In death, as he was in life, [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] is still proving to be the King of Pop. In the same week that the documentary "Michael Jackson's This Is It" was the #1 movie in the land, the accompanying soundtrack will take the honors on the Billboard 200 albums chart. According to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan, the "This Is It" soundtrack will assume the top spot with sales of 373,000, easily besting the week's other big debut, a #2 bow by reunited rockers [artist id="1243"]Creed[/artist], whose Full Circle moved 110,000 units.
Thanks to the release of a deluxe edition last Monday, Taylor Swift's Fearless will move up four spots to #3 on sales of 109,000. While the more than 4 million in total sales for the album is impressive, Swift will also notch another major milestone this week, as her self-titled 2006 debut notches its 157th week in the top 200, beating out the previous record holder, [artist id="760446"]Nickelback[/artist].
There are plenty of new entries in the top 10, including rock lifer Rod Stewart, whose latest covers album, Soulbook, slides in at #4 on sales of nearly 84,000. The holiday staples the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's latest snowy offering, Night Castle, debuts at #5 (83,000), and Sting's own holiday disc, If on a Winter's Night, comes in at #6 (80,000).
The rest of the top 10: Michael Buble's Crazy Love (#7, 71,000), the "New Moon" soundtrack (#8, 69,000), Tim McGraw's Southern Voice (#9, 59,000) and Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 (#10, 41,000).
Just outside the top tier, surfing troubadour Jack Johnson paddles in at #11 with his live disc, En Concert (39,000). Veteran rapper Tech N9ne hits #14 with K.O.D. (30,000). Oscar-winning former "Once" couple Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, recording as Swell Season, land at #15 with Strict Joy (28,000). Australian celestial rockers Wolfmother thunder to #16 with their second album, Cosmic Egg, and Train pull into the #17 spot with Save Me San Francisco (27,000).
Also debuting were the latest from thrashers Atreyu, Congregation of the Damned (#18, 26,000); soul smoothie Brian McKnight's Evolution of a Man (#20, 24,000) and Canadian twins Tegan and Sara's Sainthood (#21, 24,000). You can assume 50 Cent will have something to say about the so-so debut for Rick Ross' Triple C's crew, Custom Cars & Cycles, which lands softly at #44 on sales of just over 12,000.
The Bawse can perhaps take solace in those numbers by looking at the #125 debut by former Michael Jackson guitarist Orianthi, whose Believe barely sold 4,000 copies, despite her healthy screen time in the Jackson documentary. It was also a quiet open for freak-folk ringleader Devendra Banhart, whose major-label debut, What Will We Be, barely makes it into the top 200 at #139 on anemic sales of just under 4,000.
Look for another top-deck shuffle next week, thanks to the release of Carrie Underwood's latest, the soundtrack to hit TV show "Glee," the latest in the Now series, a live Nirvana album, a Foo Fighters greatest-hits compilations and Weezer's Raditude.