Ah, the power of [url id="/news/topic/american_idol/index.jhtml"]"American Idol."[/url] Though the reality singing show can't take all the credit for boosting Philly singer/songwriter Amos Lee to a #1 debut for his fourth album, Mission Bell, next week, it surely didn't hurt that Lee's song "Dreamin' " was sung by Scott Dangerfield during the audition rounds of the Fox juggernaut.
Landing not only his first-ever #1 debut but by far his best debut period (his last album opened at #29), Lee moved 40,000 copies of Bell, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. He just edges out a career best for sensitive singer/songwriter Sam Beam's Iron & Wine thanks to the "Idol" attention as well as appearances on "The Tonight Show" and "Ellen" and a series of pieces on National Public Radio. The totals for Lee also mark another record, besting Cake's mark from two weeks ago for the lowest total for a #1 album in SoundScan history.
I&W's latest, Kiss Each Other Clean, just barely misses the top spot with sales of 39,000, also notching the first-ever top 3 debut for the acoustic strummer. The top 10 also sees the debut of the 2011 Grammy nominees compilation (#4, 38,000) and a #8 bow for reggaeton giants Wisin & Yandel's Los Vaqueros: El Regreso (30,000).
The rest of the top 10: Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday (#3,
38,000) which got a boost from Minaj's "Saturday Night Live" appearance; Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans (#5, 33,000); Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More (#6, 31,000); Taylor Swift, Speak Now (#7, 31,000); Kidz Bop 19 (#9, 30,000); and last week's #1, the Decemberists' The King Is Dead (#10, 29,000).
Further down the line, the Cold War Kids land at #21 with Mine Is Yours (18,000) and Irish softies the Script have a swift descent in week two for Science & Faith, tumbling 19 spots to #22 on sales of 17,000 as sales dropped off by 66 percent. Original female rock icon Wanda Jackson cracks the top 60 with her Jack White-produced return to form The Party Ain't Over (#58, 8,000), and "Idol" season nine runner-up Crystal Bowersox manages to slide up 10 spots to #59 with her major-label debut, Farmer's Daughter, which sold 8,000 copies as it slowly chugs toward 140,000 total to date.
On the flip side, after falling to 183 in its tenth week of release last week, Live It Up, the major-label debut from last season's winner, Lee DeWyze, drops off the top 200 this week, seemingly topping out short of 115,000 sold.
Amos Lee also locks down the iTunes album chart, taking the #1 spot ahead of the amazingly resilient Mumford & Sons, who are followed by Iron & Wine, Minaj, the Decemberists, the Black Keys' Brothers, Cold War Kids, the Script, Swift and Pink's Greatest Hits ... So Far!!!
It's all Pink, though, on the iTunes singles charts, where her "F---in' Perfect" takes the top spot, with Wiz Khalifa's Steelers homage "Black and Yellow" at #2, followed by Mars' "Grenade," Pitbull's "Hey Baby," Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight" and Katy Perry's "Firework." The #7 slot belongs to Diddy-Dirty Money's "Coming Home," followed by Far East Movement's "Rocketeer," Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" and the Black Eyed Peas' "The Time (Dirty Bit)."
Look for slight movement at the top next week as the charts will welcome the latest from Ricky Martin and a Best of the Great American Songbook compilation from Rod Stewart.