Neil Diamond Finds Temporary Shelter Atop The Album Charts

May 14th, 2008 // 6 Comments

homebeforedark.jpgThe Rick Rubin-produced Neil Diamond album Home Before Dark took the top spot on this week’s album chart, selling 146,000 copies and easily outpacing its competition. Home is somehow the first No. 1 album of Diamond’s career, which is probably more a testament to the wacky way the album charts were calibrated back in the day than it is to the fact that he’s been reaching out to the MySpace generation.

Biggest Debuts: In addition to Diamond’s top-selling bow, the top 10 had six debuts: Toby Keith’s 35 Biggest Hits (No. 2, 103,000 sold), Clay Aiken’s On My Way Here (No. 4, 94,000), Gavin DeGraw (No. 7, 66,000); a Josh Groban live album (No. 8, 58,000); Dierks Bentley’s greatest-hits collection (No. 9, 43,000); and Luis Miguel’s Complices (No. 10, 32,000).

Notable Jumps: Thanks to their appearance on last week’s American Idol results show, Maroon 5′s It Won’t Be Soon Before This Album Recoups The Ridiculous Amount Of Money Universal Poured Into It (We Hope) enjoyed a 62% bounce, selling 13,000 copies and jumping to No. 58. Likewise, Rascal Flatts, who appeared in the audience on Idol and “treated” the Dancing With The Stars audience to their godawful tunes, shot up 82%, selling 17,000 copies and leaping to No. 37.

Dropping Off: Last week’s No. 1, Madonna’s Hard Candy, failed to break the six-figure mark in its second week on the chart; its sales were down 66% for a total of 94,000, and they were only ahead of On My Way Here‘s numbers by about 70 units or so. Pandering: It doesn’t always work out of the gate!

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: They haven’t proven their long-term durability yet, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that Scream by the inexplicably popular Tokio Hotel sold 16,000 copies in its first week on shelves and entered the chart at No. 39. While that sales total may not seem impressive even in these low-selling times, given that they’re pretty much an Internet sensation at this point, you can’t deny that 16,000 sales is a much larger total than that notched by your average blog band. (And I include both Mika and Robyn in that list.)

The top 20, with last week’s sales totals in parentheses:
1. Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (146,000)
2. Toby Keith, 35 Biggest Hits (103,000)
3. Madonna, Hard Candy (94,000)
4. Clay Aiken, On My Way Here (94,000)
5. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (87,000)
6. Leona Lewis, Spirit (76,000)
7. Gavin DeGraw (66,000)
8. Josh Groban, Awake Live (58,000)
9. Dierks Bentley, Greatest Hits: Every Mile A Memory (43,000)
10. Luis Miguel, Complices (32,000)
11. Taylor Swift (32,000)
12. Lyfe Jennings, Lyfe Change (32,000)
13. Now 27 (29,000)
14. George Strait, Troubadour (29,000)
15. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through The Static (26,000)
16. Tye Tribbett, Stand Out (26,000)
17. Juno soundtrack (24,000)
18. Jordin Sparks (24,000)
19. Colbie Caillat, Coco (24,000)
20. Tim McGraw, Greatest Hits 1 & 2 (23,000)

The top 10 digital albums, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Gavin DeGraw (23,000)
2. Madonna, Hard Candy (13,000)
3. Clay Aiken, On My Way Here (6,700)
4. Leona Lewis, Spirit (6,200)
5. Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (6,100)
6. Juno soundtrack (5,900)
7. Dierks Bentley, Greatest Hits: Every Mile A Memory (5,100)
8. The Roots, Rising Down (4,700)
9. P.S. I Love You soundtrack (4,300)
10. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (4,200)

idolator

  1. Rob Murphy

    ZOMG! What happened to the Chipmunks???

  2. Maura Johnston

    @Rob Murphy: No. 26, 21,000 sold, down only 8%.

  3. Al Shipley

    Seeing Neil Diamond’s name alongside the likes of Clay Aiken, Gavin DeGraw and Josh Groban is a cruel reminder that past generations had such better MOR troubadours than ours does.

  4. Artie Fufkin

    What kind of album do they award him if it sells 10 million copies?

  5. Maura Johnston

    @EddieRebel: a mirror.

  6. Chris Molanphy

    Home is somehow the first No. 1 album of Diamond’s career, which is probably more a testament to the wacky way the album charts were calibrated back in the day than it is to the fact that he’s been reaching out to the MySpace generation.

    Word. Pre-SoundScan, you were relying on retailers’ perception of what their big-sellers were – and how much in “incentives” they’d taken from their label rep, and how much blow they’d done that day. I mean, Neil’s just always been there, rarely “hot” per se, and so I can see how the guy never topped the chart. The one moment he was kinda-hot, The Jazz Singer, he had the misfortune to be competing on the album charts of 1980-81 with stuff like John Lennon’s Double Fantasy.

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