Chart Watch

Week Ending May 9, 2010: Starting The “Recovery” Process

Chart Watch

Eminem's "Not Afraid," the first single from his upcoming album Recovery, enters the Hot 100 at #1. It's the first song to debut in the top spot since Britney Spears' "3" did it in October. It's only the second rap song ever to debut at #1, following "I'll Be Missing You" by Puff Daddy & Faith Evans (featuring 112) in 1997. "Not Afraid" is Eminem's third #1 on the Hot 100, following "Lose Yourself," his Oscar-winning smash from 8 Mile, and "Crack A Bottle," his all-star collaboration with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent.

"Not Afraid" sold 379,000 copies in its first week. That's the biggest weekly sales tally so far this year.  Only three songs in digital history have sold more copies in their first week. All were 2009 releases: Flo Rida's "Right Round" (636,000), the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" (465,000) and the aforementioned "Crack A Bottle" (418,000).

"Not Afraid" posted the biggest weekly sales total since Ke$ha's "Tik ToK" rang up sales of 394,000 in the week ending Jan. 3. (That was the final week of the 2009 chart year.)

Recovery, Eminem's sixth studio album, is due for release on June 22. Eminem's last album, Relapse, debuted at #1 in May 2009. It posted first-week sales of 608,000 copies. Only one album, Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream, sold more copies in any one week last year.

"Not Afraid" also enters Hot Digital Songs at #1. It's Eminem's fifth #1 on that list, following "Just Lose It" in 2004, "When I'm Gone" in 2005," "Smack That" in 2006 (an Akon smash on which he was featured) and "Crack A Bottle." ("Lose Yourself" was released in September 2002, nine months before the introduction of the Digital Tracks chart. The anthemic hit has sold 2,702,000 copies.)

The arrival of "Not Afraid" pushes the ebullient "OMG" by Usher featuring will.i.am down to #2 on Hot Digital Songs. The song sold 213,000 copies this week, bringing its six-week total to 977,000. The song hit #1 on the Hot 100 last week.

Shameless Plug: "OMG" has hit #1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. It's Usher's third song to reach #1 in both countries, following "Yeah" (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris) and "Burn."  It's also will.i.am's third transatlantic chart-topper, following the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feelin'." Usher and will.i.am are two of only 14 artists to amass three or more transatlantic chart-toppers since the inception of the British chart in 1952. I'll have a Chart Watch Extra on Friday, in which I list all 14. The Beatles are there, but are the Rolling Stones? Madonna is there, but is Barbra Streisand? Check back Friday and see..

Pop Quiz:  Billboard's Gary Trust notes that the Black Eyed Peas are one of only four groups that have topped the Hot 100 and also included two or more members who have topped the chart on their own. (Fergie pulled three #1 hits from The Dutchess prior to will.i.am's current success with "OMG.") Name the other three groups to do this. Answer below.

Ke$ha this week becomes the first "lead artist" to sell 1 million or more copies of three songs in 2010. "Your Love Is My Drug" tops the 1 million mark in paid downloads this week. "TiK ToK" and "Blah Blah Blah" (featuring 3OH!3) have also sold more than 1 million copies this year. Ludacris has also sold 1 million or more copies of three songs in 2010, but he was the lead artist on just one of those entries ("How Low"). He was the featured artist on Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Taio Cruz's "Break Your Heart."

Ke$ha re-teams with 3OH!3 on the new "My First Kiss," but this time 3OH!3 has top billing and she is the featured artist. The song sold 190,000 copies this week and enters Hot Digital Songs at #4.

Ten songs from Glee are listed on this week's Hot Digital Songs chart. The top Glee entry is the cast's version of Bonnie Tyler's 1983 smash "Total Eclipse Of The Heart," which bows at #8. It sold 134,000 copies this week, 11 times more than Tyler's original, which sold 12,000 copies this week. Billboard's Keith Caulfield reports that this is the second best sales week for a Glee song. Only the initial Glee entry, its take on Journey's warhorse "Don't Stop Believin'," posted a bigger sales week (177,000 copies).

Quiz Answer: The other three groups that have topped the Hot 100 and also included two or more members who have topped the chart on their own are the Beatles (all four members had #1 hits on their own), Genesis (Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford as Mike & the Mechanics) and Destiny's Child (Beyonce, Kelly Rowland).

Godsmack's The Oracle enters The Billboard 200 at #1. It's the metal band's third full-length album in a row to reach #1, following Faceless (2003) and IV (2006). Godsmack is the sixth metal or hard rock band to reach #1 with three consecutive regular studio albums. Metallica topped the chart with five straight studio albums. Led Zeppelin and Van Halen each hit #1 with four straight. Disturbed and Staind, like Godsmack, had three in a row.

Lady Antebellum's Need You Now tops the 2 million mark in sales this week. This is the earliest in the year that an album has topped the 2 million mark in five years. No album hit the 2 million mark last year until Oct. 25, when Michael Jackson's Number Ones rang the bell (four months to the day after his death). The last time an album sold 2 million copies this early in the year was in 2005, when 50 Cent's The Massacre crossed the threshold on March 20. The music industry and the economy in general were much healthier five years ago, making Lady A's current achievement all the more impressive.

Need You Now holds at #2 on The Billboard 200 in its 15th week. It also holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for the 15th week. It's the first album to spend its first 15 weeks at #1 on the country chart since LeAnn Rimes' Blue spent its first 16 weeks on top in 1996. Need You Now will definitely head the country list again next week and will probably return to #1 on The Billboard 200.

MercyMe's The Generous Mr. Lovewell debuts at #3. This marks the fifth time in less than five years that an album by a Contemporary Christian pop/rock group has debuted in the top three. It follows Switchfoot's Nothing Is Sound, Underoath's Define The Great Line, Casting Crowns' The Altar & The Door and Skillet's Awake. Oddly, no Contemporary Christian group has ever reached #1.

Carole King/James Taylor's Live At The Troubadour enters The Billboard 200 at #4. This is the first joint album release by these baby-boomer icons, but it's certainly not their first collaboration. Taylor landed his only #1 hit in 1971 with his version of King's "You've Got A Friend."

The album was recorded during the pair's 2007 shows at the Troubadour, the legendary Los Angeles-area club that was the hub of the Laurel Canyon rock scene of the early '70s. The shows were so successful that King and Taylor are re-teaming for a tour this spring.

Live At The Troubadour, a CD/DVD combo, is Taylor's 11th top 10 album. It's King's seventh. Taylor has been pretty steady on the charts over the years. He has placed at least one album in the top 10 in each of the last five decades. He was most recently in the top 10 in October 2008 with Covers. King has been less steady on the charts than her old friend and cohort. This her first top 10 album since Thoroughbred hit #3 in 1976. So she probably benefited more than Taylor from this reunion. (Of course, they both benefit. The album and concerts are much more of an event this way. It's a case of 1 + 1 = 3.)

One final note: Many albums have been recorded at the Troubadour, including Tim Buckley's Live At The Troubadour 1969, and Neil Diamond/Gold, which hit the top 10 in September 1970. The Eagles (with an assist from J.D. Souther) wrote "The Sad Café" about the club. It was a highlight of the group's 1979 album The Long Run.

Court Yard Hounds' Court Yard Hounds debuts at #7.This is a side project by sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of Dixie Chicks. That trio hasn't released a new album since 2006's Taking The Long Way. Maguire and Robison wanted to get back to work, but the third member, the headline-making Natalie Maines didn't. (Apparently, she's still "Not Ready To Make Nice.") So the other two are back with this pop/rock project. (For the record, it's not listed on Top Country Albums.)

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

1. Godsmack, The Oracle, 117,000. This new entry is the metal band's third #1 album; its fifth to make the top 10. Nearly 23,000 copies were sold digitally, making this the week's #1 Digital Album. "Cryin' Like A B***h" jumps from #170 to #152 on Hot Digital Songs.

2. Lady Antebellum, Need You Now, 97,000. The former #1 album holds at #2 in its 15th week. Two songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs. "Need You Now" drops from #9 to #15. "American Honey" drops from #31 to #38.

3. MercyMe, The Generous Mr. Lovewell, 88,000. This new entry is the Contemporary Christian group's first top 10 album. Its previous best mark was set by Undone, which reached #12 in 2004.

4. Carole King/James Taylor, Live At The Troubadour, 78,000. This new entry is her seventh top 10 album; his 11th. Both artists made the top 20 with one previous live album. King scored in 2005 with The Living Room Tour. Taylor made it in 1993 with (Live).

5. Justin Bieber, My World 2.0, 64,000. The former #1 album dips from #4 to #5 in its seventh week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Eenie Meenie" (a duet with Sean Kingston), which dips from #10 to #12.

6. Deftones, Diamond Eyes, 62,000. This new entry is the band's fourth top 10 album. It's the band's best showing since Deftones hit #2 in 2003.

7. Court Yard Hounds, Court Yard Hounds, 61,000. This new entry is the fifth top 10 album for sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, following four Dixie Chicks albums.

8. AC/DC, Iron Man 2 soundtrack, 55,000. The soundtrack drops from #5 to #8 in its third week (though its sales were up over last week). It's the #1 movie soundtrack for the third straight week. The Robert Downey Jr. movie was #1 at the box-office in its opening weekend.

9. Toni Braxton, Pulse, 54,000. This new entry is Braxton's fifth top 10 album. It's the week's #1 R&B album, dislodging Usher's Raymond V Raymond.

10. Usher, Raymond V Raymond, 51,000. The former #1 album drops from #6 to #9 in its sixth week (though, as with AC/DC, its sales were up over last week). Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "OMG" (featuring will.i.am), which dips from #1 to #2.

B.o.B's B.o.B Presents: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray Simmons drops from #1 to #12. It's the first album to fall from #1 clear out of the top 10 since John Mayer's Battle Studies in October. Five other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Bullet For My Valentine's Fever nosedives from #3 to #25, Melissa Etheridge's Fearless Love drops from #7 to #20, Miranda Cosgrove's Sparks Fly sinks from #8 to #32, NOW 33 drops from #9 to #16, and Glee: The Music, The Power Of Madonna drops from #10 to #19.

Trina's Amazin' bows at #13. It's the rapper's third album to reach the top 15, following Diamond Princess (#14 in 2002) and Glamorest Life (#11 in 2005)....Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Uni5: The World's Enemy bows at #14. It's the sixth album by the rap veterans to reach the top 15...Zac Brown Band's Pass The Jar, a double CD/DVD combo, opens at #17. The country band's debut album, The Foundation, drops from #13 to #21.

Barbra Streisand's One Night Only-Barbra Streisand and Quartet At The Village Vanguard, a CD/DVD combo, sold 21,000 copies this week, but it's not listed on The Billboard 200. Instead, it debuts at #1 on Top DVD Music Videos. (It would have ranked #30 on the big chart if it had charted there.) The obvious question: Why are the Carole King/James Taylor and Zac Brown Band CD/DVD combos considered albums, while the Streisand combo is considered a DVD?

Billboard looks to timing and other factors to determine whether a title is predominately a DVD with a bonus CD or predominately a CD with a bonus DVD. Here's what Pietroluongo told me: "The Streisand has a stand-alone DVD and Blu-Ray and a combo which includes a bonus CD. We counted all pieces as a DVD. Carole/James and Zac are each marketed as an uadio piece with a bonus video. There is no stand-alone video version."

Incidentally, One Night Only sold more than four times as many copies as the week's #2 DVD title, Chickenfoot's Get Your Buzz On Live. I didn't check, but I'm pretty sure no songs appear on both the Streisand and Chickenfoot DVDs.

Tenth Avenue North's Over And Underneath is #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the fifth straight week. (It slips from #44 to #46 on The Billboard 200.) This is the longest run at #1 on the catalog chart for a Contemporary Christian album since I Can Only Imagine: Ultimate Power Anthems Of The Christian Faith  topped the chart for 12 weeks in 2008-2009. Tenth Avenue North's second major-label album, The Light Meets The Dark, will enter The Billboard 200 next week, probably in the top 20.

R.I.P. Lena Horne was probably better known for her movie work than her recordings, but she made some notable records, including her classic 1943 version of "Stormy Weather" and a 1959 collaboration with Harry Belafonte on Porgy & Bess. In 1982, an album of her Broadway revue, The Lady And Her Music, won two Grammys. A few years later, music mogul Clive Davis touted his new discovery Whitney Houston by saying she had the class and elegance of a young Lena Horne. Horne, who received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989, was 92.

Heads Up: The Dead Weather's  Sea Of Cowards and the National's High Violet are expected to debut in the top 10 on next week's chart. The Dead Weather is headed by Jack White of the White Stripes. Charice's Charice appears to be headed for a top 20 debut, as does the aforementioned album by Tenth Avenue North. Also due: As I Lay Dying's Powerless Rise, Meat Loaf's Hang Cool Teddy Bear, Keane's Night Train, Stereophonics' Keep Calm And Carry On, Jackson Browne and David Lindley's Love Is Strange, We Are The Fallen's Tear The World Down and the American Idol: Season 9 compilation.

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