What would it take to end the nearly three-month reign of chart queen [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist]? How about a commando raid from Irish rock royalty [artist id="1022"]U2[/artist]? Thanks to a multimedia blitz that included a week's worth of gigs on David Letterman's show, the heavily hyped [article id="1606622"]No Line on the Horizon[/article] will easily unseat Swift with 484,000 in sales, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
Now, the total was a far cry from the more than 840,000 the band's 2004 album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, moved in its chart debut, but after weeks of five-digit totals in the #1 slot, the music industry is likely breathing a sigh of relief at Horizon's sales, which were the biggest one-week total so far this year.
That means Swift's Fearless will have to settle for a distant second on sales of 52,000, followed by a surprisingly high debut from indie queen [artist id="508554"]Neko Case[/artist], whose Middle Cyclone thunders into the #3 slot on sales of 44,000. Case barely held off hard-charging dance-floor diva [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist], who continues her march up the charts, hitting #4 with 42,000 more disco stick-riding converts.
The rest of the top 10 is rounded out by Nickelback's Dark Horse (#5, 36,000), [artist id="7590"]Jamie Foxx's[/artist] remarkably strong Intuition (#6, 33,000), the self-titled second album from [artist id="1946832"]the Fray[/artist] (#7, 32,000), [artist id="3143372"]Beyoncé's[/artist] I Am ... Sasha Fierce (#8, 31,000), the "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack (#9, 24,000) and [artist id="1225081"]T.I.'s[/artist] Paper Trail (#10, 24,000).
[artist id="1225081"]Kanye West's[/artist] 808s & Heartbreak falls out of the top 10 for the first time since its release in late November, landing at #11 on sales of 23,000. [artist id="1161196"]Lamb of God[/artist] drop 10 spots to #12 with 22,000 more units moved of Wrath. And, as their movie's box-office downslide continues, the [artist id="2088128"]Jonas Brothers'[/artist] accompanying 3D Concert Experience disc falls hard from #3 to #15, losing more than 60 percent from the previous week with sales of 19,000. Despite a slew of magazine profiles and personal appearances, [artist id="2389411"]Lily Allen[/artist] also had another rough week, as her well-reviewed It's Not Me, It's You dropped another 13 spots to #40 with close to 11,000 units shifted.
Further down the charts, the soundtrack from "Watchmen," featuring a mix of oldies and [article id="1605353"]My Chemical Romance's cover of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row,"[/article] debuts at #36 on sales of 13,000. Somalian rapper K'Naan's Troubadour takes a hard tumble in its second week, falling 55 spots to #87 on sales of 6,000.
Look for the charts to get shaken up again next week, with the debut of [artist id="1231768"]Kelly Clarkson's[/artist] comeback disc, All I Ever Wanted, and the latest from [artist id="2801312"]The-Dream[/artist], Love Vs. Money.