Week Ending Aug. 29, 2010: Life's Ups & Downs
Ever since "California Gurls" exploded four months ago, it was obvious that Katy Perry's sophomore album, Teenage Dream, would be a contender for #1. But few pegged Fantasia's third album, Back To Me, as a candidate for a top chart berth. But the sad events in Fantasia's personal life in recent weeks put a spotlight on the singer, which helps her album debut at #2, just behind Teenage Dream.
This is Perry's first #1 album. Her 2008 debut, One Of The Boys, peaked at #9. This is also a career high for Fantasia. Her 2004 debut, Free Yourself, hit #8. Her 2006 sophomore album, Fantasia, peaked at #19.
Perry's album dethrones Eminem's Recovery, which has logged seven weeks at #1, more than any other album this year. It falls to #3.
Teenage Dream sold 192,000 copies this week, which is the most that an album by a female solo artist has sold since Susan Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream moved 510K in the week ending Dec. 27, 2009. The two artists are rather different. Not to be ungentlemanly, but Boyle dreamed her last "Teenage Dream" in March 1981.
Teenage Dream sold more than four times as many copies in its first week as One Of The Boys did in June 2008. It started with sales of 47,000. In fact, Perry's new album sold more digital copies in its first week (50,000) than her previous album sold overall (physical and digital combined) in its first week. Teenage Dream is the week's #1 Digital Album.
The title song, "Teenage Dream" moves up from #2 to #1 on Hot Digital Songs. It also tops the 1 million mark in paid downloads this week. It jumps to #2 on the Hot 100. (Eminem's smash collabo with Rihanna, "Love The Way You Lie," logs its seventh week on top.)
Fantasia's album sold 117,000 copies, which is less than Fantasia sold (133,000) when it debuted in December 2006. It's about half as many copies as Free Yourself sold (240,000) when it bowed in November 2004. Two factors are at work here. Both of the earlier albums were helped by being released during the lucrative holiday sales season. And sales in general have fallen off since the mid 2000s.
Fantasia, who was the Season 3 winner on American Idol, is the fifth Idol winner to reach #1 or #2 on The Billboard 200. She follows Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks. Three Idol runners-up have also made the top two on the pop album chart: Clay Aiken, Katharine McPhee and David Archuleta. And so have two contestants who finished further back in the pack: Jennifer Hudson (who finished seventh in Season 3) and the band fronted by Chris Daughtry (who finished fourth in Season 5).
Fantasia's album debuts at #1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It's her first #1 on that chart.
Eminem's Recovery, which spent seven weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200, logs its seventh week at #1 in the U.K., according to the Official Charts Company. Recovery is the first album to top both the U.S. and U.K. album chart for seven (or more) weeks since the Beatles' 2000 compilation 1, which was #1 in the U.S. for eight weeks and #1 in the U.K. for nine weeks. It's the first regular studio album to log seven or more weeks on top in both countries since Alanis Morissette's 1996 blockbuster Jagged Little Pill, which was #1 in the U.S. for 12 weeks and #1 in the U.K. for 11 weeks.
Usher's Versus debuts at #4. The album consists of seven new songs plus a version of protégé Justin Bieber's hit "Somebody To Love" (featuring Bieber) and a remix of "There Goes My Baby" from Usher's previous album, Raymond V Raymond. That former #1 album has sold 1,037,000 copies since it was released in late March.
Usher took a page from the Lady Gaga playbook and released Versus both as a stand-alone disc and as a bonus disc in a deluxe edition of Raymond V Raymond. The renewed focus allows Raymond to rebound from #31 to #19 this week.
Versus is Usher's sixth top 10 album. Each of the first five spawned one or more #1 hits on the Hot 100. Will "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love," the big hit from Versus, keep the streak alive? The song holds at #5 this week.
The Devil Wears Prada's five-song EP, Zombie, bows at #10. It's the Christian heavy metal band's first top 10 album. With Roots Above And Branches Below peaked at #11 in 2009. The band, which was founded in 2005, took its name from Lauren Weisberger's 2003 novel The Devil Wears Prada. That was before the 2006 movie starring Meryl Streep, which made the title much more broadly-known. I'm not sure if that's been a blessing or a curse for the band.
John Mellencamp's No Better Than This, which debuted and peaked at #10 last week, is available only in mono. It's the first mono-only release to make the top 10 since James Brown's Pure Dynamite! Live At The Royal, which peaked at #10 in April 1964. Brown's album, which was recorded at the Royal Theater in Baltimore, was his second live album in less than a year, following his 1963 smash Live At The Apollo. (My thanks to Paul Haney of Record Research for coming up with the answer.)
There's a crisis in the music business. Slumping sales? Illegal file sharing? Record company staffs being decimated? Sure, those, but I'm talking about how we're running out of album titles. Four of the albums in this week's top 10 feature titles that have been seen on the Billboard 200 before. Two of them have been used twice before. Jody Watley and Bloc Party both charted with albums titled Intimacy. Ray Charles and Cyndi Thomson both charted with albums titled My World. Kathleen Edwards charted with Back To Me in 2005. Pearl Jam hit #1 with Vs. (OK, a different spelling) in 1993.
Here's the top 10 on Hot Digital Songs, as calculated by Nielsen/SoundScan. Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" jumps from #2 to #1 (259K). Eminem featuring Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie" jumps from #3 to #2 (182K). Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" jumps from #4 to #3 (178K). Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" jumps from #6 to #4 (169K). Usher featuring Pitbull's "DJ Got Us Falling In Love" jumps from #7 to #5 (141K); Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull's "I Like It" dips from #5 to #6 (140K); Nelly's "Just A Dream" jumps from #8 to #7 (117K); B.o.B featuring Rivers Cuomo's "Magic" jumps from #9 to #8 (115K); Ke$ha's "Take It Off" jumps from #11 to #9 (110K); and Lil Wayne featuring Drake's "Right Above It" drops from #1 to #10 (101K).
Billboard's Keith Caulfield points out that Lil Wayne's dive from #1 to #10 is the biggest tumble from the top spot since Artists For Haiti's "We Are The World 25: For Haiti" plummeted from #1 to #17 in February.
"Erase Me" by Kid Cudi featuring Kanye West is the week's top new entry on Hot Digital Songs at #11. The song sold 99K downloads in its first week. Mr. Cudi is a likely Grammy finalist for Best New Artist.
"Magic" is the third different song with that title to make the top 10 on the Hot 100. A sprightly song by the Scottish group Pilot reached #5 in July 1975. Olivia Newton-John spent a month at #1 in August 1980 with a hypnotic ballad of the same name. It was one of her best singles (and that's saying something). The Cars just missed the top 10 with their "Magic." It peaked at #12 in July 1984. (Why are songs titled "Magic" always hits in the summer? It's the season for magic.)
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
1. Katy Perry, Teenage Dream, 192,000. This new entry is Perry's first #1 album. It's her second album to make the top 10. Eight songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Teenage Dream," which jumps to #1.
2. Fantasia, Back To Me, 117,000. This new entry is Fantasia's highest-charting album to date. It's her second album to make the top 10. "Bittersweet" enters Hot Digital Songs at #166.
3. Eminem, Recovery, 98,000. The former #1 album slips to #3 in its 10th week. Five songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Love The Way You Lie" (featuring Rihanna), which rebounds from #3 to #2.
4. Usher, Versus, 46,000. This new entry is Usher's sixth top 10 album. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" (featuring Pitbull), which jumps from #7 to #5.
5. Little Big Town, The Reason Why, 42,000. This new entry is the country group's first top 10 album. It's #1 on this week's Country Albums chart, which is also a first for the group. "Little White Church" jumps from #75 to #62 on Hot Digital Songs.
6. Kem, Intimacy: Album III, 30,000. The album drops from #2 to #6 in its second week. The album has sold 105K copies in its first two weeks.
7. Justin Bieber, My World 2.0, 29,000. The former #1 album inches up from #8 to #7 in its 23rd week. Three songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by "Somebody To Love," which rebounds from #73 to #42.
8. Randy Rogers Band, Burning The Day, 29,000. This new entry is the act's first top 10 album. Randy Rogers Band peaked at #29 in 2008.
9. Ray LaMontagne And The Pariah Dogs, God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise, 28,000. The album drops from #3 to #9 in its second week.
10. Devil Wears Prada, Zombie EP, 25,000. This new entry is the Christian heavy metal band's first top 10 album.
Six albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Iron Maiden's The Final Frontier drops from #4 to #20, Trace Adkins' Cowboy's Back In Town drops from #5 to #11, Lady Antebellum's Need You Now drops from #6 to #12, Arcade Fire's The Suburbs drops from #7 to #16, David Gray's Foundling plummets from #9 to #54, and John Mellencamp's No Better Than This dives from #10 to #33.
Never Shout Never's Harmony debuts at #14. It's the singer/guitarist's first top 20 album...Jeremy Camp's We Cry Out: The Worship Project debuts at #15. It's the contemporary Christian artist's highest-charting album to date.
Drake's Thank Me Later tops the 1 million mark in sales this week. It's the seventh album to reach that plateau so far this year. The former #1 album drops from #12 to #18 this week. Like Kid Cudi, Drake is a likely Grammy finalist for Best New Artist. (The battle is on!)
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is the #1 soundtrack for the third week. It drops from #13 to #22 on The Billboard 200. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is the #1 soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the second week. It drops from #24 to #41.
Casting Crowns' 2007 album The Altar And The Door jumps to #1 on this week's Catalog Albums chart. The album sold 5,000 copies this week, which allows it to re-enter The Billboard 200 at #83. It's the fourth contemporary Christian album to top the catalog chart so far this year, following Chris Tomlin's See The Morning and Hello Love and Tenth Avenue North's Over And Underneath.
Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" jumps to #1 in the U.K. this week. It's his second #1 British hit. "Break Your Heart" topped the chart there for three weeks in September. The song dips to #3 on the Hot 100 after logging three weeks at #2.
Justin Bieber's 2009 hit "One Time" tops the 2 million mark in paid downloads this week. It's Bieber's second song to reach this plateau, following "Baby" (featuring Ludacris), which is up to 2,355,000.
The Last Exorcism was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. There is no soundtrack album.
I hope you watched the Emmys on Sunday. Jimmy Fallon and cast members from Glee opened the show with a rousing version of Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run." The song is a classic, of course, but you may be surprised to learn that it wasn't much of a hit. The song peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 in November 1975. This, despite the fact that the Born To Run album reached #3 on Oct. 11 and Springsteen made the covers of both TIME and Newsweek on Oct. 27. Despite all the buzz, many Top 40 stations just took a pass. It would take another five years for Springsteen to land his first top 10 hit, "Hungry Heart."
Why wasn't "Born To Run" a bigger hit at the time? There may have been a radio backlash to the media hype. Also, the track was pretty intense for pop radio, which prefers records that blend in, rather than records that stand out. The biggest hits at the time were Elton John's poppy "Island Girl," John Denver's double-sided smash "Calypso"/"I'm Sorry" and a pair of soft rock hits, Jefferson Starship's "Miracles" and Eagles' "Lyin' Eyes."
R.I.P. George David Weiss, who died on Aug. 23 at the age of 89, achieved a singular distinction. He co-wrote ballads that rank among the signature songs of two of the biggest music stars of the 20th Century. He co-wrote Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love," which the King sang in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii, and Louis Armstrong's 1968 release "What A Wonderful World." Both singers had bigger hits, but these songs are the ones are the ones that seem to linger in the public consciousness.
Heads Up: Disturbed's Asylum is expected to debut at #1 next week with first-week sales in the range of 150,000. NOW 35 will probably debut at #2 or #3 Also vying for a debut in the top 10: Lyfe Jennings's I Still Believe and Goo Goo Dolls' Something For The Rest Of Us. Also due: Heart's Red Velvet Car, 10 Years' Feeding The Wolves, Ryan Bingham's Junky Star and Papa Roach's Time For Annihilation.