Believe That Alicia Keys Is Pretty Much The Only Artist Whose Records Are Worth Buying


In a pretty dismal week for the album charts overall, Alicia Keys’ As I Am held on to the top spot, selling 61,000 copies–a 14% dropoff from the week before. The next three chart entries–the Juno soundtrack, Mary J. Blige’s Growing Pains, and Radiohead’s In Rainbows–all stayed in the same chart positions as the week before as well, although all those albums experienced sales drops (of 15%, 19%, and 33%, respectively.) But wait, there’s more bad news!

Biggest Debuts: Well, first some good-ish news: Two albums debuted in the top 10 this week. Raheem DeVaughn’s Love Behind The Melody sold 45,000 copies and entered the charts at No. 5, while John Legend’s Target-only Live From Philadelphia scanned 33,000 copies and debuted at No. 7. Also–editorial judgment based entirely on really, really liking this album alert!–the Magnetic Fields’ Distortion sold 8,000 copies and debuted at No. 77.

Notable Jumps: There wasn’t much in the way of good upward movement on this week’s chart–many of the upticks were of the “hey, our album sales only decreased in single-digit percentages” variety–but both Hannah Montana tie-in albums saw sales gains this week, with the two-disc Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus inching its way back into the top 10.

Dropping Off: Sure, things are bad all over this week. But can we pour one out for the Spice Girls? Their greatest-hits collection entered the charts at No. 93, selling a paltry 7,000 copies. Perhaps the other Spices (well, save Victoria, natch) will start showing up in those Prego ads now that their record-sales gravy train has apparently run dry?

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Let’s just say that this week’s numbers make this category tougher than ever to fill. And the continuing top-20 success of the Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack is pretty explicable, given Americans’ bottomless appetite for crap and the fact that the bar to get into the top 20 is lower than ever these days. So, to fill some space here: Did you know that Nickelback’s All The Right Reasons is still in the top 30 after 120 weeks on the chart? 120 weeks! That’s 30 months or so! I don’t even remember what I was doing 120 weeks ago, but I probably wasn’t wondering if the bottom was for real, finally going to fall out of the music business in the coming six weeks, I’ll tell you that much.

The top 20, with sales totals in parentheses: 1. Alicia Keys, As I Am (61,000) 2. Juno soundtrack (58,000) 3. Mary J. Blige, Growing Pains (52,000) 4. Radiohead, In Rainbows (46,000) 5. Raheem DeVaughn, Love Behind The Melody (45,000) 6. Taylor Swift (34,000) 7. John Legend, Live From Philadelphia (33,000) 8. Now 26 (30,000) 9. Chris Brown, Exclusive (29,000) 10. Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (27,000) 11. Colbie Caillat, Coco (26,000) 12. Keyshia Cole, Just Like You (26,000) 13. Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack (25,000) 14. Garth Brooks, Ultimate Hits (25,000) 15. Eagles, Long Road Out Of Eden (24,000) 16. Sugarland, Enjoy The Ride (23,000) 17. Fergie, The Dutchess (22,000) 18. High School Musical 2 (20,000) 19. OneRepublic, Dreaming Out Loud (20,000) 20. Daughtry (19,000)