The album sold 65,000 copies, about 4,000 more than last week's #1, Alicia Keys' As I Am. Any uptick is good news, but it's still the third lowest weekly sales total for a #1 album since Nielsen SoundScan began monitoring U.S. sales in 1991. The all-time bottom-dweller is the aforementioned Dreamgirls soundtrack, which rang the bell with sales of 60,000 a year ago.
Movie soundtracks were big business in the '90s. Between 1992 and 1998, 16 soundtracks, including such monsters as The Bodyguard and Titanic, hit #1. But since 1998, only six have made it to the top. But what the #1 soundtracks of this decade lack in numbers, they make up for in variety. The alternative-leaning Juno and the adaptation of Broadway's Dreamgirls were preceded at #1 by the bluegrass collection O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Eminem-dominated rap smash 8 Mile, the R&B-oriented Bad Boys II and Jack Johnson's kid-friendly Sing-A-Longs And Lullabies From The Film Curious George.
Juno is the third movie soundtrack with an alternative music bent to reach #1. It follows The Crow (1994), which featured tracks by The Cure, Violent Femmes and Jesus & Mary Chain, and City Of Angels (1998), which spawned the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" and Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited."
"Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain is #1 on Hot Digital Tracks for the ninth week, the longest that any title has held the top spot since mid 2004, when the configuration started to take off. "Low" has registered 2,321,000 paid downloads, which puts it at #5 on the all-time list. The leader, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em's "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," is one week away from topping the 3 million mark. Its current tally is 2,984,000. That smash is followed by Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" (2,603,000), "Apologize" by Timbaland featuring OneRepublic (2,497,000), Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" (2,412,000), and the still-climbing "Low."
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. Soundtrack, Juno, 65,000. Juno is the first soundtrack from an Oscar finalist for Best Picture to reach #1 since Titanic. (Hey, around here, we leave no factoid unturned.) "Anyone Else But You" by the film's stars, Michael Cera and (Oscar-nominated) Ellen Page is #58 on Hot Digital Tracks.
3. Natasha Bedingfield, Pocketful Of Sunshine, 50,000. This is an adaptation of Bedingfield's sophomore album in Europe, N.B., with seven tracks from that release replaced by new offerings. Bedingfield's 2005 debut, Unwritten, peaked at #26 and spawned a pair of top 20 hits, "These Words" and the title track, which went top five.
5. Radiohead, In Rainbows, 35,000. After four full weeks in release, Radiohead's latest album has still not sold what its previous album did in its opening week. The cumulative tally for In Rainbows is 281,000. The opening-week tally for Hail To The Thief was 300,000.
6. Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift, 35,000. Swift is #6 in her 66th week on the chart. (No satanic overtones intended.) Swift is still riding high on Hot Digital Tracks with "Teardrops On My Guitar" at #20 and "Our Song" at #21. Her remake of "Umbrella" by Rihanna with Jay-Z (not on the album) slips to #117.
8. Keyshia Cole, Just Like You, 31,000. Cole's album is back in the top 10 for the first time since October, when she was riding high with the smash "Let It Go." "I Remember" is up to #110 in its second week on Hot Digital Tracks.
9. Garth Brooks, The Ultimate Hits, 30,000. Brooks returns to the top 10 following the Jan. 25 broadcast of Live In L.A.! The one-hour CBS special aired live from Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was one of five shows that Brooks played at the venue in two days.
Three albums fall out of the top 10. Now 26 dips one notch to #11, John Legend's Live In Philadelphia, a Target exclusive, drops from #7 to #31 and Raheem DeVaughn's Love Behind The Melody plunges from #5 to #32. Now 26 logged 10 weeks in the top 10. The latter two albums each had just one.
Dumb Item Of The Week: Lesley Gore had a hit in 1965 titled "Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows." Thanks to current albums by Natasha Bedingfield and Radiohead, we have "Sunshine" and "Rainbows" represented in the top five. Anybody up for titling their next album Lollipops? No takers? Yeah, I thought that might be a hard sell.
Grammy Preview: The 50th annual Grammy Awards are less than two weeks away. I will soon fearlessly forecast the winners in the "And The Winner Is…" file, on this very same site. Here's a preview. Expect a good night for Kanye West and Amy Winehouse.
- Natasha Bedingfield
- Hot Digital Tracks