Record sales are in the dumper, but some acts continue to show impressive strength in the face of otherwise dire circumstance. For example, The Decemberists debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 last week with sales of 94,000 copies for “The King is Dead.” That was an impressive 75,000 more units than the band”s previous best sales week, 2009″s “The Hazards of Love.”
It”s not as significant a leap, but Christian rock band Red will likely land its first chart topper next week with “Until We Have Faces, with a nice increase in sales over its last set, 2009″s “Innocence and Instinct.” Red”s previous high on the Billboard 200 was No. 15. Billboard predicts “Until We Have Faces” will sell 45,000 copies.
That”s right, the run of incredibly low sales tallies at No. 1 continues in what is clearly the worst musical start to a year since the 1991 bow of Nielsen SoundScan. At least it looks like Red won’t set a new record for lowest wekly sales to top the chart: After setting the record this week with 40,000 copies, Amos Lee’s “Mission Bell” is safe for at least another week
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Barring some sudden rush at retail, Nicki Minaj will continue being the bridesmaid, never the bride, as “Pink Friday” bounces back to No. 2. Multiple Grammy nominee Bruno Mars slides up to No. 3 with “Doo-Wops & Hooligans.”
Ricky Martin”s new set, “Musica + Alma + Sexo,” will likely bow at No. 5, as the rest of the Top 10 is filled with continuing strong sellers such as Taylor Swift”s “Speak Now,” Mumford & Sons” “Sigh No More,” and Pink”s greatest hits.
Bob Marley & The Wailers” last live concert will likely muster a top 15 debut as will the indie set from Nashville-based duo The Civil Wars, according to Hits Daily Double.