Chart Watch

Week Ending Aug. 15, 2010: The Odd Couple

Chart Watch

Eminem's Recovery, which returns to #1 on The Billboard 200, is the first album to log six weeks on top since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream late last year. The two albums have little in common (OK, they have nothing in common), though they may find themselves squaring off for Album of the Year when the Grammy nominations are announced on Dec. 1.

Recovery is the first rap album to spend six weeks at #1 since 50 Cent's The Massacre more than five years ago. And the album isn't done yet. Recovery will probably stay on top for a seventh week next week. That would be the longest run in the top spot since Taylor Swift's Fearless had 11 weeks in the lead in late 2008 and 2009.

Recovery tops the 2 million mark in U.S. sales this week. It crossed the threshold in just eight weeks, faster than the year's only other 2 million-selling album, Lady Antebellum's Need You Now (which took 15 weeks to ring the bell) and much faster than Eminem's 2009 album Relapse (which took 60 weeks).

The fact that two albums have topped the 2 million mark in sales so far this year marks an improvement over last year. Last year at this point, no albums had topped the 2 million mark. The first album to hit the hit the 2 million mark in 2009 sales was Michael Jackson's Number Ones, which scored in the week ending Oct. 25.

Recovery also logs its sixth week at #1 on the Official U.K. Albums chart. Recovery is the first album to spend six or more weeks at #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. since the Beatles' 2000 compilation 1 (which logged eight weeks at on top in the U.S. and nine weeks on top in the U.K.). Recovery is the first regular studio album to log six or more weeks on top in both countries since Alanis Morissette's 1996 album Jagged Little Pill (which amassed 12 weeks on top in the U.S. and 11 weeks on top in the U.S.).

"Love The Way You Lie," Em's smash collabo with Rihanna, logs its seventh week at #1 on Hot Digital Songs. That's the longest run on top since the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" topped the chart for 10 weeks last year. Two subsequent songs, Miley Cyrus' "Party In The U.S.A." and Ke$ha's "TiK ToK" logged six weeks at #1.

The key to the success of Recovery has been broad-based airplay for "Not Afraid" and "Love The Way You Lie." Both songs have topped the 2 million mark in paid downloads. Recovery is the fourth rap album to spawn two or more 2 million-sellers. It follows T.I.'s Paper Trail, Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 and B.o.B's B.o.B Presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray. (Kanye West's 808s & Heartache also yielded a pair of 2 million sellers, but the album was considered more pop than rap.)

Rihanna deserves special mention here. She was featured on a 2-million seller (or better) on the aforementioned albums by T.I., Jay-Z and Eminem. She graced T.I.'s "Live Your Life," which has sold 3,918,000 digital copies; Jay-Z's "Run This Town," which has sold 2,551,000 and Eminem's "Love The Way You Lie," which is up to 2,455,000. That settles it: If I ever cut an album, I'm calling Rihanna.

Two final Eminem notes: Recovery returns to #1 on the Digital Albums chart, with sales of 28K digital copies this week. The album has sold 578K digital copies, which is 27% of its total to date.

And Eminem moves up to #8 on Nielsen/SoundScan's running list of artists who have sold the most albums in its history (which dates to 1991). Em has sold 38,014,000 albums. He pushes ahead of Alan Jackson, who has sold 37,924,000 albums in the same period. (For the record, Jackson's first album was released in March 1990, about a year before Nielsen/SoundScan began tracking sales.) Jackson and Eminem have something else in common: they share a birthday (Oct. 17). How on earth would I know such a thing? It's my birthday, too.

Arcade Fire's critically-lauded The Suburbs dips to #2 after debuting at #1 last week. Arcade Fire is the first Canadian band to land a #1 album in the U.S. since Nickelback scored in October 2005 with All The Right Reasons. In the nearly five years since then, four solo acts from Canada have topped the chart: Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne, Michael Buble (twice) and Justin Bieber.

The seven-member band includes two women, Regine Chassagne and Sarah Neufeld. Arcade Fire is the third mixed-gender group, following Lady Antebellum and Sade, to land a #1 album so far this year. This is only the second time that three mixed-gender groups have landed #1 albums in a calendar year. It also happened in 1997, with No Doubt (a holdover from 1996), Fleetwood Mac and the all-star rap group The Firm. In February, I posted a list of  mixed-gender groups to land #1 albums. (If you missed it, here's a link.)

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam enters The Billboard 200 at #3. This matches the #3 peak of the original Camp Rock soundtrack in 2008, though the new album's first-week sales are less than one-quarter of what they were for Camp Rock. (The new album was released three weeks before the movie's Sept. 3 premiere on The Disney Channel. The first Camp Rock soundtrack was released the same week as the TV movie's premiere.) Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato starred in both movies.

JoBros replace themselves at the top of the Top Soundtrack Albums chart. Camp Rock 2 displaces Jonas L.A., which held the top spot the last three weeks. Fellow Disney teen phenom Miley Cyrus was the last artist to headline soundtracks that were #1 in back-to-back weeks. In July 2009, the Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack was replaced at #1 by the Hannah Montana 3 TV soundtrack.

Black Label Society's Order Of The Black debuts at #4. The band is fronted by Zakk Wylde, who played guitar for Ozzy Osbourne for nearly two decades. Wylde played on four Osbourne albums that reached the top 10, but this is his first top 10 album without the rock legend. Black Label Society first charted in 2002 and has slowly but surely gained ground. This #4 entry matches the #4 entry of Osbourne's latest album, Scream, in June.

Blake Shelton's All About Tonight debuts at #6. You may remember that Shelton's record company, Warner Bros., is experimenting with a series of EPs, on the theory that a lower-priced EP may be a better option on a mid-level artist like Shelton than a full-priced album. So, how's the experiment going? Shelton's first EP, Hillbilly Bone, has sold 233,000 copies since its release in March. That's slightly more than his last full-length album, Startin' Fires, which has sold 214,000 copies since its release in November 2008.

That's not a big improvement, and obviously an EP doesn't bring in as much revenue as a full-length album. On the other hand, the label can return to the market more frequently with an EP than with an album.

One discouraging sign is that the new EP sold less than half as many copies in its first week as Shelton's first EP did. All About Tonight sold 33,000 copies this week. Hillbilly Bone started with sales of 71,000.

Here's some good news for Shelton: All About Tonight enters Top Country Albums at #1. It's Shelton's first #1 on that chart after several near misses. This is only the second time in the past 29 weeks that Lady Antebellum's Need You Now has not been #1 on the country chart.

B.o.B Riddle: "Magic" by B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo jumps from #11 to #7 on Hot Digital Songs. This is the 23rd consecutive week that B.o.B has had one or more songs in the top 10 on that chart. Yet B.o.B's album, B.o.B Presents The Adventures Of Bobby Ray has sold just 356,000 copies in its first 16 weeks on the market. (The tracks from the album have sold a combined total of 6,602,000 copies.)

Here's the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs, as tabulated by Nielsen/SoundScan. Eminem featuring Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie" returns to #1 (254K). Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" returns to #2 (232K). Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" jumps from #5 to #3 (185K). Taylor Swift's "Mine" drops from #1 to #4 (176K). Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull's "I Like It" dips from #4 to #5 (165K). Usher featuring Pitbull's "DJ Got Us Falling In Love" holds at #6 (141K). B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo's "Magic" jumps from #11 to #7 (136K). Mike Posner's "Cooler Than Me" holds at #8 for the third week (127K). Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg's "California Gurls" dips from #7 to #9 (121K) and Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo" holds at #10 for the second week (108K).

"Club Can't Handle Me" by Flo Rida featuring David Guetta jumps from #15 to #11. The song, which is featured on the Step Up 3D soundtrack, sold 96K this week. The song is doing even better in the U.K., where it jumps to #1 this week. It's Flo Rida's second #1 in the U.K. as a lead artist, following "Right Round."

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

1. Eminem, Recovery, 133,000. The album returns to #1 for a sixth week. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna), which returns to #1.

2. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs, 52,000. The former #1 album slips to #2 in its second week. It has sold 209,000 copies in its first two weeks.

3. Various Artists, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, 41,000. This new entry matches the #3 peak of the initial Camp Rock soundtrack. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Wouldn't Change A Thing" by Demi Lovato & Joe Jonas, which debuts at #93.

4. Black Label Society, Order Of The Black, 33,000. This new entry is the group's first top 10 album. The band's 2005 album Mafia peaked at #15.

5. Justin Bieber, My World 2.0, 33,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #7 to #5 in its 21st week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Somebody To Love," which drops from #58 to #64.

6. Blake Shelton, All About Tonight, 33,000. This new entry is Shelton's fourth top 10 entry. "All About Tonight" enters Hot Digital Songs at #57.

7. Rick Ross, Teflon Don, 30,000. The album drops from #5 to #7 in its fourth week. "B.M.F. (Blowin' Money Fast)" (featuring Styles P) inches up from #107 to #106 on Hot Digital Songs.

8. Mike Posner, 31 Minutes To Takeoff, 29,000. This new entry is Posner's debut album. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Cooler Than Me" holds at #8. "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" debuts at #120.

9. Kidz Bop Kids, Kids Bop 18, 27,000. The album rebounds from #11 #9 in its fourth week. The album has sold 126K copies in its first four weeks.

10. Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare, 27,000. The former #1 album drops from #3 to #10 in its third week. "Nightmare" drops from #106 to #125 on Hot Digital Songs.

Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Bun B's Trill O.G. dives from #4 to #17, Lady Gaga's The Remix drops from #6 to #16, Drake's Thank Me Later drops from #8 to #11, Lady Antebellum's Need You Now drops from #9 to #12, and Buckcherry's All Night Long plummets from #10 to #30.

Usher's Raymond V Raymond tops the 1 million mark in sales in its 20th week. (It dips from #17 to #19 on The Billboard 200.) It's Usher's fifth album to sell 1 million or more copies. We all know that sales are down, but this puts it in some perspective: Usher's 2004 blockbuster Confessions sold more copies (1,096,000) in its first week than Raymond has sold in its first 20 weeks.

The soundtrack to the Julia Roberts movie Eat Pray Love jumps from #39 to #21 in its fourth week. It's the week's #1 soundtrack to a theatrically released movie, displacing Step Up 3D. Eddie Vedder has two songs on Eat Pray Love. This is the second time that Vedder has been connected to a hit soundtrack. His album from Into The Wild was the #1 theatrical movie soundtrack for one week in October 2007. (It peaked at #11 on The Billboard 200.)

The soundtrack to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World bows at #24. The movie stars Michael Cera, who played the male lead in Juno. The album features four tracks by Sex Bob-Omb. (I guess he's the reigning stud at the Office of Management & Budget.) The album also features budget-busting tracks by the Rolling Stones, Beck and T Rex.

The Expendables was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. Brian Tyler's original score sold fewer than 1,000 copies this week, too few to make The Billboard 200.

Katy Perry's One Of The Boys jumps from #89 to #79. It hits #1 on the Catalog Albums chart for the first time, with sales of 5,000 copies this week. The album has sold 1,270,000 copies since its release in 2008. The panel that selects the final nominees for the Grammy Awards passed over Perry for Best New Artist of 2008, probably because her first hit, "I Kissed A Girl," had a novelty flavor. They went instead with Adele (who won), Lady Antebellum, Duffy, Jazmine Sullivan and Jonas Brothers. All awards are a snapshot in time, and it has been nearly two years since this field was selected, but I suspect if the panel had it to do over again, Ms. Perry would go in and JoBros would fall out.

Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," from Hannah Montana: The Movie, tops the 3 million mark in paid downloads this week. It's Cyrus' second song to top 3 million. The first was "Party In The U.S.A," which is up to 4,134,000.

Brad Paisley this week becomes the first male country solo artist to land three million-selling song downloads. He achieves the feat as "Whiskey Lullaby" tops the 1 million mark. It follows "She's Everything" and "Then." The only other country acts with three or more million-selling downloads are Taylor Swift, with 10; Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts, with four each; and the Zac Brown Band, also with three.

Heads Up: Kem's Intimacy is expected to be next week's top new entry, with sales in the range of 80,000. The R&B star's last album, Album II, debuted at #5 in 2005. The new album will probably debut at #2. Intimacy is one of six albums that have a good chance of debuting in the top 10 next week. The others are Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs' God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise, Iron Maiden's The Final Frontier, Trace Adkins' Cowboy's Back In Town, John Mellencamp's No Better Than This and David Gray's Foundling. Also set to debut next week: Brian Wilson's Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin and Filter's The Trouble With Angels.

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