Chart Watch

Week Ending April 10, 2011. Albums: Adele Is Everywhere

Chart Watch

Adele's 21 returns to #1 on The Billboard 200 for a fourth week. That's the longest run at #1 since Taylor Swift's Speak Now topped the chart for six weeks starting in October. 21 also becomes the first album to sell 1 million copies in the U.S. this year. The album has sold 1,030,000 copies in its first seven weeks. That's slightly more than Adele's previous album, 19, has sold in its entire run. That album (which is #1 on the Catalog Albums chart for the seventh week) has sold 1,015,000 copies since its release in June 2008.

21 is performing even more impressively in the U.K., where it holds at #1 for the 11th week. This puts it in a tie with Shania Twain's Come On Over and Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill as the longest-running #1 album by a female solo artist in the 55-year history of the U.K. album chart.

An all-female group and a duo with a female lead singer had even longer runs at #1 in the U.K. than these three female solo artists. The Spice Girls' Spice logged 15 weeks at #1 in 1997. Carpenters' The Singles 1969-1973, featuring the unforgettable vocals of the late Karen Carpenter, amassed 17 weeks at #1 in 1974. Will Adele stay on top long enough to match either or both of these marks? Place your bets.

We had a longer wait for the year's first million-selling album than we did last year. Lady Antebellum's Need You Now became the first million-seller of 2010 in the week ending Feb. 21. But we're a little ahead of the pace from two years ago. Taylor Swift's Fearless became the first million-seller of 2009 in the week ending April 26.

Britney Spears' Femme Fatale dips from #1 to #2 in its second week. Only one of Spears' six #1 albums has topped The Billboard 200 for more than one week. Her 1999  debut, ...Baby One More Time,  logged six weeks on top.

Hollywood Undead's sophomore album, American Tragedy, debuts at #4. The shock-rock group's 2008 album Swan Songs was a sleeper hit. It peaked at #22, but it remained on the chart for more than a year. It has sold 781,000 copies.

Songs For Japan, which was digital-only in its first two weeks, was belatedly released on CD this week, but that isn't what kept it in the top 10 for the third week in a row. Digital sales were still way out front. The album sold 51K copies this week, with digital accounting for nearly 47K of that total.

I thought Songs For Japan would do better than it has. The album has sold 190K copies in its first three weeks, compared to 343K for Hope For Haiti Now at the same point. Maybe the sheer novelty (or newsworthiness) of a multitude of stars in one place has worn off after so many benefit albums. Or maybe a TV concert special is a requirement if you want to make a big impact with a collection like this.

Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More rebounds from #11 to #7 in its 55th week on the chart. It's the second time this year that a year-old album has made the top 10. Lady Antebellum's Need You Now returned to the top 10 in its 56th and 57th weeks in February (after the trio's Grammy sweep).

Bryan Adams' Reckless topped The Billboard 200 for two weeks in 1985. Jason Aldean's Relentless was #1 on Top Country Albums for one week in 2007. Put them together and what do you have? Reckless & Relentless, the title of the new album by Asking Alexandria, which debuts at #10. (While the title is a little generic, don't blame Asking Alexandria. We ran out of album titles awhile back.)

"E.T." by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West tops Hot Digital Songs for the fifth week. It will probably head the Hot 100 for the third week. But that's just half of what is a remarkable week for Perry. What's the other half? You'll find out when we post Chart Watch: Songs later today.

Shameless Plug: Most of the coverage of the Recording Academy's revamp of its Grammy Awards process has focused on sheer numbers: How the academy dropped or consolidated dozens of categories to reduce the total number of awards from a bloated 109 this year to a flab-free 78 next year. Obscured in the coverage is the academy's bold, even radical, decision to do away with separate categories for male and female performances in pop, R&B and country. Every single category on the Grammy ballot next year will be open to both genders. This runs counter to how most other major awards shows operate. I explore this issue in an "And The Winner Is" blog which went live yesterday. If you missed it, here's a link.

Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.


1. Adele, 21, 88,000. The album returns to #1 for a fourth week. This is its seventh week in the top five. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rolling In The Deep," which jumps from #9 to #8.

2. Britney Spears, Femme Fatale, 75,000. The former #1 album slips to #2 in its second week on the chart. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Till The World Ends," which jumps from #15 to #5.

3. Radiohead, King Of Limbs, 67,000. The album jumps from #6 to #3 in its second week on the chart, thanks to sales from a belatedly shipped deluxe edition. The album has sold 137K copies in its first two weeks.

4. Hollywood Undead, American Tragedy, 66,000. This new entry is the group's first top 10 album. Its 2008 album Swan Songs peaked at #22. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Comin' In Hot" debuts at #160. "Hear Me Now" bows at #163.

5. Wiz Khalifa, Rolling Papers, 59,000. The album drops from #2 to #5 in its second week on the chart. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Roll Up," which jumps from #21 to #19.

6. Chris Brown, F.A.M.E., 51,000. The former #1 album drops from #4 to #6 in its third week on the chart. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Look At Me Now" (featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes), which dips from #5 to  #6.

7. Various Artists, Songs For Japan, 51,000. The album drops from #5 to #7 in its third week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time.

8. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More, 34,000. The album rebounds from #11 to #8 in its 55th week on the chart. This is its 13th week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "The Cave" drops from #51 to #57. "Little Lion Man" drops from #62 to #65.

9. Asking Alexandria, Reckless & Relentless, 31,000. This new entry is the "metalcore" band's sophomore album. Its 2009 album, Stand Up And Scream, has sold 93K copies. (The new album sold one-third of that total in one week.)

10. Kirk Franklin, Hello Fear, 31,000. The album dips from #9 to #10 in its third week on the chart. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. The album has sold 149K copies in its first three weeks.


Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Jennifer Hudson's I Remember Me drops from #7 to #11, Snoop Dogg's Doggumentary dives from #8 to #35, and Mary Mary's Something Big drops from #10 to 22.

Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party rebounds from #23 to #12 in the wake of the Academy of Country Music Awards broadcast. It's #1 on Top Country Albums for the fifth week. This is the longest that a male solo artist has topped the country chart since Toby Keith's Honky Tonk University was out front for seven weeks from May to July 2005. My Kinda Party topped 1 million in sales last week. It's Aldean's third million-selling album. Jason Aldean has sold 1,406,000 copies since its release in 2005. Wide Open has sold 1,400,000 since its release in 2009. Only the aforementioned Relentless fell short. It has sold 823K since its release in 2007.

Robbie Robertson's How To Become Clairvoyant debuts at #13. This is the rock veteran's highest-charting solo album, and his highest-charter overall since The Basement Tapes, a collaboration between Bob Dylan and The Band, made the top 10 in the summer of 1975. The Band first charted in August 1968. The group had six top 10 albums in the 1970s, counting three collaborations with Dylan. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy R3CONF1GUR3D debuts at #16. The album consists of remixed selections from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack, which has sold 382K copies since its release in early December. That soundtrack, which debuted at #10 and later peaked at #4, rebounds from #167 to #36 this week. (If the sales of these two albums had been combined, the title would have placed #8 this week.)

Tron: Legacy is the top-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the seventh week. Glee: The Music, Season Two: Volume 5 is the #1 soundtrack overall for the fourth week.

Jim Jones' Capo debuts at #20. It's his sixth solo album to make the top 20...Mint Condition's 7 debuts at #33. It's the highest-charting album to date for the R&B group, which first charted in 1992.

Rush's Moving Pictures re-enters the chart at #51 in the wake of the release of a Deluxe Edition CD/DVD. The original album reached #3 in March 1981. It was the group's highest-charting album to that point. It remained its highest-charting album until Counterparts debuted at #2 in October 1993.

Pop Quiz: Elton John last week accomplished something that only three other acts (the Beatles, Eagles and Michael Jackson) have achieved in the last 20 years. What did he do? Hint: It has to do with greatest hits albums. Answer below.

Hop was #1 at the box-office for the second weekend in a row. It's the first movie to log two weeks at #1 since Little Fockers reigned over the Christmas/New Year's holiday.

Billy Joel's Live At Shea Stadium returns to #1 on Top Music Videos for the second time in its five-week run.

Nickelback's Dark Horse topped the 3 million mark in U.S. in January. It's the band's fourth new release in a row to reach that plateau, following Silver Side Up (5,528,000), The Long Road (3,591,000) and All The Right Reasons (7,472,000). Critics ignore Nickelback. They've never won a Grammy. But they sure do sell records.

Quiz Answer: Elton John last week became only the fourth artist in the past 20 years to reach #1 on Billboard's Top Catalog Albums chart with two different greatest hits albums. He scored last week with his 2007 compilation Rocket Man: Number Ones. He had previously headed the list with his 1974 blockbuster Greatest Hits.

The Beatles topped the catalog chart with their 1973 album The Beatles/1967-1970 and their 2000 compilation 1. Eagles led the list with their 1976 compilation Eagles/Their Greatest Hits: 1971-1975 and their 2003 release The Very Best Of. Michael Jackson scored with his 2003 album Number Ones and his 2005 album The Essential Michael Jackson.

Elton is unique in that both of his aforementioned greatest hits albums are single-disk compilations. In these three other cases, one is a single-disk and one is a double-disk.

So how do you get to #1 on the catalog chart with two different greatest hits albums? As you can see, it helps to be among the biggest recording acts of all time. (It's like the old joke, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" The punch line: "Practice.")

Coming Attractions: Foo Fighters' Wasting Light is expected to debut at #1 next week, with sales in the 220K range. Four other albums are also expected to crack the top 10: Alison Krauss & Union Station's Paper Airplane, Paul Simon's So Beautiful Or So WhatMana's Drama y Luz and Jessie J's Who You Are. Also due: Atmosphere's The Family Sign, TV on the Radio's Nine Types Of Light, the Lemonade Mouth soundtrack and k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang's Sing It Loud.

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