Music fans appear to have taken a break from holiday shopping last week, as sales of the top albums took a noticeable dip, and the latest #1 debut did just about half the business Carrie Underwood's Play On did the week before to hit #1.
Jersey icons [artist id="1044"]Bon Jovi[/artist] take over the top spot on next week's Billboard albums chart with their latest, The Circle, which sold just about 163,000 copies according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. That was just over half of what the band's previous #1, the country-tinged Lost Highway, did in its first week in 2007. It was enough, however, to keep tenor Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas at #2 (136,000) and to knock Underwood down to #3 (128,000) as her second-week sales plummeted by 60 percent.
The only other debut in the top 10 is from righteous metallers [artist id="1878881"]Flyleaf[/artist], whose Memento Mori lands at #8 on sales of 56,000. The rest of the top 10: the "Michael Jackson's This Is It" soundtrack (#4, 117,000), [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift's[/artist] Fearless (#5, 91,000), Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 32 (#6, 68,000), Michael Bublé's Crazy Love (#7, 58,000), Glee: The Music Vol. 1 (#9, 56,000) and the soundtrack to [movie id="414921"]"New Moon"[/movie] (#10, 53,000).
Among other new releases, Switchfoot touch down at #13 with Hello Hurricane (39,000), and Dashboard Confessional's Alter the Ending hits #19 (30,000). Buzz rapper Wale sneaks in at #21 with Attention Deficit, followed by Britney Spears' Singles Collection at #22 (27,000).
Quite a few country acts got a bump after winning big at the CMA Awards, including Lady Antebellum, whose self-titled disc shoots up 130 percent and 13 spots to #11 (45,000), and best "new" artist Hootie and the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker, whose country disc Learn to Live jumps more than 20 spots to #27 (23,000). Other country gainers that performed or won on the show included the Zac Brown Band, Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean.
Otherwise, the chart has been pretty quiet, with masked party rappers Hollywood Undead slamming to #29 with the remix CD/live DVD Desperate Measures (21,000), Jason Mraz a bit behind at #35 with the live disc Jason Mraz's Beautiful Mess (16,000) and an AC/DC box set, Backtracks, debuting at #39 (16,000).
Some of last week's top debuts had serious falls. The Foo Fighters' Greatest Hits stumbles 17 spots to #28 after business fell by 50 percent (22,000). Weezer's Raditude shed more than 73 percent of its debut business to nose-dive 25 spots to #32 with sales of 18,000. And Slayer's World Painted Blood skidded 67 percent, dropping 32 spots to #44 on sales of 13,000.
The deck should get shuffled next week with the long-awaited release of 50 Cent's Before I Self-Destruct, the latest from Norah Jones, John Mayer, Leona Lewis and OneRepublic, as well as debuts from Justin Bieber and Kris Allen.