Chart Watch

Week Ending Aug. 1, 2010: The Downloading Of Eminem

Chart Watch

Eminem sets two key digital records this week. "Love The Way You Lie," his smash collabo with Rihanna, becomes the first song in digital history to top 300,000 in weekly sales five times. It surpasses two hits that each topped that sales level four times: Flo Rida's "Right Round" and "California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg. (Does it say something that all three of these songs have a strong hip-hop component? You bet.)

Also, Em's blockbuster Recovery reaches the 500,000 mark in digital sales in just its sixth week. That's faster than any previous album. Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, the album that made the previous fastest march to 500K in digital sales, took nine weeks to get there.

(For the record, the four other albums to top 500K in digital sales all took far longer to reach this threshold. The Twilight soundtrack took 42 weeks. Taylor Swift's Fearless took 52 weeks. Lady Gaga's The Fame and Kings Of Leon's Only By The Night each took 62 weeks.)

Recovery sold 34,000 digital copies this week. Its digital total after six weeks stands at 520,000.

"Love The Way You Lie" sold 300K copies this week, bringing its six-week total to 1,920,000. It has been #1 on Hot Digital Songs for all six of those weeks. It's the first song to log six weeks at #1 since Ke$ha's "TiK ToK." It's the first song to log six consecutive weeks at #1 since the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," which had nine straight weeks on top from June to August 2009.

Recovery missed holding on to the top spot on The Billboard 200 by about 4,000 copies. It was edged out by Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare. This was the closest race for #1 since Glee: The Music, Volume 3: Showstoppers edged Stone Temple Pilots by about 1,000 copies in May. Recovery will be in another tight race for #1 next week. Its strongest rival for the top spot will be Arcade Fire's new The Suburbs.

But Recovery held on to the top spot in the U.K. for a fifth week. This matches the five weeks it held at #1 in the U.S. Recovery is the first album to spend five or more weeks at #1 in both countries since Eminem's 2002 album The Eminem Show. (As I reported last week, two subsequent albums, Norah Jones' Come Away With Me and Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream, have had four or more weeks at #1 in both countries, but not five or more weeks.)

Nightmare is the second album by a hard rock band to reach #1 so far this year, following Godsmack's The Oracle. Nightmare sold 163,000 copies in its first week. That's far more than the band's last album, Avenged Sevenfold, which sold 94K in its first week in November 2007. It debuted (and peaked) at #4.

Nightmare is Avenged Sevenfold's fifth album; its first since the death of the its longtime drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan, in December.

Nightmare is also #1 on Top Digital Albums. The album's sales tally includes 54K digital copies.

Now, here's some bad news: For the first time in Nielsen/SoundScan history (which dates to 1991), five albums in the top 10 sold fewer than 30,000 copies. The old record was four. Until September 2007, no album in N/SS history had ever made the top 10 with weekly sales below 30K.

Shameless Plug I: Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" this week becomes the 20th song to reach the 4 million mark in paid downloads. (It's only the second country song to reach this milestone, following Taylor Swift's "Love Story.") On Friday, by popular demand, I'll have a Chart Watch Extra in which I count down the 20 songs in digital history. Will it be laced with factoids? Of course it will.

Here's another sign that Lady A and Swift are the two hottest acts in country music. Need You Now logs its 26th week at #1 on Top Country Albums, the longest run since Swift's Fearless had 35 weeks on top. What album finally ended Fearless' run at #1? Need You Now.

Shameless Plug II: This week is the 40th anniversary of Elton John landing his first Hot 100 hit, "Border Song." On Monday, I'll have a Chart Watch Extra in which I look at 40 key milestones in Elton's career. I had a lot fun putting this together. This is a rare Monday blog. Let's see: How can I help you remember that? Just remember "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting," but Monday's the day for that Chart Watch Extra on Elton.

"OMG" by Usher featuring tops the 3 million mark in paid downloads this week. It's Usher's first 3-million digital seller. It's the fourth for (following three Black Eyed Peas hits). (Usher's key songs from 2004's Confessions would probably be at Peas sales levels if they came out today. The digital scene was just heating up in 2004. As it is, "Yeah!" (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris), the biggest hit from Confessions, has sold 2,746,000 copies.)

Another current collabo, "Airplanes" by B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams, tops the 3 million mark in paid downloads this week. It's the first 3 million seller for both artists. B.o.B's previous hit, "Nothin' On You" (featuring Bruno Mars) is up to 2,414,000. "Misery Business," Williams' biggest hit with her band Paramore, has sold 1,945,000.

I have a sure-fire formula for a pop smash: Eminem and Katy Perry featuring Pitbull. Do I have a sixth sense? No. All three of those artists have two songs in the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs this week. Eminem featuring Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie" holds at #1 for the sixth week (300K). Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" holds at #2 for the third week (219K), Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull's "I Like It" moves up from #4 to #3 (194K), Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" vaults from #11 to #4 (183K), Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg's "California Gurls" drops from #3 to #5 (167K), B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams' "Airplanes" dips from #5 to #6 (143K), Usher featuring Pitbull's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" jumps from #12 to #7 (135K), Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me" drops from #6 to #8 (125K), Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo" dips from #8 to #9 (122K) and Eminem's "Not Afraid" dips from #9 to #10 (107K).

Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue" vaults from #113 to #12 on Hot Digital Songs.

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

1. Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare, 163,000. This new entry is the band's first #1 album. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Nightmare," which vaults from #172 to #65.

2. Eminem, Recovery, 159,000. The former #1 album drops to #2 after five weeks on top. Seven songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna), which holds at #1 for the sixth straight week.

3. Rick Ross, Teflon Don, 63,000. The album dips from #2 to #3 in its second week. "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" (featuring Styles P) drops from #75 to #89 on Hot Digital Songs.

4. Justin Bieber, My World 2.0, 38,000. The album moves up from #6 to #4 in its 19th week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Somebody To Love," which drops from #29 to #38.

5. Drake, Thank Me Later, 34,000. The former #1 album dips from #4 to #5 in its seventh week. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Find Your Love," which drops from #14 to #19.

6. Kids Bop Kidz, Kidz Bop 18, 29,000. The album dips from #5 to #6 in its second week. It has sold 73K to date.

7. Lady Antebellum, Need You Now, 27,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #9 to #7 in its 27th week. This is its 25th week in the top 10. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Need You Now," which drops from #47 to #52.

8. Sheryl Crow, 100 Miles From Memphis, 24,000. The album drops from #3 to #8 in its second week. It has sold 80K to date.

9. Lady Gaga, The Fame, 24,000. The album inches up from #10 to #9 in its 92nd week. This is its 50th week in the top 10. Six songs from the expanded version of the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Alejandro," which dips from #24 to #27.

10. Various Artists, NOW 34, 22,000. The album dips from #8 to #10 in its seventh week.

Just one album drops out of the top 10 this week. Jonas Brothers' Jonas L.A. drops from #7 to #15.

Tech N9ne Collabos' Gates Mixed Plate debuts at #13. It's Tech N9ne's third top 20 album, following Killer (#12 in 2008) and K.O.D. (#14 in 2009).

Soundtrack Corner: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the #1 theatrical soundtrack for the eighth straight week. It drops from #18 to #26 on The Billboard 200...The Eat Pray Love soundtrack, with two songs each songs by Neil Young, Eddie Vedder and Joao Gilberto inches up from #43 to #42...The Inception soundtrack, with a score by Hans Zimmer, drops from #44 to #58. The movie was #1 at the box-office for the third straight weekend.

Journey's Greatest Hits returns to #1 on Top Catalog Albums for a sixth week. The album sold 6,000 copies this week. It holds at #71 on The Billboard 200. This is the first time the album has topped the catalog chart since June 2009.

The Black Eyed Peas' "Rock That Body" tops the 1 million mark in paid downloads this week. It's the fifth consecutive million-seller from The E.N.D. Two other songs top the 1 million mark this week: Drake's "Find Your Love" and Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull's "I Like It."

I pointed out last week that the Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" is the first song in digital history to reach the 6 million mark in sales. I wouldn't be surprised if the song makes it to 7 million. It sold 31,000 more copies this week and rebounds from #54 to #45 on Hot Digital Songs. It has outlasted three follow-up singles, "Meet Me Halfway" (which is off the chart), "Imma Be" (which drops to #107) and "Rock That Body" (which drops to #57).

R.I.P. Mitch Miller, one of the best-known music producers in pop music history, died on Saturday at age 99. Miller produced many hits in the '50s, including Rosemary Clooney's "Come On-A My House" and his own "The Yellow Rose Of Texas." Miller was 44 when rock'n'roll exploded in 1955 and he couldn't relate to the new sound. But, as it turned out, he had plenty of company. In 1958, he released an album of old songs that fans could sing along to. Sing Along With Mitch logged eight weeks and #1 and remained on the chart for nearly four years. It was the first of 14 Sing Along albums to reach the top 10. The success of the albums led to a weekly TV show that ran from 1961 to 1964. The show (and the albums) did little to burnish Miller's artistic reputation, but they made him a pot of money. Miller received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

R.I.P. II: Bobby Hebb was a one-hit wonder, but what a hit. Hebb's warm, melancholy "Sunny" reached #2 on the Hot 100 in August 1966. Hebb said he wrote the song after his brother was killed outside of a Nashville nightclub. Hebb never returned to the top 30 as an artist, but he co-wrote Lou Rawls' Grammy-winning 1971 hit "A Natural Man" (another first-rate single). Hebb, 72, died last week.

Heads Up: Arcade Fire's third album The Suburbs is expected to enter The Billboard 200 at #1 or #2 next week, with sales in the range of 130,000. The band's last album, Neon Bible, debuted at #2 in March 2007 with first-week sales of 92,000. Three other albums have a good chance of landing in the top 10: Lady Gaga's The Remix, Bun B's Trill O.G. and Buckcherry's All Night Long. Also due: the Black Crowes' Croweology, Secondhand Serenade's Hear Me Now, Los Lobos' Tin Can Trust and Gaelic Storm's Cabbage.

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