Who Charted

Jay-Z’s First-Week Sales: Not Quite Eminem-Level, But Not Bad By Any Stretch

200px-blueprint_3Unsurprisingly, Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 debuted atop today’s Billboard 200, thanks to sales of 476,000 copies in the time that elapsed between its release last Tuesday and Sunday night. But how did Jay’s first-week numbers fare in the more rarefied arena of No. 1 debuts? I crunched a few numbers to figure out just how all of the albums that topped the charts in their first week of sales fared, and came away slightly surprised! More »


Sales Don’t Lie: People Really Like Buying Shakira Songs

hipsdontlieA blogger at Yahoo! has a list claiming to count down the world’s 20 biggest-selling singles released after 2000, all of which have topped the five-million-sold mark around the globe. The surprising thing about the list, aside from Shakira’s dominance (songs by the hip-shaking Colombian singer take up 20% of the list), is how many recent songs are on it; from the last 18 months alone, you have Britney Spears’ “Womanizer,” Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” Lady GaGa’s “Just Dance,” and Pink’s “So What.” Sure, the ruling of later-decade singles can probably be chalked up in part to the rise of iTunes as the single-serving store of choice, but I really thought that “So What” would at least have taken a backseat to “Umbrella,” sales-wise. Full list after the jump. More »


Grizzly Bear’s Nice Pricing Pays Off

veckatimest200I haven’t reported much on the album charts lately, because, frankly, “another sucky week of sucky sales” isn’t really news, and really there needs to be a move toward a better way of gauging popular interest in music, if only because actually going out to buy an album is an experience that fewer and fewer people are even able to engage in, let along want to. But the news that Grizzly Bear’s much-hyped, long-ago-leaked Veckatimest had landed in the top 10 this week is notable, if only because of a note buried in this week’s Billboard story running down the mag’s top albums: More »



Yep, Lots Of People Will Get The Taylor Swift Album For Christmas This Year

Taylor Swift’s Fearless moved back into the top spot on the album charts this week, thanks to a 29% sales gain that brought the album’s one-week sales totals just shy of the 250,000-sold mark. And the eagle-eyed folks at the trade mag Hits, who have access to one-day sales figures from various retailers around the nation, are projecting that the next chart week will be even better for the album, with sales somewhere between 330,000 and 350,000 copies. After the disappointing Black Friday numbers for Chinese Democracy and 808s And Heartbreak, I engaged in a little bit of prediction as far as what albums would get big sales boosts from the run-up to the gift-giving season. So, how am I doing, keeping in mind that sales overall were down 14.4% compared to last year and 45% from this period in 2006?

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The Top Five Albums That Are Going To Be Given As Holiday Gifts This Year: An Unscientific Survey

Sure, Black Friday was a disappointing day for artists who had new releases out, but a little bit of digging into SoundScan shows that the numbers weren’t all bad. Taylor Swift, for example, had quite the banner week; her new album Fearless experienced a rare third-week upswing, one that was so dramatic, she nabbed the No. 2 spot on the chart, ahead of Chinese Democracy—and her old album surged back into the Top 30, too. There were many other artists whose albums’ sales tallies improved from the prior week, no doubt thanks to some people out there still being OK with the prospect of holiday shopping. (Not too many, but a few.) After the jump, a look at which albums actually performed well on the first-gift-giving-week’s chart, and the family members for whom they’re likely being snagged.

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The Record Business Celebrates The Bad Kind Of Black Friday

If anyone in the music business was hoping that the one-two punch of a holiday weekend and big-name releases would magically convince people to pay for music one last time, they may want to pour themselves a stiff drink, or at least spike their morning latte: Billboard is reporting that the No. 1 album, Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, sold 425,000-450,000 copies over the course of last week, while Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy woefully underperformed, moving between 250,000 and 260,000 copies during its first week on Best Buy’s shelves. And that’s not all: Depending on who you ask, overall music sales were down anywhere between 10% and 30% when compared with last year’s holiday weekend, although online numbers were OK. Meanwhile, a UK tabloid is claiming that bigwigs at Universal Music Group are blaming the soft landing of Chinese Democracy squarely on Axl, because he didn’t do enough press for the album. Even though it probably received more free press than any other record this year. Yeah, it couldn’t be that people currently see Guns N’ Roses as something of a novelty act, and that people who liked Appetite probably aren’t so into the new sound, and that even those people who wanted to give Axl a shot were a bit weirded out by the whole preserved-in-1999-amber feel of the final recorded product, could it?

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First-week sales of Christina Aguilera’s… More »


Teenage Vampire Freaks Take A Bite Out Of AC/DC

This week’s No. 1 album: The soundtrack to the forthcoming vampire movie that I am apparently too unfeeling to understand Twilight, which sold 165,000 copies in its debut week on store shelves. The soundtrack, which features a couple of new songs by Paramore as well as tracks by Muse, Linkin Park, and Iron & Wine, was $3.99 at Amazon’s MP3 store for one day last week, which no doubt contributed to the 48,000 digital sales it racked up. In other fire-sale news, Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane–which was priced under $5 at the iTunes Store last week–moved 14,000 digital copies last week, placing it at No. 3 for the week on the online-only chart, just behind Hinder’s Take It To The Limit. See? Variable pricing can move records! Sort of. This week’s full top 20 (and digital-albums top 10) after the jump.

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Kenny Chesney Moves Down To A Deluxe Apartment

This week’s No. 1 album is Kenny Chesney’s bummed-out Lucky Old Sun, which sold 176,000 copies in its first week on shelves–not a bad number by current standards, although slightly off from his 387,000-copy first week total of last fall’s Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. But as it turns out, the official release date for the album was yesterday, at least, if you’re going by the day on which the plain old, bell-and-whistle-free version of Sun hit stores. It’s a tactic that Sugarland employed earlier this year for the release of Love On The Inside, and to great effect: It came thisclose to outselling Miley Cyrus’ Breakout in its first week. But in these hard times, will people wait for the plain old edition to hit the shops, and cause Chesney to be the rare recipient of a second-week uptick in sales–if they buy it at all?

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The 27 Albums On This Week’s Billboard 200 That Didn’t Experience A Week-To-Week Sales Drop

While reading over this week’s SoundScan, I noticed–among the thicket of debuts that included Disney’s “new Miley Cyrus” Demi Lovato, Kings Of Leon, TV On The Radio (No. 12!), and the Pussycat Dolls (who just managed to squeak into the top five)–that not many full-lengths that had been out for a while were gaining in sales from the previous week. The No. 1 album, Metallica’s Death Magnetic, held on despite a 61% drop from the previous sales week, while Ne-Yo’s Year Of The Gentleman only dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 on a 67% loss. And the numbers didn’t get much prettier from there. In fact, the first album on the chart to experience a week-to-week gain was all the way down at No. 46: M.I.A.’s Kala, which had a modest-in-any-other-week 6% bump. So I decided to figure out just how many non-debuting albums gained momentum during a week that was marked by a lot of chaos on the financial front, and a 6.8% week-to-week decline in overall sales, not to mention a 28.8% year-over-year drop. Those albums–which constitute a mere 13.5% of the chart–are listed, with their big-board placements and overall sales, after the jump.

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