Chart Watch

Week Ending May 8, 2011. Albums: Judging J.Lo

Chart Watch

Jennifer Lopez is seen by upwards of 24 million TV viewers two nights a week thanks to her gig as a judge on American Idol. Her current hit "On The Floor" has sold 1,753,000 digital copies and has been ranked in the top 10 on the Hot 100 for 10 weeks. She got an extra shot of publicity last month (as if she needed it) when People declared her the "World's Most Beautiful Woman!" For all that, her new album, Love?, sold just 83K copies in its first week.

That's not bad: The album enters The Billboard 200 at #5, which is higher than Lopez's last couple of albums debuted. The Spanish-language Como Ama Una Mujer bowed at #10 in April 2007. The English-language Brave opened at #12 six months later.

But Lopez's career was in something of a slump in 2007. The only Hot 100 hit from Brave was "Do It Well," which stalled at an inglorious #31. Now, J.Lo is back on top and seemingly everywhere. Yet 21 albums so far this year have sold more copies in their first weeks, including albums by acts that don't have a fraction of Lopez's fame and multi-media exposure. I'm thinking about Marsha Ambrosius, who debuted in March with 96K, the Decemberists, who bowed in January with 94K.

With everything J.Lo has going for her, I would have expected her album to have first-week sales more in line with those of such fellow multi-media superstars as Justin Bieber (161K), Chris Brown (270K), Jennifer Hudson (165K) and Britney Spears (276K). It just goes to show the disconnect that sometimes exists between fame and record buying success.

Beastie Boys' HotSauceCommitteePartTwo, the influential rap trio's first studio album in nearly seven years, sold 128K copies this week. That would have put it at #1 last week, about 4K ahead of the year's biggest hit, Adele's 21. But sales of 21 jumped to 155K this week, thanks largely to Mother's Day gift-giving (as well as to the still-building popularity of Adele's single, "Rolling In The Deep"). It's at least arguable that Mother's Day kept Beastie Boys from landing their fifth #1 album.

This is the Beasties' first regular studio album to miss the top spot since Check Your Head debuted and peaked at #10 in 1992. The trio's debut album, Licensed To Ill, made history in March 1987 when it became the first rap album to hit #1 on The Billboard 200. The trio returned to #1 with Ill Communication (1994), Hello Nasty (1998) and To The 5 Boroughs (2004).

While they didn't quite make #1 on The Billboard 200, the Beasties debut at #1 on Top Digital Albums. The album sold 64K digital copies, which is a little more than half of its first-week total.

This is the seventh week at #1 on The Billboard 200 for 21. It's the longest run at #1 by a female artist since Taylor Swift's Fearless logged 11 weeks on top in 2008-2009. It's the longest run by a British artist since the Beatles' 1 logged eight weeks on top in 2000-'01. And it's the longest run at #1 by a British female solo artist in chart history. (As part of Fleetwood Mac, England's Christine McVie topped the chart for 31 weeks in 1977-78 with Rumours.)

In addition, 21 holds at #1 in the U.K. for the 14th 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.

Stevie Nicks' In Your Dreams, the rock icon's first solo album in 10 years, bows at #6. She's picking up almost exactly where she left off: Her last solo studio album, Trouble In Shangri-La, debuted and peaked at #5 in May 2001. As part of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks first cracked the top 10 in September 1975 with Fleetwood Mac. That album hit #1 and spawned three top 20 hits, but is thought of today mostly as the warm-up for the band's follow-up album, Rumours. That blockbuster re-enters the chart at #11 this week in the wake of a Glee episode which was built around the album. (See item below the top 10 list.)

Sade's The Ultimate Collection bows at #7. This new entry is Sade's ninth consecutive top 10 album, which is its entire output, dating back to 1985's Diamond Life. Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that Sade is the first group to hit the top 10 with its first nine albums since Led Zeppelin, which did it with its first 10 albums, from 1969's Led Zeppelin to 1983's Coda. The two acts have little in common, except for this: They are both originals, utterly distinctive and immediately recognizable. There's a moral in there somewhere.

Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" outsold "E.T." by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West by a wide margin (294K to 237K), which allowed it to move up to #1 on Hot Digital Songs. Will it also move up to #1 on the Hot 100 (which also incorporates radio airplay)? You'll find out when we post Chart Watch: Songs later today. You'll also find out how high Lady Antebellum's "Just A Kiss" debuts. Hint: It will be pretty high.

Shameless Plug: This month marks 20 years since Billboard first used Nielsen SoundScan data to power its charts. I'm commemorating the anniversary with a few Chart Watch Extras. First up was a year-by-year look at the 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. This went up on Friday. If you missed it, here's a link. The second one will be a year-by-year look at the best-selling albums of each of the past 20 years. The year-end leaders cover a wide range. They include four soundtracks, four rap albums, two rock albums, two country albums, two R&B albums, two albums by "boy bands," an album by a "girl group" and even a Christmas album. It will go up tomorrow.

Eight albums enter the top 10 this week, which ties a record first set on Oct. 4, 2009 (when Barbra Streisand's Love Is The Answer was the highest of eight new entries in the top 10) and matched on Nov. 21, 2010 (when Jackie Evancho's O Holy Night was the highest of eight new top 10 entries.)

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


1. Adele, 21, 155,000. The album logs its seventh week at #1. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Rolling In The Deep," which moves up to #1.

2. Beastie Boys, HotSauceCommitteePartTwo, 128,000. This new entry is the trio's sixth top 10 album. It's the sequel to an album that was never officially released. "Make Some Noise" jumps from #154 to #115 on Hot Digital Songs.

3. Various Artists, Now 38, 124,000. This is the 36th regular installment in this series to debut in the top five. (The only two that didn't are the first one, which bowed at #21 in November 1998, and Now 3, which opened at #9 in December 1999.)

4. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues, 91,000. This new entry is the band's first top 10 album. The band's eponymous 2008 album debuted at #83 and peaked at #36 the following year.

5. Jennifer Lopez, Love?, 83,000. This new entry is Lopez's seventh top 10 album. "On The Floor" (featuring Pitbull) rebounds from #8 to #4 on  Hot Digital Songs. Lopez performed the song on American Idol last week.

6. Stevie Nicks, In Your Dreams, 52,000. This new entry is Nicks' 12th top 10 album (counting seven with Fleetwood Mac). Nicks is on tour with Rod Stewart. It's Nicks' first solo album since 2001.

7. Sade, The Ultimate Collection, 38,000. This new entry is Sade's ninth consecutive top 10 album. It's the group's second greatest hits set to make the top 10, following 1994's Best Of Sade. Mother's Day gift-giving doubtless gave this title a boost as well.

8. Musiq Soulchild, musiqinthemagiq, 35,000. This new entry is Musiq's third top 10 album. JUSLISEN (Just Listen) and Luvanmusiq both reached #1.

9. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More, 32,000. The album drops from #3 to #9 in its 59th week. This is its 17th week in the top 10. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "The Cave" drops from #66 to #81. "Little Lion Man" drops from #77 to #92.

10. Sixx: A.M., THIS is GONNA HURT, 30,000. This new entry is the band's highest-charting album. The band's 2007 album, The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, debuted and peaked at #62. In addition, group leader Nikki Sixx has amassed eight top 10 albums with Motley Crue.


Lemonade Mouth drops from #5 to #14. It's the #1 soundtrack for the third time in the past four weeks. Seven other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Foo Fighters' Wasting Light drops from #2 to #13, Britney Spears' Femme Fatale drops from #4 to #20, Chris Brown's F.A.M.E. drops from #6 to #19, Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers drops from #7 to #23, Katy Perry's Teenage Dream drops from #8 to #17,  Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers drops from #9 to #25 and Paul Simon's So Beautiful Or So What drops from #10 to #18.

Fleetwood Mac's Rumours re-enters the chart at #11 in the wake of a Glee episode which was built around the album. That's the highest that a non-holiday catalog album has placed on The Billboard 200 since the Rolling Stones' 1972 album Exile On Main St. spent two weeks in the top 10 last May.

Rumours is #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the first time since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard in 1991. Rumours is the third album from 1977 to reach #1 on Top Catalog Albums. Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell topped the catalog chart for 22 weeks from 1991 to 1994. Billy Joel's The Stranger headed the catalog chart for one week in 2008.

Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party dips from #11 to #12. It's #1 on Hot Country Albums for the seventh week. That's the longest run by a male solo artist in six years. The album moves up to #10 on the year-to-date sales chart. It's the best-selling country album so far this year...Colt Ford's sophomore album Every Chance I Get opens at #26. This is much better than Ford's first album, Ride Through The Country, which peaked at #140 in 2009.

An eponymous album by Donny & Marie, boosted by a QVC special, bows at #30. This is the duo's highest-charting album ever, surpassing their 1974 debut as a duo, I'm Leaving It All Up To You, which reached #35...Kelly Price's Kelly opens at #36. The R&B singer had three top 15 albums from 1998 to 2003.

Aretha Franklin's A Woman Falling Out Of Love bows at #54. Franklin first reached The Billboard 200 with The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging Aretha Franklin in November 1962. She first cracked the top 10 with I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You in May 1967. The latter album featured her landmark hit, "Respect."

Country Strong drops from #33 to #46 in its 17th week. This is the 11th week it has been the top-charting soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie. So shouldn't the album have sold more than 258K copies by now? Yes, it should have. Sales are a little off.

Thor was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. Patrick Doyle composed the score, which sold about 2K copies in its first week. That wasn't enough to put it on The Billboard 200.

David Phelps' Best Of David Phelps stepped up to #1 on Top Music Videos. The title sold 3K copies this week. Phelps is a member of The Gaither Vocal Band, which is part of Bill & Gloria Gaither's contemporary Christian empire.

Coming Attractions: Adele's 21 is expected to remain at #1 for an eighth week next week. The Lonely Island's Turtleneck & Chain is expected to be next week's top new entry, with sales in the 70K range. The music/comedy troupe is fronted by Andy Samberg of Saturday Night Live fame. Three other albums have a shot at the top 10: Christina Perri's lovestrong., Tyler, The Creator's Goblin and The Cars' Move Like This. Also due: Matthew Morrison's eponymous debut album, Raphael Saadiq's Stone Rollin' and Manchester Orchestra's Simple Math.

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