Josh Groban’s Christmas album, Noel, was doubly blessed last week, thanks to inclusion in Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list and the opening of the holiday-shopping season on Friday. Thanks to those two events, Noel‘s sales rose 81%, and its 405,000-copy sales total was enough for the album to wrest the No. 1 spot from last week’s top seller, Alicia Keys’ As I Am.
Biggest Debuts: Jordin Sparks’ “Tattoo” may be a pop hit, but her debut album bowed at No. 10 with 119,000 copies sold. (To be fair, that total may have netted her a higher first-week chart placement in non-Black Friday weeks, but then again, if people weren’t out shopping for crap to give to their friends and relatives, would her sales have been so robust? Dilemmas!) Then again, if you want an all-over-the-radio act whose album kind of underperformed, look at No. 17, where OneRepublic’s Dreaming Out Loud opened with 75,000 copies sold. So much for the power of airplay, eh? Elsewhere in the top 20, Keith Urban’s greatest-hits collection came in at No. 11, selling 117,000 copies; Christian pop act MercyMe entered at No. 15.
Notable Jumps: Beyonce’s B’Day re-entered the charts at No. 19, selling 73,000 copies; that’s a staggering jump from last week, when she moved 4,200 units. Guess people still do watch the American Music Awards.
Dropping Off: Celine Dion’s Taking Chances took a 40% week-to-week hit; the way this album is kind of tanking is, frankly, somewhat surprising to me. I really thought that a) she’d be easily over the 500,000-sold mark by now and b) the Black Friday rush would have buoyed her numbers at least a little bit. Is “waiting for Celine to go gold” going to become the new “waiting for Curtis to go platinum”?
Nickelback Award For Inexplicable Durability: Even in the a la carte era, the Now compilations soldier on as the go-to pop music gift for the tough cookies on peoples’ lists, with the latest installment–featuring all of last summer’s hits, like “Crank That,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Hey There Delilah,” and “Rock Star”–climbing from No. 4 to No. 3 on a 12% sales bump. Because what says “happy holidays” better than “remember that song you got sick of six months ago”?
This week’s top 20, with sales totals in parentheses:
1. Josh Groban, Noel (405,000)
2. Alica Keys, As I Am (349,000)
3. Now 26 (234,000)
4. Garth Brooks, Ultimate Hits (192,000)
5. Eagles, Long Road Out Of Eden (184,000)
6. High School Musical 2 soundtrack (183,000)
7. Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride (141,000)
8. Celine Dion, Taking Chances (128,000)
9. Chris Brown, Exclusive (121,000)
10. Jordin Sparks (119,000)
11. Keith Urban, Greatest Hits (117,000)
12. Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (99,000)
13. Taylor Swift (88,000)
14. Jay-Z, American Gangster (87,000)
15. Mercyme, All That Is Within Me (84,000)
16. Led Zeppelin, Mothership (82,000)
17. OneRepublic, Dreaming Out Loud (75,000)
18. Colbie Caillat, Coco (74,000)
19. Beyonce, B’Day (73,000)
20. Rascal Flatts, Still Feels Good (65,000)