Chart Watch

Week Ending January 27, 2008: Juno Is Bustin’ Out All Over

Chart Watch

The Juno soundtrack jumps to #1 in its fourth week on Nielsen/SoundScan's list of the best-selling albums in the U.S. It's the first movie soundtrack to top the chart since Dreamgirls a year ago.

The album sold 65,000 copies, about 4,000 more than last week's #1, Alicia Keys' As I Am. Any uptick is good news, but it's still the third lowest weekly sales total for a #1 album since Nielsen SoundScan began monitoring U.S. sales in 1991. The all-time bottom-dweller is the aforementioned Dreamgirls soundtrack, which rang the bell with sales of 60,000 a year ago. 

Movie soundtracks were big business in the '90s. Between 1992 and 1998, 16 soundtracks, including such monsters as The Bodyguard and Titanic, hit #1. But since 1998, only six have made it to the top. But what the #1 soundtracks of this decade lack in numbers, they make up for in variety. The alternative-leaning Juno and the adaptation of Broadway's Dreamgirls were preceded at #1 by the bluegrass collection O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Eminem-dominated rap smash 8 Mile, the R&B-oriented Bad Boys II and Jack Johnson's kid-friendly Sing-A-Longs And Lullabies From The Film Curious George.


Juno is the third movie soundtrack with an alternative music bent to reach #1. It follows The Crow (1994), which featured tracks by The Cure, Violent Femmes and Jesus & Mary Chain, and City Of Angels (1998), which spawned the Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" and Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited."


Women account for six of this week's top 10 albums, including the week's top debut, Natasha Bedingfield's Pocketful Of Sunshine, which opens at #3. Three tracks from the album are climbing on the Top Digital Tracks chart. "Love Like This," her long-running hit collaboration with Sean Kingston, jumps to #6, the album's title track debuts at #24 and "Soulmate" debuts at #63. Will the album climb to #1 next week? Watch this space.


"Low" by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain is #1 on Hot Digital Tracks for the ninth week, the longest that any title has held the top spot since mid 2004, when the configuration started to take off. "Low" has registered 2,321,000 paid downloads, which puts it at #5 on the all-time list. The leader, Soulja Boy Tell 'Em's "Crank That (Soulja Boy)," is one week away from topping the 3 million mark. Its current tally is 2,984,000. That smash is followed by Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" (2,603,000), "Apologize" by Timbaland featuring OneRepublic (2,497,000), Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" (2,412,000), and the still-climbing "Low."


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


1. Soundtrack, Juno, 65,000. Juno is the first soundtrack from an Oscar finalist for Best Picture to reach #1 since Titanic. (Hey, around here, we leave no factoid unturned.) "Anyone Else But You" by the film's stars, Michael Cera and (Oscar-nominated) Ellen Page is #58 on Hot Digital Tracks.


2. Alicia Keys, As I Am, 60,000. This marks 11 consecutive weeks in the top three for Keys. If her CD keeps selling at this rate, it will top the 3 million mark in about three weeks. So sales are down, but they're not (totally) out.


3. Natasha Bedingfield, Pocketful Of Sunshine, 50,000. This is an adaptation of Bedingfield's sophomore album in Europe, N.B., with seven tracks from that release replaced by new offerings. Bedingfield's 2005 debut, Unwritten, peaked at #26 and spawned a pair of top 20 hits, "These Words" and the title track, which went top five.


4. Mary J. Blige, Growing Pains, 45,000. This album has sold 1,085,000 copies—more than three times as many as her digital track, "Just Fine." And the track has been in release more than twice as long as the album. All of which proves that Blige is an album artist.


5. Radiohead, In Rainbows, 35,000. After four full weeks in release, Radiohead's latest album has still not sold what its previous album did in its opening week. The cumulative tally for In Rainbows is 281,000. The opening-week tally for Hail To The Thief was 300,000.


6. Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift, 35,000. Swift is #6 in her 66th week on the chart. (No satanic overtones intended.) Swift is still riding high on Hot Digital Tracks with "Teardrops On My Guitar" at #20 and "Our Song" at #21. Her remake of "Umbrella" by Rihanna with Jay-Z (not on the album) slips to #117.


7. Chris Brown, Exclusive, 32,000. Brown has three songs in the top 100 on Hot Digital Tracks. All move down this week, but, hey, three hits is three hits. "With You" is #3, "Kiss, Kiss" is #17 and "Wall To Wall" is #93.


8. Keyshia Cole, Just Like You, 31,000. Cole's album is back in the top 10 for the first time since October, when she was riding high with the smash "Let It Go." "I Remember" is up to #110 in its second week on Hot Digital Tracks.


9. Garth Brooks, The Ultimate Hits, 30,000. Brooks returns to the top 10 following the Jan. 25 broadcast of Live In L.A.! The one-hour CBS special aired live from Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was one of five shows that Brooks played at the venue in two days.


10. Miley Cyrus/TV soundtrack, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, 30,000. Cyrus has two songs in the top 100 on Hot Digital Tracks. "See You Again" jumps to #13. "Start All Over" drops to #82. Sales of the two Hannah Montana soundtracks, combined, climb past the 6 million mark this week.


Three albums fall out of the top 10. Now 26 dips one notch to #11, John Legend's Live In Philadelphia, a Target exclusive, drops from #7 to #31 and Raheem DeVaughn's Love Behind The Melody plunges from #5 to #32. Now 26 logged 10 weeks in the top 10. The latter two albums each had just one.


Four albums, besides Bedingfield's, debut in this weeks top 40. Cat Power's Jukebox opens at #12, becoming her highest-charting album to date. The Greatest reached #34 in 2006. Radio Disney's Vol. 10 Kids Jams bows at #18, becoming the highest-charting title in this long-running series. Vol. 9 hit #55 last year. Country newcomer Chuck Wick's Starting Now starts (now) at #24. Wick's Stealing Cinderella jumps to #108 on Hot Digital Tracks. And Drive-By Trucker's Brighter Than Creations Dark opens at #37. The band's 2006 album, A Blessing And A Curse, reached #50.


Anne Murray's

Duets: Friends & Legends gains 2% in sales from its opening week, even though it dips from #42 to #46. That's excuse enough for me to point out that Murray was among the first female artists from Canada to make it big in the U.S. She helped blazed a trail for many others, including Joni Mitchell, Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado and Feist. That's not a bad list for a country of 33 million people—about one-ninth the size of the U.S. Thanks, Canada. (And to think all we've given them is global warming.) 


Dumb Item Of The Week: Lesley Gore had a hit in 1965 titled "Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows." Thanks to current albums by Natasha Bedingfield and Radiohead, we have "Sunshine" and "Rainbows" represented in the top five. Anybody up for titling their next album Lollipops? No takers? Yeah, I thought that might be a hard sell.


Grammy Preview: The 50th annual Grammy Awards are less than two weeks away. I will soon fearlessly forecast the winners in the "And The Winner Is…" file, on this very same site. Here's a preview. Expect a good night for Kanye West and Amy Winehouse.

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