Amos Lee earns No. 1 on Billboard 200 with another record low

On the one hand, it”s great to see new blood at the top of The Billboard 200 album sales chart. On the other, it”s been another bad week for sales and the chart.

Amos Lee earns his first No. 1 with “Mission Bell,” ringing in with 40,000. His previous best was with 2008″s “Last Days at the Lodge” with 16,000 at No. 16.

However, this week marks another record sales low for an album at No. 1. Cake had that previous distinction when “Showroom of Compassion” bowed at the summit with only 44,000 earlier this year.

Iron & Wine”s major label debut “Kiss Each Other Clean” – reviewed here – has to settle for No. 2 with 39,000, a few hundred shy of Lee”s release. Still, it”s a career high for Sam Beam and Co., as their previous best cam with “Shepherd”s Dog” in 2007 at No. 24 (with 32,000).

Nicki Minaj”s “Pink Friday” ascends No. 9 to No. 3 with a 35% sales increase to 38,000.

The “2011 Grammy Nominees” hits compliation debuts at No. 4, also with 38,000. One of its contributors, Bruno Mars, sees his solo effort “Doo-Wops & Hooligans” rise No. 6 to No. 5 (33,000, -4%), Mumford & Sons” “Sigh No More” is up No. 10 to No. 6 (31,000, +17%) and Taylor Swift”s “Speak Now” moves No. 8 to No. 7 (31,000, flat).

Latin duo Wisin & Yandel”s “Los Vaqueros: El Regreso” bowas at No. 8 with 31,000. Their last “La Revolucion” started at No. 7 with 36,000 in 2009.

“Kidz Bop 19” is down No. 2 to No. 9 (30,000, -57%) and The Decemberists” “The King Is Dead” topples from No. 1 to No. 10 (29,000, -69%).

Sales this week are up 1% compared to last week and down 18% compared to the same week last year. Sales are down 13% this year so far.