Decemberists Lock Down First Billboard #1

Social Distortion and the Script also debut in the top five.

A week after Cake landed their first #1 debut , the [artist id="1228709"]Decemberists[/artist] also put up their best-ever career numbers, easily taking over the top spot on the Billboard 200 with a strong debut for their most straightforward work to date, The King Is Dead.

The big debut crushes their previous chart best, notched in 2009 when their rock opera The Hazards of Love moved 19,000 copies in its first week and came in at #14. The King smashes that debut figure by selling nearly 94,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, halting the string of record-low #1 sales figures.

The Decemberists lead a stampede of new names into the top five, which also includes the Kidz Bop 19 collection at #2 (70,000); Science & Faith, the latest from Irish soft rockers the Script (#3, 49,000); a career-best bow for punk lifers Social Distortion with Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (#4, 46,000); and a #5 debut for Allman Brothers Band singer Gregg Allman for his first solo album in 14 years, Low Country Blues (36,000).

The rest of the top 10: Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (#6, 34,000), Katy Perry, Teenage Dream (#7, 33,000), Taylor Swift, Speak Now (#8, 31,000), Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday (#9, 28,000) and Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More (27,000).

Just outside the top 10 at #11 is the third album from soft rocker James Blunt, Some Kind of Trouble (26,000). With plans to unleash at least two more albums by summer, Kanye West ‘s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy drops six spots to #16 on sales of 22,000 as West comes within spitting distance of one million units sold.

Speaking of Cake, the quirky indie rockers drop steeply from the top, plunging 24 spots in week two to #25 as sales of Showroom of Compassion declined 67 percent to 15,000. Also facing a big comedown is last week’s #2 album, Cage the Elephant‘s Thank You, Happy Birthday, which falls 26 spots to #28 on sales of 14,000.

On the heels of a Golden Globe win and just before receiving an Oscar nomination, the Trent Reznor-helmed soundtrack to “The Social Network” climbs 23 slots to #49 as business picked up by 52 percent (9,000).

The Decemberists also triumph on the iTunes albums chart, taking over the #1 spot, followed by the Script, Perry, Mumford & Sons, Social D, Blunt, the “Country Strong” soundtrack, Mars, West and Swift. The iTunes singles chart still belongs to Mars’ “Grenade,” which, despite a Steelers playoff win, beats out Wiz Khalifa‘s “Black and Yellow,” which is followed by Britney Spears‘ “Hold It Against Me,” Enrique Iglesias‘ “Tonight,” Perry’s “Firework,” Pink‘s “F—in’ Perfect” and Pitbull‘s “Hey Baby.”
Rounding out the top 10 are Diddy-Dirty Money with “Coming Home,” the Black Eyed Peas with “The Time (Dirty Bit)” and Ke$ha‘s “We R Who We R.”

The top 10 should remain mostly unchanged next week, as the only notable releases include new albums from Iron & Wine, Cold War Kids, Amos Lee and David Guetta.

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