Death Cab For Cutie’s No. 1 Album Inspires Lots Of Stair-Related Metaphors


Last week, Death Cab For Cutie’s Narrow Stairs was the only album to break the six-figures-sold mark, moving 144,000 copies and topping the SoundScan charts for the week. Some 55,000 of those sales came through digital outlets, enough for Stairs to top this week’s digital-albums chart and make it the 16th-highest-selling digital album of the year.

Biggest Debuts: Warner Music Group’s recent 360-deal signee Frank Sinatra scored a No. 2 debut with his latest greatest-hits collection, Nothing But The Best (99,000 copies sold). Meanwhile, the money Jason Mraz saved on his album cover can go straight back into his pocket, maybe, as his new album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things entered the charts at No. 3 with 73,000 copies sold. (Actually, maybe that budget-cutting technique was a smart thing.) And Lulu-in-training Duffy’s debut album, Rockferry, came in at No. 4, selling 71,000 copies.

Notable Jumps: A weak week meant not a lot of upward mobility on the chart, and the 7% jump in sales for Kid Rock’s Rock & Roll Jesus resulted in the album jumping 16 spots on the chart (No. 31, 15,000 sold). Oh, and confusing Simon Cowell on last week’s American Idol sort of paid off for Fantasia–her self-titled album saw a 27% bump, but that only meant that its sales were in the mid-three-digit range instead of the lower-three.

Dropping Off: Who didn’t drop off this week? The No. 20 album, Jack Johnson’s Sleep Through The Static, didn’t even scrape the 20,000-sold mark. Last week’s No. 1, Neil Diamond’s Home Before Dark, had a 63% dip (No. 7, 53,000); Gavin DeGraw’s self-titled album plunged 67% (No. 15, 21,000).

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Well, hm. Ol’ Blue Eyes seems to be holding up pretty well, doesn’t he? Honestly, the numbers this week are so bleak–we’re treading pretty close the point where the total number of albums sold in a week won’t even break the double-platinum mark, people–I can’t even make an Alvin & The Chipmunks joke (No. 22, 18,000 sold, down 16% week to week).

The top 20 albums, with sales totals in parentheses: 1. Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs (144,000) 2. Frank Sinatra, Nothing But The Best (99,000) 3. Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (73,000) 4. Duffy, Rockferry (71,000) 5. Leona Lewis, Spirit (62,000) 6. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (59,000) 7. Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (53,000) 8. Madonna, Hard Candy (53,000) 9. Toby Keith, 35 Biggest Hits (41,000) 10. Keith Sweat, Just Me(37,000) 11. Taylor Swift (30,000) 12. 10 Years, Division (28,000) 13. Now 28 (23,000) 14. Dierks Bentley, Greatest Hits: Every Mile A Memory (22,000) 15. Gavin DeGraw (21,000) 16. Josh Groban, Awake Live (21,000) 17. Lyfe Jennings, Lyfe Change (21,000) 18. Clay Aiken, On My Way Here (21,000) 19. Juno soundtrack (20,000) 20. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through The Static (20,000)

The top 10 digital albums, with sales totals in parentheses: 1. Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs (55,000) 2. Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (24,000) 3. Duffy, Rockferry (17,000) 4. Frank Sinatra, Nothing But The Best (10,000) 5. Chronicles Of Narnia soundtrack (8,300) 6. Madonna, Hard Cady (7,200) 7. Gavin DeGraw (5,900) 8. Juno soundtrack (5,800) 9. Leona Lewis, Spirit (4,600) 10. P.S. I Love You soundtrack (4,400)