Chart Watch

Week Ending June 14, 2009: America Eats Its Peas

Chart Watch

The Black Eyed Peas land their first #1 album as The E.N.D. enters The Billboard 200 in the top spot. In addition, the group has both of the week's top two songs with the most paid downloads. "I Gotta Feeling" enters Hot Digital Songs at #1, bumping "Boom Boom Pow" down to #2 after 10 weeks on top. This is the only the second time that an act has had the #1 album and the top two songs with the most paid downloads in the same week. Beyonce achieved the same chart dominance in November. The E.N.D. sold 304,000 copies, making this the biggest sales week of the Peas' career. The group's last album, Monkey Business, debuted at #2 in June 2005 with sales of 291,000 copies.

This is the first time in 2009 that an act has had both the #1 album and the #1 most downloaded song (let alone the top two). "I Gotta Feeling" sold 249,000 downloads this week. "Boom Boom Pow" sold 216,000, bringing its total to 2,802,000. "Boom Boom" is the first song in digital history to sell at least 200,000 copies a week for 11 straight weeks.

This is the fourth time in digital history that an act has had back-to-back #1 hits on Hot Digital Songs. Beyonce achieved the feat in November with "If I Were A Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)." T.I. did it in September/October with "Whatever You Like" and "Live Your Life" (featuring Rihanna). Mariah Carey scored in December 2005 with "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and "Don't Forget About Us."

The 304,000 first-week tally for The E.N.D. is the fifth-largest opening so far in 2009. It trails Eminem's Relapse (608,000), U2's No Line On The Horizon (484,000), Dave Matthews Band's Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King (424,000) and Rascal Flatts' Unstoppable (351,000). The E.N.D. also jumps to #1 in Japan this week, putting it on top in both of the world's top two music markets.

In the end, timing played a crucial role in the Peas' landing their first #1 album. If the album had been released last week, and sold the exact same number of copies, it would have debuted at #2 behind Dave Matthews Band. For that matter, if Monkey Business had been released a week or two earlier in 2005 (and, again, had sold the exact same number of copies), it would have debuted at #1. Monkey Business had the misfortune of going up against Coldplay's X&Y, which debuted with first-week sales of 737,000.

Chickenfoot's debut album Chickenfoot has sold 131,000 copies in its first 10 days of release-and that's not chicken feed (oh come on, you knew I'd go there). The album had just three days to ring up sales last week and still managed to debut at #4. This week, with a full week of sales, it sold 79,000 copies-an increase of 53%.  The group consists of Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith (drummer with Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Michael Anthony (former bassist with Van Halen). Hagar and Anthony were bandmates in Van Halen from 1985 to 1996, a period in which the group amassed four #1 studio albums. The Chili Peppers had a #1 album three years ago with Stadium Arcadium. But this represents a new chart high for Satriani, whose top-charting solo album, The Extremist, reached #22 in 1992.

Eminem's Relapse this week becomes the third album to sell 1 million copies in 2009. It follows Taylor Swift's Fearless and Miley Cyrus' Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack. Relapse took four weeks to top the 1 million mark, longer than for any Eminem album since his 1999 debut, The Slim Shady LP, which crossed the 1 million mark in its sixth week.

Lady GaGa's The Fame also tops the 1 million mark this week (150,000 of those copies were sold in 2008). The album has produced three smash hits, "Just Dance" (featuring Colby O'Donis), "Poker Face" and "Lovegame." In the old days, an album this hit-studded would be at 3 million by now. As I've pointed out before, at least one song from the album has appeared in the top five on Hot Digital Songs for all but two weeks since before Thanksgiving. (That's almost an entire school year!) In addition, Lady GaGa was on the cover of the June 11 issue of Rolling Stone, which may or may not have made Jerry Garcia turn over in his grave.

Faithful Chart Watch readers know that Flo Rida has the song with the most paid downloads of all time ("Low," featuring T-Pain) and the song with the most paid downloads in 2009 ("Right Round"). He has another million-seller to add to his collection. Last week, his latest hit, "Sugar" (featuring Wynter), topped the 1 million mark in paid downloads. Flo (Mr. Rida?) isn't nearly as formidable an album seller. His two albums, Mail On Sunday and R.O.O.T.S. (Route Of Overcoming The Struggle), have sold a combined total of 586,000 copies.

In what may be a chart first, five of this week's top 10 albums have titles that begin with the article, "The." We have The E.N.D., The Last, The Fame, The Ecstatic and The Introduction of Marcus Cooper. It would have been six of the top 10 if Eminem had titled his latest The Relapse. (Seven if Dave Matthews Band had flipped the order and made it The GrooGrux King And Big Whiskey.)

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

1. The Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D., 304,000. This new entry is the group's first #1 album. Nearly 57,000 copies were sold digitally, making this the week's #1 Digital Album. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "I Gotta Feeling" at #1.

2. Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King, 128,000. The album slips to #2 after one week on top. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Funny The Way It Is," which dips to #52.

3. Eminem, Relapse, 87,000. The former #1 album slips from #2 to #3 in its fourth week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "We Made You," which dips to #33.

4. Chickenfoot, Chickenfoot, 79,000. The album holds at #4 for the second week, a rare occurrence. Albums that debut below #1 usually lose ground in their second week.

5. Aventura, The Last, 47,000. This new entry is the highest-charting Latin album since Mana's Amar Es Combatir hit #4 in September 2006. This is Aventura's first top 10 album. The  quartet's previous highest-charting album was a live release which reached #97 in November 2007.

6. Lady GaGa, The Fame, 47,000. The album rebounds from #8 to #6. This is its 17th week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Lovegame," which dips to #4.

7. Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack, 46,000. The former #1 album dips from #6 to #7. This is its 12th week in the top 10. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "The Climb," which inches up to #15.

8. Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown, 41,000. The former #1 album slips from #5 to #8 in its fifth week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Know Your Enemy," which dips to #34.

9. Mos Def, The Ecstatic, 39,000. This new entry is the second top 10 album for the rapper and movie actor. Mos Def reached #5 in 2004 with The New Danger. "Auditorium" (featuring The Ruler) enters Hot Digital Songs at #187.

10. Pleasure P, The Introduction Of Marcus Cooper, 39,000. This new entry is Pleasure P's solo debut album. As part of Pretty Ricky, he hit #1 in January 2007 with Late Night Special. "I'm A Beast" (featuring Yung Joc) enters Hot Digital Songs at #200.

Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. 311's Uplifter dives from #3 to #28, Taking Back Sunday's New Again plummets from #7 to #33,  Kenny Chesney's Greatest Hits II falls from #9 to #13, and Taylor Swift's Fearless dips from #10 to #11.

Sonic Youth's The Eternal opens at #18, instantly becoming the band's highest-charting album to date. The old record was held by 1994's Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star, which debuted and peaked at #34. The Eternal is the band's first album since the release of the chart-topping Juno soundtrack, which featured their dark remake of the Carpenters' "Superstar." Juno has sold 998,000 copies, which is about three times as many as Dirty, Sonic Youth's best-selling album of the Nielsen/SoundScan era. (Dirty has sold 337,000 copies since its release in 1992.) Sonic Youth's version of "Superstar" first appeared on the If I Were A Carpenter tribute album, which has sold 217,000 copies since its release in 1994.

Teena Marie's Congo Square bows at #20, a little ahead of the #24 debut (and peak) position of her 2006 album, Sapphire.  Marie first charted a little more than 30 years ago with Wild And Peaceful. Her highest-charting album, La Dona, debuted and peaked at #6 in 2004. Marie was discovered by funk star Rick James, who died in 2004.

Iron Maiden's Flight 666 debuts at #34. The veteran band landed its first top 40 album in May 1982 with The Number Of The Beast. The title of the current album contains the numerical equivalent of that that Biblical term, which is commonly interpreted as identifying the anti-Christ. The new album is the soundtrack to a concert movie which documents the band's 2008 world tour. It's the week's #3 movie soundtrack, after Hannah Montana: The Movie and Twilight.

Song Scorecard: Akon's 2006 smash "I Wanna Love You" (featuring Snoop Dogg) tops the 2 million mark in paid downloads this week. It's Akon's fifth song to reach this threshold, following "Smack That" (featuring Eminem), "Don't Matter," "Right Now (Na Na Na)" and "The Sweet Escape," a Gwen Stefani hit on which he was featured.

Also this week, Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" tops the 1 million mark in paid downloads. Last week, Shinedown's "Second Chance" hit the same mark.

Tobymac's Portable Sounds jumps to #1 on this week Catalog Albums chart. The album sold 8,000 copies and would have ranked #66 on the big chart if older, catalog albums were eligible to compete there. The album cracked the top 10 in February 2007.

What does winning a Tony Award mean to the sales of a Broadway cast album? Not a whole lot, it saddens me to report. A full week has passed since the Tony Awards, but not one cast album sold more than 5,000 units this week. And, curiously, Tony also-rans did better than the big winners. The cast album from Next To Normal (which lost to Billy Elliot-The Musical for Best Musical) had the biggest uptick. It sold nearly 5,000 copies to debut at #103. Billy Elliot-The Musical, which sold less than 2,000 copies, has yet to crack The Billboard 200. The New Broadway Cast Album from West Side Story (which lost to Hair for Best Revival of A Musical) sold nearly 3,000 copies to rank #186. Hair sold a hair over 2,000 copies (sorry). I should point out that Hair, at this point, is a digital-only release. The CD comes out June 23, more than two weeks after the Tony broadcast. (I think that constitutes a "woops.")

Heads Up: Three follow-ups to #1 albums are likely to enter the top 10 next week. Jonas Brothers' Lines, Vines And Trying Times is expected to come out on top. (Let's hope the album is better than the title.) The trio's last album, A Little Bit Longer, bowed at #1 in August with first-week sales of 525,000 copies. Michael Buble's Michael Buble Meets Madison Square Garden is the Canadian hipster's follow-up to the chart-topping Call Me Irresponsible. Incubus' Monuments And Melodies is the band's follow-up to the #1 Light Grenades. Also due: Spinal Tap's Back From The Dead, Hank Williams Jr.'s 127 Rose Revenue, Will Downing's Classique, Rhonda Vincent's Destination Life, Laura Izibor's Let The Truth Be Told and the Chess In Concert album featuring Josh Groban and Idina Menzel.

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