Madonna Does Her Part To Save The Pop Charts

noah | May 7, 2008 1:00 am

Madonna’s Hard Candy was last week’s top-selling album, shifting 280,000 copies in its first week of release and leaving every other commercially available offering in the dust. Candy was the only album on this week’s chart to break the six-figures-sold mark; Mariah Carey’s E=MC2, the runner-up to Hard Candy, sold 95,000 copies.

Biggest Debuts: As we mentioned, last week was a pretty great one for new releases, with lots of excellent albums dropping in the pre-paycheck, post-tax-return rush. So how’d they all do? Let’s run down the list: The Roots, Rising Down: No. 6, 54,000 sold (No. 2 digital, 15,000 sold) Portishead, Third: No. 7, 53,000 sold (No. 3 digital, 15,000 sold) Lil Mama, VYP: Voice Of The Young People: No. 25, 19,000 sold (not on digital albums chart) Estelle, Shine: No. 38, 15,000 sold (No. 16 digital, 3,700 sold)SantogoldNo. 74, 9,500 sold (No. 13 digital, 4,000 sold)Robyn: No. 100, 7,100 sold (No. 25 digital, 2,800 sold)

All of them were out-debuted by Madge, Lyfe Jennings’ Lyfe Change (No. 4, 80,000 sold), and Def Leppard’s Live From The Sparkle Lounge (No. 5, 55,000 sold). So what have we learned? You can’t stop Def Leppard. The Lil Mama record maybe should have come out when “Lip Gloss” was hot, if only to be the beneficiary of not-as-bad-as-they-are-now record sales. All the Fader covers and Bud Light Lime ads in the world can’t help shift copies of an album, even when they do wonders for RCRD LBL’s Google Blog Search hits. And holding a record back from U.S. release for an extended period of time, then hoping that Perez Hilton’s breathless, syntax-challenged endorsement can be the foundation for a marketing campaign, is a lousy strategy–no matter how good the album is.

Notable Jumps: Natasha Bedingfield’s appearance on American Idol last week goosed sales of The Album That’s Really Called NB No Matter How Dumb Record Executives Think Americans Are–its sales totals jumped 199% week-over-week, and it shot from No. 97 to No. 24 (19,000 copies sold) on the chart.

Dropping Off: Ashlee Simpson’s Bittersweet World was off 64% week to week, falling from No. 4 to No. 31 (17,000 sold); Atmosphere’s When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold had a 61% drop, tumbling from No. 5 to No. 41 (14,000 sold); and Flight Of The Conchords was down 57%, although its chart drop was a mere 14 places (No. 3 to No. 17, 22,000 sold).

Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: An executive decision: This category is going to be held down by Alvin & the Chipmunks until they scurry out of the top 20. (They’re at No. 14 this week with 23,000 copies sold.)

The top 20, with last week’s sales in parentheses: 1. Madonna, Hard Candy (280,000) 2. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (95,000) 3. Leona Lewis, Spirit (84,000) 4. Lyfe Jennings, Lyfe Change (80,000) 5. Def Leppard, Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (55,000) 6. The Roots, Rising Down (54,000) 7. Portishead, Third (53,000) 8. Mudcrutch (38,000) 9. Now 27 (31,000) 10. Tim McGraw, Greatest Hits 1 & 2 (29,000) 11. Taylor Swift (29,000) 12. Steve Winwood, Nine Lives (26,000) 13. Juno soundtrack (26,000) 14. Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack (23,000) 15. Carly Simon, This Kind Of Love (23,000) 16. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through The Static (23,000) 17. Flight Of The Conchords (22,000) 18. George Strait, Troubadour (22,000) 19. Colbie Caillat, Coco (19,000) 20. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Best Of Both Worlds Concert Tour (22,000)

This week’s top 10 digital albums, with sales totals in parentheses: 1. Madonna, Hard Candy (73,000) 2. The Roots, Rising Down (15,000) 3. Portishead, Third (15,000) 4. Augustana, Can’t Love Can’t Hurt (11,000) 5. Leona Lewis, Spirit (9,400) 6. Flight Of The Conchords (7,500) 7. Juno soundtrack (6,700) 8. Mudcrutch (6,700) 9. Mariah Carey, E=MC2 (6,500) 10. Def Leppard, Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (4,900)