Bruno Mars lands his first No. 1 album next week with a huge assist from Amazon. “Unorthodox Jukebox” reaches the summit in its 12th week on the chart in large part assisted by a promotion with the online retailer that offered the album for $1.99 on Tuesday.
Billboard no longer allows sales from deeply discounted albums to count in the album”s first four weeks of release (following Lady Gaga”s “Born This Way”), but after that, a lower price point counts. Therefore, chartwatchers will see Mars” “Jukebox” swap places with Mumford & Sons” “Babel,” which likely falls to No. 2.
However, with a few days before the chart closes, “Babel” is neck and neck with three other titles, including two debuts, all of which are targeted to sell between 35,000-40,000.
Predictions are that after “Babel,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis”s “The Heist” will leap from No. 16 to No. 3. Then comes Hillsong United”s “Zion” at No. 4 Not familiar with Hillsong United? It is the choir affiliated with Australian Pentacostal Hillsong Church. Coming in at No. 5 will likely be “Amok,” the debut release from Thom Yorke”s Atoms For Peace.”
Former No. 1 “All That Echoes” from Josh Groban slips to No. 6, but like the earlier titles, it”s too early in the chart week to call, as “Echoes,” “Now 45” and “Billboard #1s: 70s” are all slated to sell between 27,000-30,000 copies to name the No. 6-8 spots.
Rihanna”s “Unapologetic” and The Lumineers” self-titled set are also in a dead heat for No. 9 and No. 10, which each poised to sell between 25,000-28,000.