If [artist id="1006"]Pearl Jam[/artist] have proved anything over their nearly 20-year career, it’s that you can go your own way and still have it your way. Case in point: Their first non-major label album, Backspacer, will bring the grunge godheads back to the top of the Billboard 200 charts for the first time in 13 years next week. The disc, which was sold in an exclusive with Target stores, as well as at independent retailers, iTunes and through the band’s Web site, moved 189,000 copies last week, easily ending [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z‘s[/artist] two-week reign at #1, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
Jay isn’t too far behind at #2 with The Blueprint 3, which lost 55 percent of its business from the previous week, while still managing to sell 134,000 copies, for a three-week total of 908,000. There are also a few new faces in the top 10, including Canadian rockers [artist id="1237019"]Three Days Grace[/artist], whose Life Starts Now bows at #3 (79,000); [artist id="1225560"]Brand New[/artist], who hit #6 with Daisy (46,000); metal act Five Finger Death Punch‘s War Is the Answer (#7, 44,000) and crooner Harry Connick Jr. with Your Songs (#8, 37,000).
The rest of the top 10 are [artist id="1158"]Whitney Houston‘s[/artist] I Look to You (#4, 66,000), [artist id="2408193"]Miley Cyrus‘[/artist] Time of Our Lives EP (#5, 61,000), [artist id="2545682"]Drake‘s[/artist] So Far Gone (#9, 36,000) and [artist id="1191782"]Muse‘s[/artist] The Resistance (#10, 36,000, down 72 percent from the previous week).
Just outside the top 10, the indie supergroup Monsters of Folk leap up 128 spots to #15 in the first week of wide release for their self-titled debut (31,000). Kid Cudi, meanwhile, had a rough second week, as his Man on the Moon: The End of the Day shed 73 percent of its debut-week business and slides 13 spots to #17.
Perez Hilton’s musical crush, flamboyant pop singer Mika, debuts at #19 with The Boy Who Knew Too Much (27,000), while another of his obsessions, Lady Gaga, sees her Fame drop eight spots (#20, 25,000) following the post-VMA climb. She’s now within spitting distance of 1.5 million albums sold.
After a smash debut, “Fire Burning” singer Sean Kingston opens at a low flame with his second effort, Tomorrow, which comes in at #37 (13,000). Formerly noisy English trio the Noisettes hit #98 with their soulful musical re-imagination Wild Young Hearts (5,000), and fellow Brits the Big Pink manage a #138 bow with A Brief History of Love (3,300).
Look for chart debuts next week from Mariah Carey, Paramore, Barbra Streisand, Alice in Chains, AFI and Selena Gomez.