After two steady weeks of overall slip-sliding album sales—including consecutive record-low turns for a top-selling LP, by Taylor Swift (52,000 copies) and Cake (44,000)—along come the Decemberists, whose The King Is Dead kicks Cake’s Showroom Of Compassion to the curb (from #1 all the way down to #25) and claims the #1 position on Billboard‘s Top 200 chart after moving a relatively decent 94,000 copies out of the gate.
Portland quintet the Decemberists had steadily been earning higher and higher chart positions after signing to major label Capitol, but The King Is Dead marks their first Top 10 album (and—needless to say—their first #1).
The band is followed closely into the upper reaches of the Top 200 by four other LPs this week—the 19th edition of the Kidz Bop series (at #2 with 70,000 copies), the Script’s sophomore album Science & Faith (#3, 49,000), Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes by longstanding California punk act Social Distortion (#4, 46,000) and Gregg Allman’s Low Country Blues (#5, 36,000). Billboard notes that James Blunt debuts at #11 with All The Lost Souls.
Looking ahead to next week, Philly jazz-blues artist Amos Lee’s Mission Bell is currently the top download on iTunes and the best-selling CD on Amazon, while Iron & Wine are trailing close behind with their fourth LP Kiss Each Other Clean.
The Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200 chart:
1. The Decemberists, The King Is Dead *new* *1 week*
2. Kidz Bop, Kidz Bop 19 *new*
3. The Script, Science & Faith *new*
4. Social Distortion, Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes *new*
5. Gregg Allman, Low Country Blues *new*
6. Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans
7. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream
8. Taylor Swift, Speak Now
9. Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday
10. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More