Lady Gaga, whose long-running hit The Fame assumed the #10 slot. (On the initial chart, it had dropped from #6 to #11.) This is the 47th week in the top 10 for The Fame, which is closing in on Shania Twain's Come On Over as the album that has logged the most weeks in the top 10 without reaching #1. (Details below.)
The change came too late for the chart to be corrected in the print edition of Billboard magazine. But the magazine has corrected the chart on its website, http://www.billboard.biz/. I also updated my regular Chart Watch column to reflect the change. Here's a link.
It's not unusual for Nielsen/SoundScan to re-run (they use the term "re-process") the charts after they receive late-arriving sales reports or uncover a computer coding glitch. But it is unusual for the changes to push an album out of the top 10.
It could be worse, though. Three times since Billboard began using Nielsen/SoundScan sales data in May 1991, late changes changed the outcome at #1.The Game's LAX was initially declared the #1 album by a narrow margin over Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone. Both albums were shown with sales of 238,000 copies (when rounded off to the nearest thousand). Billboard's Keith Caulfield reported that it was the closest race between the #1 and #2 albums since the magazine began using Nielsen SoundScan sales data. He calculated the margin between the two albums at .005%.
But about 12 hours after the initial result was posted, Nielsen/SoundScan reran the numbers. In the revised rankings, All Hope Is Gone came out on top, with sales of 240,000 copies. LAX debuted at #2 with sales of 238,000.Alicia Keys' Songs In A Minor was originally slated to return to #1 in its 11th chart week. A late change gave the top spot to System Of A Down's Toxicity, a new entry that week. In the revised rankings, Toxicity was shown with sales of 222,000, compared to 192,000 for Songs In A Minor. Usher's Confessions was originally slated to return to #1 in its 29th chart week. A late change gave the nod to George Strait's debuting 50 Number Ones. In the revised rankings, Confessions was shown with sales of 343,000, compared to 336,000 for 50 Number Ones.
As someone who cares about the accuracy and reliability of the charts, I'm impressed that Nielsen/SoundScan cares enough to go to these lengths to get it right. Besides, Nielsen/SoundScan has been tracking sales for Billboard for a little more than 19 years. That's close to 1,000 weekly album charts. So for late changes to affect the outcome of the race for #1 only three times is actually very good.Shania Twain's Come On Over is the current leader with 53 weeks. It's followed by Wilson Phillips' eponymous debut album (52 weeks), Iron Butterfly's late '60s hard rock staple In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (49 weeks) and The Fame (47 weeks).
And while we're at it, here are Jewel's regular studio albums and their peak positions on The Billboard 200: Pieces Of You (#4), Spirit (#3), This Way (#9), 0304 (#2), Goodbye Alice In Wonderland (#8), Perfectly Clear (#8), Sweet And Wild (#11).
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