Kanye Is Triumphant, But Doug Morris Is The Real Winner

noah | September 19, 2007 12:30 pm

So as we noted yesterday, Kanye West’s Graduation won the SoundScan battle this week, with 957,000 people across the U.S. so inspired to maybe have a hand in crushing the career of 50 Cent that they actually went out to their local music merchants and plunked down money for West’s third album. The high numbers this week for the debuting Graduation, Curtis (691,000 copies sold), and Kenny Chesney’s Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (387,000) weren’t, however, enough to rescue the week’s overall sales tallies from the crapper; the 9.16 million albums sold last week is, in fact, down 9% year-to-year.

Biggest Debuts: One more factoid on the Kanye/Curtis showdown: as Ned Raggett noted, Kanye beat 50 handily online, selling 133,000 digital copies–a new record–to Curtis‘ 58,000. (Just Who I Am sold 36,000 e-albums.)

Oh, and in other debuts, get ready for another round of hacky music writers saying that songs by the latest hot-AC-artist-masquerading-as-an-indie-star “belong on Grey’s Anatomy“; the third soundtrack to that show debuted at No. 16, selling 27,000 copies.

Notable Jumps: Timbaland (27,000; up 43%) and Rihanna (26,000; up 28%) enjoyed healthy post-Video Music Awards bumps–perhaps because each got the chance to actually perform a full song–but the real story is newly crowned iPod spokeswoman Feist, whose The Reminder saw a whopping 120% sales gain (OK, that only amounts to 14,000 copies, but still) and jumped from No. 95 to No. 44. Meanwhile, “1-2-3-4,” the song that’s in the sales-goosing Apple ad, had its weekly track sales jump 500%; the song sold 41,000 digital copies this week, putting it at No. 17 on the Hot Digital Tracks chart, right in between Rihanna and Akon. Will this make Universal Music Group a little less hot-under-the-collar at Apple, seeing as how it’s doing what rotation on Lite-FMs around the country couldn’t?

Dropping Off: Nothing really surprising here–Chiodos, which debuted last week at No. 5, is off 63%, and Every Time I Die, which entered last week at No. 41, is off 62%. But I bet that next week, this category is going to be a doozy!

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Linkin Park’s Minutes To Midnight is still bobbing around the top 20, this week selling 30,000 copies and coming in at No. 11. But you know, for all the hanging around it’s done–not to mention its big debut week–wouldn’t you think it would have sold more than 1.68 million copies by now? (It’s about to be lapped by High School Musical 2, in fact.)

The top 20, with estimated sales totals in parentheses: 1. Kanye West, Graduation (957,000) 2. 50 Cent, Curtis (691,000) 3. Kenny Chesney, Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (387,000) 4. High School Musical 2 soundtrack (133,000) 5. Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (42,000) 6. Fergie, The Dutchess (41,000) 7. Nickelback, All The Right Reasons (35,000) 8. Colbie Caillat, Coco (32,000) 9. Now 25 (32,000) 10. Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds (31,000) 11. Linkin Park, Minutes To Midnight (30,000) 12. Casting Crowns, The Altar And The Door (29,000) 13. Timbaland, Timbaland Presents Shock Value (27,000) 14. Hairspray soundtrack (27,000) 15. Maroon 5, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (27,000) 16. Grey’s Anatomy, Vol. 3 (27,000) 17. Common, Finding Forever (26,000) 18. Rihanna, Good Girl Gone Bad (26,000) 19. T.I., T.I. Vs. T.I.P. (26,000) 20. Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (25,000)