If you think about it, the soundtrack to “Juno” — the sleeper film that’s now been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar — has no business being Billboard’s best-selling album. After all, it is a collection of songs from a number of relatively unknown and largely underground artists, musicians like Kimya Dawson, Sonic Youth, Belle and Sebastian and the Moldy Peaches.
“I never looked at charts in my life,” Dawson told MTV News earlier this month. “I’m not interested in being with a major label, I just make music and play shows. And I live in Washington State, which I like because there, people play music because they like music. [The attention from ’Juno’ is] “All just weird,” she continued. “I’m mainly happy about it because I love the movie ’Juno’ and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Yet, somehow, the record has managed to surpass a mega-star like Alicia Keys and assume the chart’s peak position with a mere 64,800 copies. Released seven weeks ago, the LP failed to chart initially, selling just 4,700 units. But in truth, it was only a matter of time before “Juno” reached the top. Four weeks ago, the soundtrack came from out of nowhere, entering the top 200 for the first time at #8 with sales reported at 38,000. The week after that, it climbed to #3 and then, the following week, to #2. It’s been a slow and steady ascension for the soundtrack, which bumps Keys’ As I Am, which scanned 59,800 copies, to #2, making “Juno” the nation’s new chart-topper, according to the latest SoundScan totals.
And while 13 new releases make their debuts on next week’s chart, only one of them cracked the coveted top 10: English songstress Natasha Bedingfield’s Pocketful of Sunshine, which opens at #3 with 49,800 copies sold.
Other than that, the chart remained relatively unchanged. Following Bedingfield at #4 with 45,000 copies sold is Mary J. Blige’s Growing Pains, just in front of Radiohead’s In Rainbows at #5, which sold 35,000 units. Taylor Swift’s self-titled debut holds at #6, scanning another 34,600 units, with Chris Brown’s Exclusive finishing at #7 after selling another 31,600 copies. Keyshia Cole’s Just Like You climbs four spots to #8, scanning 31,000 units, while Garth Brooks’ Ultimate Hits follows at #9 with 30,300 sold. Rounding things out at #10 is “Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus,” selling just under 30,000 copies during its 31st week of commercial release.
Elsewhere on the chart, Cat Power’s Jukebox bows at #12, racking up week-one sales of 29,400. Other newcomers to next week’s chart include Radio Disney Jams, Vol. 10, a two-disc set boasting contributions from the Jonas Brothers, Aly & AJ, Ashley Tisdale, Hilary Duff and the Plain White T’s, which enters at #18 with 21,000 sold, and alt-country act Drive-By Truckers’ Brighter Than Creation’s Dark, which claims the chart’s #36 opening with 16,000 scans. Matt Costa’s Unfamiliar Faces follows at #59, selling 11,000 copies.
Singer/songwriter Kate Voegele’s Don’t Look Away debuts at #63 with 10,000 copies sold, while Ultra Dance, Vol. 9, a compilation featuring artists like Daft Punk, Rihanna, Ciara and Seal, enters at #77, selling 8,200. Indie rockers Black Mountain’s In the Future opens at #101 with 6,500 scans, while Moe’s Sticks and Stones follows at #119 with 5,600 sold. Lastly, the Audition’s latest, Champion, makes its chart debut at #157, having sold 4,000 and change.