While it looked like, for a while, that Paramore would arrive as the ultimate winner on this week’s Billboard 200 chart, it is Barbra Streisand that topples that act, Mariah, Madonna and others at No. 1.
“Love Is the Answer” sold 180,000 last week, which is 5,000 better than Paramore’s “Brand New Eyes” at No. 2 and 12,000 more than Mariah Carey’s “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.” It is the veteran singer’s ninth chart-topper; her last came with 1997’s “Higher Ground.”
It truly was a battle of the divas, though, as Streisand was up against the aforementioned acts, plus to big greatest hits set from Madonna, “Celebration.” That set landed at No. 7 with 72,000.
Paramore’s sophomore album, “Riot!,” reached No. 15 in 2007, prior to the boost in popularity due to their inclusion on the “Twilight” soundtrack.
Carey’s numbers are way off, compared to her last release: while “Memoirs” moved 168,000, her 2008 set “E=MC2” sold 463,000. This may be a case of Mariah Carey hangover, considering this set comes only a year, and perhaps “Obsessed” didn’t catch hold at radio as tightly as tracks like “Touch My Body.”
Elsewhere on the top 10, Breaking Benjamin has its best sales week ever with “Dear Agony.” It bows at No. 4 with 134,000. However, the rock acts previous album, 2006’s “Phobia,” had a better chart peak at No. 2 (only with 125,000).
After a 13 year absence, Alice In Chains returns to the album chart at No. 5 with “Black Gives Way to Blue,” selling 126,000. The group reformed with a new lead singer, William DuVall, after the 2006 death of frontman Layne Staley.
Two young singers help round out the top tier with new records: country singer Miranda Lambert bows at No. 8 with 66,000 while Disney star Selena Gomez and the Scenes’ “Kiss and Tell” starts at No. 9 with 66,000.
Filling out the gaps, Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 3” moves 2-6 with 89,000 (-34%) while Pearl Jam’s “Backspacer” takes a 69% hit to 58,000, slipping 1-10.
Sales are still down 14% overall compared to last year. As previously reported, third quarter album sales were still down 11%, despite the bum-rush for albums from Michael Jackson and the Beatles.