– As expected, Beyonce debuts at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart with “I Am…Sasha Fierce”. What wasn’t necessarily expected, though, was the ascent of “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), which blasted to #2 ahead of “If I Were A Boy” at 3. “Single” hadn’t been available digitally until last week, but once it was, it sold over 200,000 units, debuting at #1 on the Top Digital Sales. For anyone who believes that the video as an art form and a promotional tool is dead, I ask that you reconsider that conclusion. Between the original, all of the online tributes and parodies, and the hilarious send-up on “Saturday Night Live”, that video earned every single penny that they put into it.
– Right behind Beyonce on the Top 200 are a pair of pop/rock debuts from Nickleback at 2 and American Idol David Cook at 3. While both looked to be neck and neck early on, Nickleback took the decisive lead in the end, with first single “Gotta Be Somebody” at #19 on the Hot 100. While “Light On” has some good momentum at radio, the sales on the single have dried up, dragging it down to #91 this week. Cook does have a couple of nice distinctions to celebrate this week. His full-length garnered the most sales for a debut digital release since Soundscan started tracking sales, and tops the Top Digital Albums chart.
Other than a lot of Christmas records floating around, there really aren’t a lot of exciting things going on with the Album chart, other than a debut from Il Divo at #5. The scary thing about this week’s chart is that total sales are a whopping 32% down from last year. While that sounds like gloom and doom, just remember that Thanksgiving is as late this year as it can be, throwing off retail calendars and basically creating one less week of shopping than usual. This week’s mega releases are going to have to do some serious work, but I just don’t see the recovery with these titles. Kanye is expected to come in around 500K, followed by Guns N Roses with 300K, and Ludacris & the Killers clocking in over 200K. Folks, this is not a good sign.
– Back on the Hot 100, T.I. continues his domination with
Dragostea Din Tei “Live Your Life” at #1, but “Whatever You Like” continues its slow descent at #4, and Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold” drops back one spot to #5. Lady GaGa continues her quest for a cheeseburger world domination by jumping up another 9 spots to land at #7, joining label boss Akon in the Top 10 for the first time. What I want to know is, if Cherrytree can get GaGa into the top 10, why can’t they get Robyn? Am I missing something? [BTW, did anyone else hear about the Lady passing out at a club show in Seattle? A friend of a friend was there, and said it was pretty crazy.]
The Fray pick up top debut this week at #28 with “You Found Me”, which should continue to do well after its placement during the American Music Awards on Sunday. The full-length is out in early February in multiple formats, including a Deluxe Edition currently up for pre-orders on their website that will also get you early access to their club tour in January. Interesting twist on the marketing…as part of the purchase, you will also receive digital access to live tracks recorded during the club tour that you may end up on if you go. These are some smart boys, I tell ya. Cities on the club tour are Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia and New York. (And yes, I’ve already pre-ordered my copy.)
Strong moves this week include Ludacris and T-Pain’s “One More Drink”, which I heard today and didn’t hate, climbing from 54-38, Rihanna’s “Rehab” leaping 61-34, a 71-58 jump for 50 Cent’s “Get Up”, and a strong 80-61 leap for Usher’s “Trading Places”. [I caught this a couple of weeks ago, and meant to post it, but notice that Fitty’s CD is not among the top sellers this week, due to him
blinking tweaking the new record that caused it to be pushed into 2009. Can you say “Kanye”?] One last record to watch is Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”, which may re-enter the Top 10 next week, based on some big moves at radio this week.