Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto enters The Billboard 200 at #1, with first-week sales of 447,000 copies. This is the third biggest sales week of 2011, following Lady Gaga's Born This Way (1,108,000) and Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV (964,000). It's the biggest sales week for a rock album since U2's No Line On The Horizon started with sales of 484,000 in March 2009.
Coldplay's album sold 302,000 digital copies, which represents the biggest one-week total for a rock album in digital history. Coldplay held the old record with its 2008 album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, which sold 288K digital copies in its first week. The only albums to sell more digital copies in one week are Lady Gaga's discount-boosted Born This Way (662K), Jay-Z/Kanye West's Watch The Throne (321K) and Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV (362K).
Mylo Xyloto is Coldplay's third studio album in a row to debut at #1. It follows X&Y and Viva La Vida... Coldplay is the first British act to top The Billboard 200 with three or more consecutive studio albums since the Rolling Stones fired off an impressive eight in a row from 1971's Sticky Fingers to 1981's Tattoo You. (That dramatizes both how consistent they were and how prolific acts used to be.)
Four other British bands have had three or more consecutive #1 studio albums since The Billboard 200 was introduced in 1956. The Beatles hit #1 with seven straight studio albums from 1965's Beatles' '65 to 1969's Abbey Road. Elton John hit #1 with six straight studio albums from 1972's Honky Chateau to 1975's Rock Of The Westies. Paul McCartney & Wings scored with four straight studio albums from 1973's Red Rose Speedway to 1976's Wings At The Speed Of Sound. Led Zeppelin also scored with four straight albums from 1973's Houses Of The Holy to 1979's In Through The Out Door.
The Fine Print: The Beatles followed Abbey Road with another #1 album, Let It Be, which I'm classifying as a soundtrack rather than a regular studio album.
"Paradise," which Coldplay wrote with Brian Eno, is likely to hit the top 10 on the Hot 100 before the month is out. The band's two previous studio albums also spawned top 10 hits, "Speed Of Sound" and "Viva La Vida," respectively.
Mylo Xyloto also enters the U.K. chart at #1 this week. All five of Coldplay's studio albums have hit #1 in the U.K.
Kelly Clarkson's Stronger debuts at #2. It's her fifth consecutive album to reach the top three. Clarkson is the first American Idol contestant to amass five top 10 albums. Clay Aiken is in second place with four. While's Clarkson's Idol connection is a handy media hook, it has been more than nine years since she was crowned the show's first winner. The title was good for a year or two of high visibility. The fact that Clarkson is still a recording star today is a testament to her talent and personality.
Michael Buble's Christmas debuts at #3, the best showing for a Christmas album since Susan Boyle's The Gift topped the chart for four weeks last year. This is Buble's first full-length Christmas album. His 2003 EP Let It Snow! has sold 1,031,000 copies.
Buble's album and Justin Bieber's Under The Mistletoe (which will chart next week) are likely to be the year's best-selling holiday albums. Whichever comes out on top (place your bets), expect this to be the third time in Nielsen SoundScan history that the year's top-selling holiday album is by a Canadian artist. Celine Dion's These Are Special Times was the top-seller for 1998. Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong was on top for 2006.
Toby Keith's Clancy's Tavern debuts at #5. It's the country star's 12th top 10 album. It's his ninth studio album in a row to crack the top five. It's his 10th album to reach #1 on Top Country Albums.
Tom Waits' Bad As Me debuts at #6, becoming the first top 10 (or even top 20) album of Waits' 36-year chart career. This has been a good year for Waits, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March. Waits first charted in November 1975 with the double-disk live album Nighthawks At The Diner. He first cracked the top 40 in May 1999 with Mule Variations, which went on to win a Grammy as Best Contemporary Folk Album. Waits' highest-charting album before this was Real Gone, which hit #28 in October 2004.
"We Found Love" by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris jumps to #1 on the Hot 100 and holds at #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the second week. You can read all about it when we post Chart Watch Songs later today.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto, 447,000. This new entry is the band's fourth top five album; its third full-length album in a row to reach #1. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Princess Of China" (featuring Rihanna), which debuts at #8.
2. Kelly Clarkson, Stronger, 163,000. This new entry is Clarkson's fifth consecutive album to reach the top three. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Mr. Know It All" jumps from #18 to #9. "What Doesn't Kiss You (Stronger)" debuts at #31.
4. Adele, 21, 107,000. The former #1 album drops to #4 in its 36th week. It has never ranked lower than #4. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Someone Like You," which holds at #3 for the second week.
5. Toby Keith, Clancy's Tavern, 69,000. This new entry is Keith's 12th top 10 album. It's #1 on Top Country Albums. "Red Solo Cup," a tribute to the ubiquitious beverage container, enters Hot Digital Songs at #18.
8. Lady Antebellum, Own The Night, 31,000. The former #1 album dips from #7 to #8 in its seventh week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Just A Kiss" drops from #36 to #44. "We Owned The Night" dips from #69 to #70.
9. Tony Bennett, Duets II, 31,000. The former #1 album drops from #5 to #9 in its sixth week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. The album has sold 465K copies, a total topped by only 31 albums so far this year.
Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Evanescence's Evanescence drops from #4 to #13, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV drops from #6 to #11, Joe's The Good The Bad The Sexy dives from #8 to #35, Five Finger Death Punch's American Capitalist drops from #9 to #22 and Lauren Alaina's Wildflower drops from #10 to #24.
She & Him's A Very She & Him Christmas bows at #12. The title is a play on the A Very Special Christmas franchise, which kicked off in 1987. She & Him consists of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. Deschanel, who stars in the new sitcom New Girl, is separating from husband Ben Gibbard, the front-man for Death Cab for Cutie.
Vince Gill's Guitar Slinger debuts at #14, becoming his eighth top 20 album. It's Gill's first studio album in nearly five years, but there's a reason for that. His last release, These Days, was a four-disk set. (So his fans had the equivalent of a new album every 15 months.) Gill first cracked The Billboard 200 in June 1979 as a member of the pop/rock group Pure Prairie League...Kaskade's Fire & Ice bows at #17. It's the first top 20 album for the DJ/producer. His previous highest-charting album was Dynasty, which hit #104 in 2010.
Watch The Throne, which drops from #16 to #19 in its 12th week, tops the 1 million mark in sales this week. It's just the sixth album to reach that threshold so far this year. Two of the six million-sellers of 2011 are rap, with this album joined by Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV. Two others (Adele, Lady Gaga) are pop. One each are country (Jason Aldean) and folk/rock (Mumford & Sons)...Boyz II Men's 10th album, Twenty, bows at #20.
The Goat Rodeo Sessions, a collaboration by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, bows at #23. It's Yo-Ya Ma's second highest-charting album to date. His holiday album, Songs Of Joy & Peace, reached #20 in 2008. The classical cellist, who turned 56 last month, will receive a Kennedy Center Honor in December. (In case you're wondering, "Goat Rodeo" is slang for "a chaotic situation.")
The soundtrack to the reboot of Footloose drops from #14 to #29. It's the #1 soundtrack for the third straight week. Between this and Halloween-triggered revivals of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters," it's like 1984 all over again.
Adele's 2008 album 19 drops from #20 to #30. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 26th week.
Pearl Jam's Twenty enters Top Music Videos at #1. It sold 19K copies this week, which ties AC/DC's Live At River Plate for the biggest one-week sales total of 2011. Twenty is Pearl Jam's third #1 music video. Touring Band 2000 spent five weeks on top in 2001. Immagine In Cornice/Picture 1 had one week on top in 2007.
Puss In Boots was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. The soundtrack is due Nov. 15. It will feature Henry Jackman's score and two vocal tracks by Rodrigo y Gabriela, "Diablo Rojo" and "Hanuman."
Coming Attractions: Justin Bieber's Under The Mistletoe is expected to debut at #1 next week, with sales in the 210K range. Wale's Ambition is set to debut at a surprisingly strong #2, with sales in the 170K range. Four other albums are eying top 10 debuts: Susan Boyle's Someone To Watch Over Me, Miranda Lambert's Four The Record, Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials and Tyrese's Open Invitation. Also due: Megadeth's Thirt3en, Lou Reed & Metallica's Lulu, , Carole King's A Holiday Carole and U2's Achtung Baby deluxe anniversary CD.