Chart Watch

Week Ending May 1, 2011. Albums: Adele Saves Music Biz

Chart Watch

Adele is single-handedly keeping the lights on in the beleaguered music industry. The singer's sophomore album, 21, sold another 124,000 copies this week, bringing its total sales 1,399,000. The album has sold more copies in just 10 weeks than Mumford & Sons' sleeper hit Sigh No More has sold in 58 weeks (1,377,000) or Rihanna's out-of-the-box hit Loud has sold in 24 weeks (1,231,000).

21 is the first album to sell more than 100K copies this many weeks after its release since Sigh No More sold 133K copies in its 48th week (right after the Grammys in February). It's the first album to spend its first 10 weeks in the top three since Eminem's Recovery spent its first 13 weeks in that elite territory.

21 tops The Billboard 200 for the sixth week. It's the longest-running #1 album since Taylor Swift's Speak Now had six weeks on top from October into January. It's the longest-running #1 album by a British artist since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream had six weeks on top in late 2009.

Adele has a second album in the top 20. Her 2008 debut, 19, jumps from #28 to #20 in its 79th week on the chart. 19 is #1 on the Catalog Albums chart for the 10th time in the past 11 weeks. This is the first time a studio album (as opposed to a hits compilation) has topped the catalog chart this long since Michael Jackson's Thriller 25 led the way for 11 weeks in 2008 (which was of course the year before he died).

In addition, 21 holds at #1 in the U.K. for the 13th week. It's the longest run at #1 in that country since the Spice Girls' Spice had 15 weeks on top from November 1996 to May 1997. 19 rebounds to #2 on the U.K. chart. This is the fifth week so far this year in which Adele has had both of the top two albums in the U.K., according to The Official Charts Co.

Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More rebounds from #6 to #3 in its 58th week. It's the first time that an album this old has placed in the top three since Lady Gaga's The Fame ranked #3 in its 66th week in January 2010.

Katy Perry's Teenage Dream rebounds from #11 to #8 in its 36th week. The album has sold more copies during its run than any other album in this week's top 20 (1,429,000). Last week, it surpassed the total sales to date of Perry's 2008 debut, One Of The Boys, which is up to 1,381,000.

Perry's current hit, "E.T." (featuring Kanye West), this week surpasses Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)" to become the #1 digital seller so far in 2011. "E.T." has sold 2,789,000 copies in 2011. "F**k You" has sold 2,617,000. Perry, you will remember, had the #1 digital hit of 2010, "California Gurls" (featuring Snoop Dogg).

"E.T." won a tight race with Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" to wind up #1 on Hot Digital Songs. Both songs sold 300K this week. ("E.T." was ahead by about 500 units.) Which will prevail on the Hot 100? You'll find out when we post Chart Watch: Songs later today.

Paul Simon's So Beautiful Or So What dips to #10 in its third week in the top 10. This is Simon's biggest hit since The Rhythm Of The Saints logged 13 weeks in the top 10 in 1990-1991. The Rhythm Of The Saints was a Grammy finalist for Album of the Year in 1991 (it lost to Natalie Cole's Unforgettable With Love). So Beautiful Or So What is likely to make the Album of the Year finals next year (it will probably lose to Adele's 21.)

Shameless Plug: This month marks 20 years since Billboard first used Nielsen SoundScan data to power its charts. I will commemorate the anniversary over the next couple of weeks with a few Chart Watch Extras. First up is a year-by-year look at the #1 best-selling songs of each of the past 20 years. You can watch as physical singles crash and burn and digital songs gradually fill the void. The year-end totals range from eye-popping (Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997" sold more than 8 million copies in 1997) to depressing (there were five years in a row in the transition period from physical to digital in which the year's top-seller didn't even crack 1 million). Look for this Chart Watch Extra tomorrow.

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

 

1. Adele, 21, 124,000. The album logs its sixth week at #1. The album sold 53K digital copies this week. This brings its digital total to 645K, which puts it in eighth place on the all-time list of top-selling digital albums. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rolling In The Deep," which holds at #2.

2. Foo Fighters, Wasting Light, 34,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #3 to #2 in its third week. No songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs.

3. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More, 32,000. The album jumps from #7 to #3 in its 58th week. This is its 16th week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "The Cave" drops from #60 to #66. "Little Lion Man" drops from #72 to #77.

4. Britney Spears, Femme Fatale, 30,000. The former #1 album moves up from #5 to #4 in its fifth week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Till The World Ends" jumps from #12 to #3. "Hold It Against Me" drops from #113 to #122.

5. Various Artists, Lemonade Mouth soundtrack, 30,000. The soundtrack dips from #4 to #5 in its second week. It's the #1 soundtrack for the second time in the past three weeks.  Six songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Determinate," which drops from #28 to #43.

6. Chris Brown, F.A.M.E., 28,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #9 to #6 in its sixth week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. Four 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 #8 to #9.

7. Glee Cast, Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers, 28,000. The album drops from #2 to #7 in its second week. The cast's version of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" vaults from #119 to #21 on Hot Digital Songs. (Darren Criss fans, read on.)

8. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream, 24,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #11 to #8 in its 36th week. This is its eighth week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "E.T." (featuring Kanye West), which holds at #1 for the seventh week.

9. Wiz Khalifa, Rolling Papers. 24,000. The album rebounds from #12 to #9 in its fifth week. This is its fourth week in the top 10. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Roll Up," which jumps from #20 to #18.

10. Paul Simon, So Beautiful Or So What, 24,000. The album drops from #8 to #10 in its third week. It has been in the top 10 the entire time. No songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs.

 

Two albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Alison Krauss & Union Station's Paper Airplane drops from #6 to #12. Justin Bieber's Never Say Never: The Remixes drops from #10 to #22.

Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party rebounds from #13 to #11 in its 26th week. The album is far ahead of the blockbuster that kept it out of the #1 spot in November. Taylor Swift's Speak Now, which was in its second week at #1 the week My Kinda Party opened at #2, is currently #30. This is the sixth week that My Kinda Party has been #1 on Top Country Albums. That's the longest run on top by a male solo artist since Toby Keith's Honkytonk University had seven weeks on top from May to July 2005.

Explosions In The Sky's sixth album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, bows at #16. This is a huge improvement for the band, which peaked at #86 with its previous release, 2007's All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone...The story is similar with The Airborne Toxic Event's sophomore album All at Once, which bows at #17. The band's 2008 eponymous debut album peaked at #108. That album was a sleeper hit. It has sold a healthy 210K copies, though it never quite sold 5,000 copies in any one week. (By contrast, the new album sold 18K copies this week.)

Emmylou Harris' Hard Bargain bows at #18, becoming her highest-charting unassisted solo album. Her only higher-charting albums are collaborations. Trio, with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, hit #6 in 1987. All The Roadrunning, with Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame, hit #17 in 2006. Harris first cracked The Billboard 200 in March 1975.

Country Strong drops from #23 to #33. It's the top-charting soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the 10th week.

The cast album to Starship debuts at #134 (and at #1 on Top Cast Albums). Even if you're not a Broadway buff, you know the show's composer and lyricist: Darren Criss. Criss, of course, is the star attraction on the top 10 album Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers.

Fast Five was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. The soundtrack, which features Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and Don Omar, among others, enters The Billboard 200 at #105.

Les Miserables: 25th Anniversary Concert was #1 on Top Music Videos again this week. The show dominated the Tony Awards in 1987. It was nominated for 12 Tonys and won eight, including Best Musical. Which, if any, of this year's Best Musical nominees will have this kind of staying power? This year's nominees, announced yesterday, are: The Book Of Mormon, Catch Me If You Can, The Scottsboro Boys and Sister Act.

Coming Attractions: Mother's Day gift-giving will help to keep Adele's 21 at #1 next week. Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Part Two and Now 38 will battle it out for #2.  Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues, Jennifer Lopez's Love?, Stevie Nicks' In Your Dreams and Musiq Soulchild's Musiqinthemagiq are also looking at top 10 debuts. Also due: Sixx: A.M.'s This Is Gonna Hurt, Sade's The Ultimate Collection, Barry Manilow's Duets and Shinedown's Somewhere In The Stratosphere.

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