The [artist id="30064"]Black Eyed Peas[/artist] are probably happy that their latest, The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies), will be back on top of the Billboard 200 chart next week. But despite retaking the lead after falling to #2 last week, some of the "Boom Boom Pow" of the feat will be diminished in light of the fact that their disc was really the fourth best-selling album in the country last week.
Though the Peas sold 88,000 copies of their album, late pop superstar [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] would have pushed them down to the #4 slot if his albums were still eligible for the current charts. As it is, Jackson's catalog saw a remarkable resurgence after his death last Thursday at the age of 50: Three of his albums selling in excess of 100,000 copies, marking the first time catalog albums outsold the 200 champ. They were ineligible, however, for the Top 200 albums charts because they were released more than 18 months ago. (The one Jackson album that is eligible, a Motown double-disc released last August called Gold, does make the chart way down at #191, with sales of close to 3,000.)
While the Peas saw a 40 percent drop-off in business — even as their disc crossed the 500,000 mark in just three weeks — the bigger story was the precipitous plunge of the [artist id="2088128"]Jonas Brothers'[/artist] Lines, Vines and Trying Times, which shed 72 percent of its business in week two and drops to #2 on sales of 68,000.
Making a very strong debut at #3 is critics' fave [artist id="1766828"]Regina Spektor[/artist], whose Far moved 50,000 copies, leading a parade of new titles in the top 10 that also includes prog-rockers Dream Theater with Black Clouds & Silver Linings (#6, 40,000), the "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" soundtrack (#7, 39,000) and R&B smoothie [artist id="835"]Ginuwine[/artist] with Man's Thoughts (#9, 37,000).
The rest of the top 10 finds the [artist id="814"]Dave Matthews Band's[/artist] Big Whiskey & the Groogrux King at #4 (47,000), [artist id="502642"]Eminem's[/artist] Relapse at #5 (47,000), [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga's[/artist] Fame at #8 (37,000) and the "Hannah Montana" soundtrack at #10 (34,000).
Speaking of prog rock, wordy experimentalists the Mars Volta land at #12 with their knotty latest, Octahedron (30,000). Incubus take a major tumble with their hits package Monuments & Melodies, which shed 77 percent of its business from last week's debut to drop from #5 to #24, and indie favorites Dinosaur Jr. have a decent debut at #29 with the second effort from the reunited lineup, Farm (14,000).
Fans were clearly so jacked about the "Transformers" movie that even the score album by Steve Jablonsky sneaked into the top 50 at #49 (9,000). Further down, a re-imaging of reggae great Bob Marley's tunes for children, B is for Bob, bows at #77 (6,000). Punkers Alexisonfire hit #81 in the first week for their album, Old Crows/Young Card (6,000), and veteran R&B crooner Al B. Sure! makes a tentative return after more than a decade of musical silence with Honey I'm Home,, which debuts at #85 (6,000). "American Idol" finalist Michael Johns hit #97 with his first album since his 2008 run on the show, Hold Back My Heart (5,000).
Expect the Jackson activity to continue through next week, following the memorial services over the holiday weekend, as well as some new blood in the top 10 next week with an album from Brad Paisley, a solo album from Matchbox Twenty leader Rob Thomas and the latest from Wilco.