Only two new titles make it into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 this week, although it could have been three if not for a strange rule imposed by Nielsen SoundScan and the charting magazine.
Bon Jovi scores its fourth No. 1 album with “The Circle,” as it starts with 163,000 copies. The rock band”s 2007 set “Lost Highway” was the last at the top, as it bowed with a whopping 292,000. The band”s single “We Weren”t Born to Follow” has been doing well on the adult top 40 and adult contemporary charts, tallies that were probably unthinkable to the New Jersey-born-and-bredders 23 years ago when “Slippery When Wet” dropped.
Flyleaf has a No. 8 start with “Memento Mori,” with 56,000 copies. While their 2006 debut never managed a higher peak, it did stick around on The Billboard 200 for more than two years.
50 Cent is the coulda-woulda (shoulda?) artist on the albums sales chart this week, as his new album “Before I Self-Destruct” hit the digital shelves on Nov. 9. However, because of a charting rule at Billboard, those sales numbers won”t count this week.
Billboard has a rule that a label can request to withhold digital sales numbers for up to a week if the digital onsale started early due to a leak. “Self-Destruct” was originally due Nov. 23, but then the label moved the digital release to Nov. 9 and the physical release to Nov. 16 (yesterday) because the album leaked. Interscope does not want that initial week of sales to “count” yet, as it may not make the album”s debut look as big or chart as high on The Billboard 200 in the second week. So Billboard is complying with its own rule… for now. “Billboard, along with Nielsen SoundScan, will review the merit of maintaining this rule,” read a statement at the end of this week”s recap.
Good call. The rule seems a bit arbitrary. Billboard changed its 200 rules recently in lieu of catalog albums, like the Beatles remasters and Michael Jackson”s biggest releases, so maybe they”ll change this one, too.
As for the rest of this week”s top tier, Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas” climbs from 3-2 (136,000, -8%), Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” falls 1-3 (136,000, -60%) and Michael Jackson”s umpteenth hits comp “This Is It” descends 2-4 (117,000, -40%). Taylor Swift”s “Fearless” gets a boost from her CMA wins, as it ascends 6-5 (91,000, +30%). Michael Buble”s “Crazy Love” moves 8-7 (58,000, -2%), the first volume of the “Glee” season one soundtrack slips 4-9 (56,000, -51%) and the soundtrack to “New Moon” sits tight at No. 10 (53,000, +1%).
Watch that latter most album rise next week, as the movie debuts Friday.
Sales this week are up 3% compared to last week and down 21% compared to the same week last year. Overall sales for the year are down 13% compared to last year.