Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West enters The Billboard 200 at #1. The album sold 436K copies, which is the second biggest opening of the year. It trails only Lady Gaga's Born This Way, which started in May with sales of 1,108,000.
This is the fifth #1 album for West; the 12th for Jay-Z, which is a total topped by only one act in the history of Billboard's weekly album chart. The Beatles have amassed 19 #1 albums. It's increasingly conceivable that Jay-Z will one day top the Fab Four.
Jay-Z previously topped The Billboard 200 in collaborations with R. Kelly (Unfinished Business) and Linkin Park (Collision Course). Jay-Z is the first artist to reach #1 with three different collabo partners. The fact that he has topped the chart in collaborations with an R&B star, a rock band and rap icon, speaks to his adaptability.
This was the biggest opening for a rap album since West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy bowed in November with 496K. (Sales are much stronger in the last six weeks of the year than they are in August. This is the best sales showing for an album in August since Jonas Brothers' A Little Bit Longer bowed in August 2008 with sales of 525K. That was the moment that JoBros were at the pinnacle of their teen-dream popularity.)
Watch The Throne sold 321,000 digital copies, which is the second biggest one-week sales tally in digital history. Born This Way sold 662K copies in its first week in May. This is the biggest one-week digital tally ever for a rap album. The old record was held by Eminem's Recovery, which sold 255K digital copies in its first week in June 2010.
Nearly 290K of those 321K digital copies were sold through iTunes, which had a four-day exclusive on the album from Aug. 8 to 11, before it was made available at all digital and physical retailers on Aug. 12. That constituted a new one-week sales record at iTunes. The old record was held by Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, which sold 282K through iTunes in its first week in June 2008. (That represented the lion's share of the album's 288K total digital sales that week.)
Jay-Z and West have teamed for such hit songs as "Swagga Like Us," "Run This Town" and "Monster," but this marks their first album-length collaboration. Eight songs from the album are listed on this week's Hot Digital Songs chart. "Otis," which features and salutes the late Otis Redding, has sold 275K copies to date.
Jay-Z first hit The Billboard 200 with Reasonable Doubt in July 1996. West broke through with The College Dropout in February 2004.
Watch The Throne also got off to a fast start in the U.K., where it debuts at #3.
Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines debuts at #2. (Kind of a cutesy album title.) It's the country star's highest-charting album to date. It enters Top Country Albums at #1. It's Bryan's first #1 on that chart. Also this week, "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" becomes Bryan's first song to top 1 million in digital sales.
Adele's 21 drops from #1 to #4, ending a 24-week streak in the top three. Even so, it's the first album to spend its first 25 weeks in the top five since Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard soundtrack, which spent its first 30 weeks in the top five in 1992-1993.
You know the story of the tortoise and the hare. As of this week, Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party has sold more copies than Lady Gaga's Born This Way. Aldean's album has sold 1,696,000 copies in 41 weeks, compared to 1,691,000 for Gaga's album in 12 weeks. OK, Aldean has been out more than three times as long. And with the MTV Music Awards coming up on Aug. 28 and Gaga's new song "You And I" set to take off, Gaga will probably get a second wind. Still, it's remarkable that Aldean has pulled ahead of such a high-profile album.
We have all-star collaborations at #1 on both The Billboard 200 and Hot Digital Songs. "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon5 featuring Christina Aguilera jumps from #3 to #1 in its eighth week on the digital song survey. Will it crack the top five on the Hot 100? And will Katy Perry finally dislodge LMFAO from the #1 spot? It will be very close (but I think she will). You'll find out when we post Chart Watch: Songs later today.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch The Throne, 436,000. This new entry is the 12th #1 album for Jay-Z; the fifth for West. Eight songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Who Gon Stop Me," which debuts at #19.
2. Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines, 145,000. This new entry is Bryan's second top 10 album, following Doin' My Thing (#6 in 2009). It's his first #1 on Top Country Albums. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)," which jumps from #28 to #27.
4. Adele, 21, 73,000. The former #1 album drops from #1 to #4 in its 25th week. It has been in the top five the entire time. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rolling In The Deep," which drops from #12 to #15.
6. Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party, 36,000. The album holds at #6 in its 41st week. This is its 19th week in the top 10. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Dirt Road Anthem," which drops from #13 to #16.
7. Beyonce, 4, 27,000. The former #1 album jumps from #8 to #7 in its seventh week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Best Thing I Never Had" drops from #22 to #28. "Run The World (Girls)" drops from #144 to #172.
8. Ace Hood, Blood, Sweat + Tears, 26,000. This new entry is the rapper's first top 10 album. He had climbed as high as #23 with 2009's Ruthless). Three songs from the deluxe edition of the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Hustle Hard," which re-enters at #152.
9. Jackie Evancho, Dream With Me, 26,000. The album rebounds from #22 to #9 in its ninth week, thanks to airings of her PBS concert special. This is its fifth week in the top 10. The album has sold 413K copies. Not bad for an 11-year old.
Slow Grind, a TV-advertised R&B compilation, debuted at #9 last week with sales of nearly 32K. This week, it falls completely off the chart. It sold fewer than 3K copies this week, too few to make The Billboard 200. Sales plummeted by 92%. The album's high placement last week was the result of pent-up orders.
Four other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Trace Adkins' Proud To Be Here drops from #3 to #20, Mat Kearney's Young Love dives from #4 to #30, Victorious: Music From The Hit TV Show drops from #5 to #12, and Blake Shelton's Red River Blue drops from #10 to #14. (Despite the drop, Victorious is the #1 soundtrack for the second straight week.)
Trivium's In Waves debuts at #13. This is the highest-charting album for the hard rock band, which reached #23 in 2008 with Shogun.
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie bows at #16. This breaks a string of 11 Glee albums or EPs to debut in the top 10. The movie also opened to disappointing business. It ranked #11 at the box-office, according to www.boxofficemojo.com. Is Glee cooling? It looks that way. To be fair, movie soundtrack sales are way off. This is the highest ranking for a soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie since Country Strong ranked #14 in the third week of in January.
Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame's 1017 Bricksquad Presents...Ferrari Boyz debuts at #21. That's a disappointing debut, given that both acts made the top 10 last time out. Gucci Mane debuted at #4 in October with Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted. Waka Flocka Flame bowed at #6 the following week with Flockaveli.
Until this week, Royce Da 5'9" had never cracked the top half of The Billboard 200 on his own. The success of Bad Meets Evil's Hell: The Sequel, his chart-topping collabo with Eminem, has boosted his profile. His new solo album, Success Is Certain, bows at #25. The title of the new album plays off the title of his 2004 album Death Is Certain.
Amy Winehouse's Back To Black drops from #16 to #32. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the fourth straight week. The album holds at #1 in the U.K. for the third straight week. The album has now logged as many weeks at #1 in Winehouse's home country since her death as it did during her lifetime. The album was #1 for two weeks in 2007 and one week in 2008.
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was #1 at the box-office for the second weekend in a row. The soundtrack, featuring a score by Patrick Doyle, was just released.
Deadmau5's Live At Earl's Court jumps to #1 on Top Music Videos. The release of the video has boosted the producer/artist's current album, 4X4=12, which rebounds from #162 to #94 in its 33rd week on The Billboard 200. The album debuted and peaked at #47 in December. It has sold 189K copies to date. Deadmau5's real name is Joel Thomas Zimmerman.
Coming Attractions: Eli Young Band's fourth album, Life At Best, is expected to be next week's top new entry, with sales in the 30K range. Blue October's Any Man In America will follow close behind, with sales of about 25K. Also due: Radio Disney Jams: 15th Birthday Edition.