"Weird" Al Yankovic's Alpocalypse enters The Billboard 200 at #9, just a beat behind Lady Gaga's Born This Way, which drops to #8 this week. The two albums are just 5,000 copies apart in sales. The key track on Yankovic's album is "Perform This Way," a parody of Gaga's #1 smash "Born This Way."
Alpocalypse is Yankovic's highest-charting album to date. Straight Outta Lynwood debuted and peaked at #10 in 2006. Yankovic has owned his little piece of the pop-music pie for a very long time. He's been around long enough that he tweaked Madonna in 1985 when she was the attention-grabbing pop-dance megastar. Yankovic reached #47 that year with "Like A Surgeon," a parody of Madonna's #1 smash "Like A Virgin."
Yankovic first "bubbled under" the Hot 100 in March 1981 with "Another One Rides The Bus," a parody of Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust." His career went into high gear in April 1984 went he reached #12 with "Eat It," a parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It." Yankovic been good about maintaining a fairly regular presence without wearing out his welcome. He just waits for an opening and seizes it.
Alpocalypse will give the Lonely Island's Turtleneck & Chain a run for its money as the year's best-selling comedy album. Turtleneck has sold 137,000 copies so far this year.
Alpocalypse is Yankovic's second album to incorporate his first name in its title. He scored in 1993 with Alapalooza.
Yankovic's 1996 album Bad Hair Day sold 1,317,000 copies that year, which remains the calendar-year sales record for a comedy album in the Nielsen SoundScan era. The key track was "Amish Paradise," a parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise."
One final note about Gaga: Though Born This Way drops from #4 to #8 in the U.S., the album returns to #1 for a third week in the U.K.
Scott debuted in 2000 with Who Is Jill Scott?, the first album in what became a Words And Sounds trilogy. She received a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist of 2000. Brad Paisley was also nominated that year. Both lost to a singer who hasn't had nearly as much staying power: Shelby Lynne. The award isn't meant to measure or predict commercial success, but staying power is seen as part of the calculation.
Expect Scott's run on top to be short-lived. Beyonce will debut at #1 next week with 4.
Bon Iver's second album, Bon Iver, debuts at #2 with first-week sales of 104K. The band's 2008 debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, re-enters the chart at #90. It has sold 343K copies. So in just one week, the new album sold nearly one-third of what its previous album has sold over time. The new album sold 68K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums this week.
Adele's 21 holds at #3 for the second week in its 18th week on The Billboard 200. It's the first album to spend its first 18 weeks inside the top three positions since Backstreet Boys' Millennium in 1999. That Y2K-era blockbuster spent its first 19 weeks in the top three. Will Adele equal the boy band's mark next week? Stay tuned.
Adele's album debuted at #1 in late February. Seven albums have followed it into the top spot. Adele's album has outlasted six of them: Lupe Fiasco's Lasers (current rank: #92), Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. (#45), Britney Spears' Femme Fatale (#43), Foo Fighters' Wasting Light (#37), Lady Gaga's Born This Way (#8) and Bad Meets Evil's Hell: The Sequel (#6). Will 21 also outlast Jill Scott's album? It seems like a safe bet.
Justin Moore's Outlaws Like Me debuts at #5 (and enters Top Country Albums at #1). Outlaws have been a key part of country culture since Wanted! The Outlaws hit #1 in 1976. That album featured Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser. (Incidentally, we have two Justins in the top five this week. Bon Iver is fronted by Justin Vernon.)
Shameless Plug: It's hard to believe, but we're mid-way through 2011. On Thursday, I'll have a pair of Chart Watch Extras in which I look at the mid-year leaders. I'll count down the top 20 songs and the top 10 albums, plus selected other albums that hold various distinctions. I think you probably know the identity of the #1 album so far this year. Here's the #1 song.
Shameless Plug II: As you know, Monday is the Fourth of July. On Friday, I'll have a Chart Watch Extra in which I look at 22 notable albums that feature the American flag on their covers. Some of the uses are highly patriotic. Others are satiric or even biting. A few are ambiguous, like this one from 1971. Check back and see if your favorites made the list.
"Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon5 featuring Christina Aguilera enters Hot Digital Songs at #2, just behind Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," which logs its second week at #1. How high will "Jagger" debut on the Hot 100? And what will be #1? You'll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. Jill Scott, The Light Of The Sun, 135,000. This new entry is Scott's third top five album and her first #1.
2. Bon Iver, Bon Iver, 104,000. This new entry is the band's first top 10 album. The EP Blood Bank debuted and peaked at #16 two years ago. "Holocene" enters Hot Digital Songs at #176.
3. Adele, 21, 101,000. The former #1 album holds at #3 for the second week in its 18th week on the chart. It's the first album to spend its first 18 weeks inside the top three since 1999. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rolling In The Deep," which holds at #5.
4. Jackie Evancho, Dream With Me, 77,000. The album drops from #2 to #4 in its second week. It has sold 234K copies in its first two weeks.
5. Justin Moore, Outlaws Like Me, 65,000. This new entry is Moore's highest-charting album to date. Justin Moore peaked at #10 two years ago. This is Moore's first album to hit #1 on Top Country Albums. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away" drops from #86 to #97. "Flyin' Down A Backroad" debuts at #178.
6. Bad Meets Evil, Hell: The Sequel, 63,000. The former #1 album drops from #1 to #6 in its second week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Lighters" (featuring Bruno Mars) drops from #8 to #21. "Fastlane" drops from #92 to #98.
7. Pitbull, Planet Pit, 55,000. This new entry is Pitbull's second top 10 album, and his highest-charting album to date. Rebelution hit #8 in 2009. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Give Me Everything) featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer, which dips from #3 to #4.
8. Lady Gaga, Born This Way, 49,000. The former #1 album drops from #4 to #8 in its fifth week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by ""The Edge Of Glory," which dips from #6 to #7.
9. "Weird" Al Yankovic, Alpocalypse, 44,000. This new entry is Yankovic's second top 10 album, and his highest-charting album to date. Straight Outta Lynwood peaked at #10 in 2006.
10. Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party, 40,000. The album drops from #5 to #10 in its 34thweek. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Dirt Road Anthem," which drops from #4 to #8.
Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Owl City's All Things Bright And Beautiful drops from #6 to #32, Barry Manilow's 15 Minutes drops from #7 to #33, Ledisi's Pieces Of Me drops from #8 to #18, Brad Paisley's This Is Country Music drops from #9 to #15, and The Book Of Mormon plummets from #10 to #75.
August Burns Red's Leveler bows at #11. The hard rock group reached #24 with Constellations in 2009...LMFAO's Sorry For Party Rocking bows at #12. Party Rock hit #33 in 2009. "Party Rock Anthem" (featuring Lauren Bennett & GoonRock) is heading into its third week in the top three on the Hot 100. I don't quite see what they have to be "sorry" about.
Adele's 2008 album 19 jumps from #27 to #16. The album moves back up to #1 on Top Catalog Albums. It's the album's 16th week on top on this chart out of the past 19. It has fallen only to albums by Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Journey.
Matt Nathanson's Modern Love bows at #17. Some Mad Hope hit #60 in 2007.
The Zac Brown Band's You Get What You Give dips from #15 to #22 in its 40th week. The album tops the 1 million mark in sales this week. The band's debut album, The Foundation, is up to 2,652,000 (not counting 52K for an exclusive Cracker Barrel edition.)...While I'm at it, Sugarland's The Incredible Machine topped the 1 million mark two weeks ago. It's the duo's fourth million-selling album.
Lemonade Mouth drops from #34 to #44 in its 11th week. It's #1 on Top Soundtrack Albums for the seventh week...Transformers: Dark Of The Moon drops from #81 to #104 in its second week. It's the top-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released film for the second week. The movie opens today. Let's see if that pumps some life into the album.
Foo Fighters' Back & Forth is #1 on Top Music Videos for the second straight week.
Coming Attractions: Beyonce's 4 is expected to debut at #1 next week, with a first-week total around 290K. Four other albums are also eyeing top 10 debuts: Big Sean's Finally Famous: The Album, Selena Gomez & the Scene's When The Sun Goes Down, David Cook's This Loud Morning and Scotty McCreery's American Idol Season 10 Highlights. Also due: Limp Bizkit's Gold Cobra, Taking Back Sunday's Taking Back Sunday, Curren$y's Weekend At Burnie's, Rave On Buddy Holly, Luis Fonsi's Tierra Firme and Dolly Parton's Better Day.