Usher Stands Tall, But Mariah Teeters Over Him

usherhereistand.jpgUsher’s Here I Stand was widely expected to take the top spot on this week’s albums chart, and it did. But its seemingly endless promotional blitz, which stretched from Dancing With The Stars to the morning shows and back to crazytown, resulted in 443,000 sales–a respectable total when you think about the fact that this week’s No. 10 album (Death Cab For Cutie’s Narrow Stairs didn’t even sell 10% of that figure, but just shy of the 463,000 first-week total for Mariah Carey’s E=MC2. (I knew he should have brought the ice-cream truck to TRL!)

Biggest Debuts: At No. 2, yet way, way behind the Usher album, was the soundtrack to Sex And The City, which sold 66,000 copies to people who just had to acquire that crummy Fergie song legally. Al Green’s Lay It Down entered at No. 9, selling 34,000 copies, and further down the chart, Cyndi Lauper’s actually-quite-good foray into AutoTuned electro, Bring Ya To The Brink, sold 12,000 copies and debuted at No. 41.

Notable Jumps: Speaking of that Fergie song, did you know that The Dutchess just got reissued, because apparently 3.6 million record sales weren’t enough for the people at Universal? The reissue resulted in 15,000 new sales–good enough for a leap to No. 28 and a 131% overall jump in its 89th week on the chart, but it can’t help but seem kinda paltry when you think about it in the context of the album’s sales before it got its shiny new cover and Nelly collaboration. And when you think about the fact that the EP consisting of just the bonus tracks sold 11,000 copies of its own.

Dropping Off: Last week’s No. 1, the new self-titled album by 3 Doors Down, dipped 59%, selling 63,000 copies, and fell to No. 3.

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Oh, come on. Like this would go to anyone but Fergie this week, given that “Labels Or Love” somehow manages to be 80x more annoying than the characters it’s attached at the expensively sheathed hip to. (Sure, Taylor Swift’s self-titled album has now been on the chart for 84 weeks, but how can you think of her success as “inexplicable”? She’s so cute!)

The top 20 albums, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Usher, Here I Stand (443,000)
2. Sex And The City soundtrack (66,000)
3. 3 Doors Down (63,000)
4. Bun B, II Trill (40,000)
5. Leona Lewis, Spirit (39,000)
6. Frank Sinatra, Nothing But The Best (37,000)
7. Duffy, Rockferry (36,000)
8. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (36,000)
9. Al Green, Lay It Down (34,000)
10. Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs (33,000)
11. Madonna, Hard Candy (32,000)
12. Taylor Swift (29,000)
13. Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (27,000)
14. Toby Keith, 35 Biggest Hits (26,000)
15. Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (25,000)
16. Julianne Hough (24,000)
17. Now 27 (20,000)
18. Flobots, Fight With Tools (19,000)
19. Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride (19,000)
20. Kid Rock, Rock N Roll Jesus (18,000)

The top 10 digital albums, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Usher, Here I Stand (44,000)
2. Sex And The City soundtrack (27,000)
3. Fergie, Dutchess EP (11,000)
4. 3 Doors Down (10,000)
5. Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs (9,600)
6. Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things (7,500)
7. Duffy, Rockferry (6,600)
8. Al Green, Lay It Down (5,800)
9. Cyndi Lauper, Bring Ya To The Brink (4,800)
10. Juno sountrack (4,700)

  • Chris Molanphy

    Couldn’t even clear half of Usher’s previous first-week number (just under 1.1 million). Sad — for the industry, not Usher: this (mostly) wasn’t his fault.

    (Okay, maybe if it had a first single as good as “Yeah!” it would’ve done better. Even so, Confessions itself, released in this climate, would’ve done considerably worse than it did in ’04.)

  • Tauwan

    @Chris Molanphy:

    I agree. I thought for sure that after having his last album nearly reach Diamond status, that he would easily surpass Mariah’s first week sales [Or Alicia's nearly 800,000 from last year.] I’m talking Kanye West first week tally for Graduation numbers. But one must not forget -no matter how much I may enjoy it- how polarizing Love in this Club is. Maybe he should have waited a week and did the whole 50 vs. Kanye thing with Chris Brown. I think Exclusivity 4 Life* or whatever his reissue is called was released this week.

    *I ain’t hating. For a minute there I was all about Exclusive. Kind of sorta still am. Particularly Gimme What Ya Got feat. Lil Wayne, and I’ll Call Ya, which gives me all sorts of good Off the Wall era MJ vibes during the bridge.

  • Anonymous

    The whole “re-issued album that came out only a year or so ago with new special features” thing will never cease to amaze me, especially when it’s Fergie and she gets bumped up to 28th place. On the other hand, I’m shocked that Duffy debuted (I think?) at #7 or that she’s that high on the charts at all. I know she got good press, but so does Kylie every time and we all know how that’s worked out.

    Who the heck is buying the SatC soundtrack, seriously?

  • Rob Murphy

    I never thought The Dutchess would be anywhere near as weak as your denounced-and-rejected-and-thrown-under-the-bus-long-ago prediction (hope?), but I never in a million years thought it would still be hanging around as it rounds the final turn toward the two-year anniversary of its release date. Could the extra momentum provided by “Labels Or Love” and “Party People” keep it in the Top 50 until September?

    And if Al Shipley is around, I’d love to hear his thoughts on whether “Barracuda” could make it on rock radio. Would they touch a Fergie track, even one as bangin’ as this?

  • Rob Murphy

    Also, and I know this boggled Maura too much for her to point it out, albums and EPs containing “Labels Or Love” sold 92,000 copies combined.

  • Tauwan

    I hate to say it, but I prefer the Jennifer Hudson track. Sorry Fergie, and yeah I went there.