Those Two Dudes From TV Finally Score

Apr 30th, 2008 // 8 Comments

flightttt.jpgOn first glance, the top four occupants of this week’s album chart–Mariah Carey’s E=MC2 (182,000 copies); Leona Lewis’ Spirit (96,000); Flight Of The Conchords (52,000); and Ashlee Simpson’s Bittersweet World (47,000)–are a testament to the importance of television in promoting albums; all four artists had their albums co-promoted on various chat and game shows last week (and, in the case of the mumble-funny Kiwis in Flight, their own HBO series). On second look, their sales totals are further evidence that the bar for a “successful” album is even lower these days, particularly if you count the sales of the No. 5 album, Atmosphere’s When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold, which sold 36,000 copies last week. When life gives you lemons, indeed.

Biggest Debuts: Aside from the debuts in the 3, 4, and 5 slots, ivory-tickling country singer Phil Vassar’s Prayer Of A Common Man entered the chart at No. 10, selling 27,000 copies; St. Louis punkers Story Of The Year came in at No. 18 with Black Swan (21,000); and the awfully named outfit the Weepies, who are apparently big with the Grey’s Anatomy set, debuted at No. 31 with 14,000 sales of Hideaway–and 11,000 of those were digital, putting them at No. 4 on the Digital Albums chart. (That particular chart was topped by Flight Of The Conchords, which was downloaded 24,000 times.) See? TV!

Notable Jumps: Michael Buble’s Call Me Irresponsible had a 65% sales gain and leapt from No. 46 to No. 19 (20,000 sold).

Dropping Off: She held on to the top spot in the face of not much competition, but Mariah Carey’s E=MC2 took a 61% week-to-week sales hit, which means that she’ll probably be in at least the No. 2 position on next week’s album charts.

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: I don’t know about you, but if someone had told me that Rick Ross would be the only mainstream hip-hop artist hanging tough with a top 20 album right now? Sure, it’s only been seven weeks since Trilla (No. 15, 23,000) came out, but Snoop Dogg’s Ego Trippin’ came out the same week and that album is all the way down at No. 35 (13,000).

The top 20, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (182,000)
2. Leona Lewis, Spirit (96,000).
3. Flight Of The Conchords (52,000)
4. Ashlee Simpson, Bittersweet World (47,000)
5. Atmosphere, When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold (36,000)
6. Now 27 (32,000)
7. Juno soundtrack (31,000)
8. George Strait, Troubadour (29,000)
9. Taylor Swift (27,000)
10. Phil Vassar, Prayer Of A Common Man (27,000)
11. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Best Of Both Worlds Concert (26,000)
12. Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack (25,000)
13. James Otto, Sunset Man (24,000)
14. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through The Static (24,000)
15. Rick Ross, Trilla (23,000)
16. Lady Antebellum (22,000)
17. R.E.M., Accelerate (21,000)
18. Story Of The Year, Black Swan (21,000)
19. Michael Buble, Call Me Irresponsible (20,000)
20. Jordin Sparks (19,000)


  1. Anonymous

    Does anybody here want to comment on the success of Atmosphere?

  2. Chris Molanphy

    The R.E.M. album is bordering on Inexplicably Durable. I like it fine, but the single hasn’t exactly caught on, and yet it’s clinging to the Top 20 remarkably consistently.

  3. Weezy F Baby

    @HONEYBFLY: no, but i will comment that the record is actually called When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold

  4. Michaelangelo Matos

    Atmosphere: lots of longstanding fans, tons of web marketing; 36k isn’t that surprising.

  5. Anonymous

    I listened to 2 Atmosphere tracks…they seemed to me to be just one or two notches above Kevin Federline.

    They’re doing 2 sold out shows in LA so obvs somebody is listening to them….

  6. Al Shipley

    @HONEYBFLY: hahahaha beautiful comparison.

    And yes, Rick Ross’s durability is indeed inexplicable. Of all the major label rap artists in the past few years who got signed off of one single and a bunch of hype but fizzled with moderate sales for their debut, he‘s the one that not only gets out a 2nd album in a timely fashion, but actually sells more than he did the first time? Has this talentless asshole actually grown on people?

  7. HomefrontRadio

    @Chris Molanphy: Look again, R.E.M.’s being outsold by ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’.

    That means 25,000 people heard this, and thought it was something they conciouslessly wanted to hear again in a recreational context, of their own free will:

    Come, come, nuclear bomb.

  8. Anonymous

    Rick Ross (or some handler of his, at least) is the only post-Jeezy rapper to realize that sometimes, people just want the voice to be another instrument. He just glides along the top like one of the Runners’ synthesizers, and while he’s by no means a nimble lyricist, there’s never really a line that hits the kind of staggering clumsiness that gums up the works.

    Atmosphere, on the other hand, are the Replacements, if after “Hootenanny” and “Let It Be”, they released an album with fourteen different versions of “Waiting for Somebody”. Then, every album after that was so far past “Fairweather Johnson” that people started to mythologize “Waiting for Somebody”. And now, when I put on “Let it Be” at parties, girls look at me quizzically, and tell me I’m getting too old to be drinking 24 oz cans of Natty Ice.

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