What a difference a year makes. This time last year, viral sensation Susan Boyle crushed the competition when her debut album,I Dreamed a Dream, sold more than 701,000 copies in its first week on the charts. Next week, Scottish singer Boyle will once again snag a #1 debut with her second effort, The Gift, but with a decidedly more modest first-week tally of 318,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
That will still give her more than enough to top last week's #1, Taylor Swift's Speak Now, which falls to #2 on sales of 212,000, giving the country-pop crossover star a three-week total nearing 1.6 million. Other debuts in the top 10 include Kid Cudi's second effort, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, which will come in at #3 (169,000), followed by the NOW 36 compilation (#4, 89,000), Bon Jovi Greatest Hits (#5, 88,000), country legend Reba McEntire's All the Women I Am (#7, 64,000) and Cee Lo Green's Lady Killer (#9, 41,000).
The rest of the top 10: Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party (#6, 81,000); Sugarland, The Incredible Machine (#8, 60,000); and Lil Wayne, I Am Not a Human Being (#10, 35,000).
Onetime rivals Eminem and Mariah Carey are a study in contrasts. Slim Shady moved another 34,000 copies of his smash comeback, Recovery, to land at #11 after more than five months on the charts as he zeroed in on nearly 3 million in sales, while Carey's holiday album, Merry Christmas II You, tumbles eight spots in its second week as sales fell 41 percent to 33,000.
Wins at the Country Music Awards boosted Lady Antebellum's Need You Now 10 spots to #13, as sales kick up 68 percent to 33,000, while that show's big winner, Miranda Lambert, leaps 26 spots to #15 with Revolution, which was up 137 percent on sales of 29,000.
Creed offshoot Alter Bridge has a solid debut at #17 with AB III (28,000), while rapper Twista is further down the list at #42 with the debut of his latest, Perfect Storm (14,000).
It's all about Cudi on the iTunes album chart, as Mr. Rager took the top spot, followed by Swift, Cee Lo, Aldean, and Mumford & Sons, whose Sigh No More continues its iTunes domination. Alter Bridge comes in at #6, beating out Bon Jovi, Boyle, Kings of Leon's Come Around Sundown and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream.
It's a "Teenage Dream" of a different sort on the iTunes singles chart, where the kids from "Glee" top the tally with their cover of the Perry hit, pushing Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" down to #2. Perry takes the #3 slot with "Firework," followed by Pink's "Raise Your Glass," the Black Eyed Peas' "The Time (Dirty Bit)," Rihanna and Drake's "What's My Name," the Far East Movement's "Like a G6," Rihanna's "Only Girl (in the World)," Nelly's "Just a Dream," and Trey Songz's "Bottoms Up."
Next week's charts were slated to be dominated by new discs from Josh Groban, Rascal Flatts, Rihanna, Kid Rock, Nelly and Keith Urban, but with the surprise announcement of the release of the Beatles' catalog on iTunes this week, those artists could all get a challenge from the gold standard Fab Four catalog, which stormed the iTunes album and singles charts within 24 hours of its release on Tuesday.