Smashing Pumpkins Unable To Dethrone Billboard King T.I.

Interpol, Spoon, Aly & AJ turn out strong debuts during sluggish sales week.

Did all of you Smashing Pumpkins fans miss the memo about the band — well, frontman Billy Corgan and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, along with a bunch of hired guns — reuniting to record an album, its first in nearly a decade? We ask because only 144,800 of you hit the bricks last week to purchase Zeitgeist, the Pumpkins’ sixth studio LP and the first since their 2000 breakup and subsequent 2005 re-formation.

Music-industry know-it-alls figured Zeitgeist would fare better on next week’s Billboard top 200, bumping T.I. from the albums chart’s #1 position. But it didn’t work out that way. Instead, the Pumpkins debut at #2, after being outsold by T.I.’s T.I. vs. T.I.P. by more than 30,000 scans, despite the rapper suffering a 63 percent sales slide from last week. Hence, T.I.’s reign as Billboard‘s champ remains intact for a second straight week, thanks to reported sales of more than 175,000, according to the latest SoundScan figures.

If the Pumpkins had prevailed, they would have earned the second #1 opener of their career; 1995′s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness bowed on top, selling 246,500. But it just wasn’t in the cards — in fact, Zeitgeist is the Pumpkins’ worst performer, sales-wise, since 1993′s Siamese Dream, which opened at #10 with 71,900 copies sold.

Following the Pumpkins at #3, falling one chart position, is Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, the latest release from the star of the Disney Channel original series “Hannah Montana”; the LP sold another 128,000 copies. Kelly Clarkson‘s My December slips two spots to #5 with 58,600 scans; at #6, with 55,000 sold, it’s Bon Jovi‘s newest, Lost Highway. Linkin Park‘s Minutes to Midnight hangs tough at #7, with sales of 54,000, while Fergie‘s Dutchess pops up at #8 with 49,700 scans. Amy Winehouse‘s Back to Black drops one spot to #9, having sold 48,700 units.

A couple of other rockers make their debuts in next week’s top 10. Our Love to Admire, the third LP from Interpol, becomes the band’s first outing to debut in the top 5, coming in at #4 with 73,200 scans. And just making the cut at #10 are Austin, Texas, indie darlings Spoon, whose Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga generated sales of more than 46,000. In total, 17 new releases make their debuts on next week’s chart, including Aly & AJ‘s Insomniatic, which bows at #15 with sales of 39,200.

Entering at #20 is the soundtrack to the film “Hairspray,” which features the vocal stylings of John Travolta, Zac Efron, Queen Latifah, Nikki Blonsky, Michelle Pfeiffer and more. The set sold 36,700 copies during its first week. Following at #35 is the latest from seminal punks Bad Religion, New Maps of Hell, selling to the tune of 20,750. Another soundtrack debuts at #43, this one for the hit film “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which scanned more than 15,900 units. Crowded House‘s Time on Earth trails in the #46 spot, having sold 15,500 copies.

Opening at #57 is the latest from Against Me!, New Wave, which sold more than 12,300 copies during its first week in stores. Further down on the chart, finishing at #106 with 6,800 sold, is Monkeys for Nothin’ and the Chimps for Free, the new one from Reel Big Fish. Darkest Hour‘s latest, Deliver Us, follows at #110 with 6,600 scans. Gogol Bordello‘s Super Taranta! comes in at #115, thanks to first-week sales of 6,250, while They Might Be GiantsThe Else takes the #118 slot, with 6,000 copies moving off store shelves.

Mark Ronson‘s latest, Version, bows at #129, thanks to 5,600 scans, while comedian Patton Oswalt‘s Werewolves and Lollipops finished at #137, with more than 5,200 copies snatched up. Country star Tracy Lawrence‘s The Very Best of Tracy Lawrence opens at #163 with 4,630 scans, followed at #164 by Danzig‘s double-disc collection The Lost Tracks of Danzig, which sold 4,600 units.