The Album Charts Are Starting To Feel A Little Comfortable

Jul 16th, 2008 // 3 Comments

For another week, Lil Wayne and Coldplay make up the album charts’ 1-2 punch, with Tha Carter III taking the top spot (125,000 copies sold) and Coldplay serving as Wayne’s best men (113,000 sold). According to Hits, Nas’ untitled album is set to break this log jam next week, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Biggest Debuts: Beck’s Modern Guilt became the latest entry on this year’s list of albums with first-week scans that were nearly equivalent to the number of words spilled about them before their release, selling 84,000 copies and debuting at No. 4. Meanwhile, the Abba-saluting soundtrack to Mamma Mia! sold 48,000 and entered the chart at No. 8, while the Willie Nelson/Wynton Marsalis collaboration Two Men With The Blues sold 22,000 copies and entered at No. 20, Willie’s highest Soundscan chart mark yet.

Notable Jumps: In a week where most of the sales tallies went from “off from last week” to “yikes,” Kid Rock’s Rock N’ Roll Jesus, no doubt aided by the no-single strategy for his Zevon-biting hit “All Summer Long,” provided an actual bright spot near the top of the charts; it was up 35% week-to-week, selling 61,000 copies and bumping up to No. 5.

Dropping Off: The latest album from 50 Cent and his remaining G-Unit disciples, Terminate On Sight, was down 66% week-to-week, dropping from No. 4 to No. 9 on sales of 36,000 copies. Ahh, nothing like some 50 Cent sales schadenfreude to brighten up an otherwise crummy week, eh?

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Thanks to my being forced to sit through two 3 Doors Down songs pre-Home Run Derby on Tuesday night (as well as a personal desire to stay in a state of semi-denial about the staying power of Katy Bleaty Perry), I’m nominating them for this category. Their latest self-titled album sold 22,000 copies and bumped up its chart position from No. 21 to No. 19, despite taking a 6% week-to-week sales hit, and despite the at-least-memorable “Kryptonite” not being on the new album. I know that mainstream rock and my tastes have at least a little bit of a gulf between them, but man oh man.

The top 20 albums, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III (125,000)
2. Coldplay, Viva La Vida (113,000)
3. Camp Rock soundtrack (88,000)
4. Beck, Modern Guilt (84,000)
5. Kid Rock, Rock N’ Roll Jesus (61,000)
6. Now 28 (48,000)
7. Mamma Mia! soundtrack (48,000)
8. Rihanna, Good Girl Gone Bad (47,000)
9. G-Unit, Terminate On Sight (36,000)
10. John Mayer, Where The Light Is (34,000)
11. Usher, Here I Stand (33,000)
12. Katy Perry, One Of The Boys (32,000)
13. Disturbed, Indestructible (30,000)
14. Taylor Swift (29,000)
15. Leona Lewis, Spirit (27,000)
16. Three 6 Mafia, Last 2 Walk (24,000)
17. Plies, Definition Of Real (24,000)
18. Journey, Revelation (24,000)
19. 3 Doors Down (22,000)
20. Nelson/Marsalis, Two Men With The Blues(22,000)

The top 10 digital albums, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Beck, Modern Guilt (31,000)
2. Coldplay, Viva La Vida (29,000)
3. John Mayer, Where The Light Is (12,000)
4. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III (10,000)
5. Camp Rock soundtrack (7,300)
6. Katy Perry, One Of The Boys (6,200)
7. Maroon 5, Live From Le Cabaret (5,900)
8. Nelson/Marsalis, Two Men With The Blues (5,100)
9. Maine, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (4,800)
10. Mamma Mia! soundtrack (4,600)


  1. Chris Molanphy

    One thing I regretted not mentioning in my column last week comparing the Kid Rock no-download experiment with the M.C. Hammer no-cassingle experiment of 1990 was this salient fact: their albums are not only competing in two different technological eras (pre-digital and post-digital), but also — duh! — pre- and post-SoundScan.

    Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em was basically the last blockbuster album of the pre-SoundScan era (which ended in May 1991). When I noted that Please spent 21 weeks on top of the album chart and no album has done so since, I failed to mention how hard it would be for any album, in the age of accurate sales counts, to sit atop the chart for that long. Too many albums debut like movie blockbusters now.

    Anyway, I mention all this because, as impressive as Kid’s move this week back into the album-chart Top Five is, it also shows that his one big hit song is really going to have to penetrate for the album to go all the way back to No. 1, which is much harder nowadays. Actually, the one thing working in his favor is the summer doldrums; until the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus show up, there are no big blockbusters on the horizon for about another month yet.

  2. othertim

    After last week’s 100 and Single, I was thinking Kid was kinda stupid for not having digital downloads of, well, anything, that he’s done. I failed to consult the album charts. That’s impressive that the lack of a single for sale is driving the album in this day and age.

  3. KrAzy Che3To

    I think the results of Nas’ album sales will compare to those of Snoop’s latest.

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