Paramore shouldn't feel too bad that they were just barely beat out for a #1 debut by one of pop's all-time classic divas: They beat out a mega-selling modern diva — and notched their best first week ever in the process.
Though the band's third album, Brand New Eyes, will bow at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week, after selling 175,000 copies, they can rest easy knowing that they were just a nose behind legend Barbra Streisand, whose album of jazz standards, Love Is the Answer, snagged the top spot with sales of 180,000. The feat, Babs' ninth #1 album, gives her at least one top debut in each of the past five decades.
The news was not as good for Mariah Carey, whose Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (168,000) sold considerably less in its first week than her last album, E=MC2 (463,000), according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
With eight new contenders, next week's top 10 got. Rockers Breaking Benjamin hit #4 with Dear Agony (134,000), followed by revived grunge icons Alice in Chains, whose first new album in almost 15 years, Black Gives Way to Blue, debuts at #5 (126,000). Madonna's final effort for Warner Bros., the greatest hits album Celebration, isn't much of a cause for one, landing at #7 on sales of just 72,000, tailed by country singer Miranda Lambert's Revolution (#8, 66,000). Kiss and Tell, from "Wizards of Waverly Place" star Selena Gomez (and her band, the Scene), is less than 75 copies behind at #9.
The only holdovers from last week are Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3, which slips four spots to #6, as sales dipped 34 percent to 89,000, and Pearl Jam, who fall nine to #10 with Backspacer, shedding 69 percent of their first-week business (58,000).
Just outside the top 10 there is plenty of action as well, including a #12 bow for eyeliner rockers AFI with Crash Love (52,000) and a #15 bid from the Adult Swim metal band Dethlok's Dethalbum II (45,000). The Rick Rubin-produced folk duo Avett Brothers are just behind with I and Love and You (40,000).
Ghostface Killah's Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City materializes at #28 on soft sales of 19,000, while hyped English prog trio Muse continue to slide down the charts in their third week, dropping 15 more spots to #25 with The Resistance (24,000). Alt-rock supergroup Monsters of Folk sag 30 spots to #45 with their self-titled debut (13,000, down 58 percent), and Brand New got old quickly, as their album Daisy has wilted, plunging 38 slots to #44 (14,000, down 70 percent) in its second week.
The Karen O-led soundtrack to Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are" comes in at #36 (16,000), and former Mazzy Star singer Hope Sandoval quietly creeps into the #160 spot with Through the Devil Softly (3,000).
The top 10 should get shaken up again next week, with debuts from smooth crooner Michael Bublé, Toby Keith, Kiss and the Backstreet Boys.