After a static chart for the first several weeks of 2009, the year kicks into high gear as The Fray tosses Bruce Springsteen out of the top spot on the Billboard 200.
Unlike Taylor Swift, who had reigned at the top of the Billboard 200 for all of 2009, the Boss only got one week at the summit. He slips to No. 2 as sales of “Working on a Dream” drop 55% to 102,000, according to Billboard. While that drop seems severe, it is blunted by any sales boost he received from his Super Bowl half-time show. Additionally, his new Wal-Mart-only greatest hits set spikes 31 places to No. 43 on the back of the Super Bowl appearance.
The Fray’s self-titled sophomore set is the group’s first No. 1: its debut, “How to Save a Life,” never climbed above No. 14, but was a long, slow seller, having moved close to 2.8 million albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Swift finally sees her 12-week hold on the Top Country Albums chart end as Dierks Bentley debuts at No. 1 on that chart with “Feel That Fire,” his third country charttopper. He enters the Billboard Top 200 at No. 3 behind the Fray and Springsteen.
The only other entry in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 is “Kidz Bop 15,” the equivalent of the “Now” series for tots. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus comes in at No. 14 with its second collection, “Lonely Road.”
In a sign of the time, it used to be that we’d have to wait until next week’s chart to see the boost from Sunday night’s Grammys since the chart week closes on Sunday- and we still will see a boost for many of those artists–but thanks to iTunes and other digital retailers, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s “Raising Sand,” sees an instant result: The album of the year winner comes back onto the Billboard 200 at No. 68 with a 268% sales increase over the previous week, according to Billboard. Additionally, best new artist winner Adele also sees a huge increase as “19” soars from No. 56 to No. 27.
Next week, we expect the Fray to stay at No. 1, but both Lily Allen and India.Arie should have top 10 debuts.
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