After more delays than a space shuttle launch, Compton rapper the Game will finally have his reward next week when his endlessly pushed-back fourth effort, The R.E.D. Album, debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. According to figures provided by SoundScan, the disc moved just under 98,000 copies, enough to grab the top spot but well below the first-week figures for his 2008 album LAX, which opened with 239,000 in sales.
Either way, it's just enough to beat out Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne, which drops to #2 in its third week, as sales dove 47 percent to 94,000 for a three-week total just north of 707,000. Among the new entries in the top 10 is a Barbra Streisand collection, What Matters Most — Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman (#4, 66,000), the debut from country supergroup Pistol Annies, Hell on Heels (#5, 44,000), which consists of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley, and Muppets: The Green Album (#8, 30,000), with modern interpretations of the lovable puppets' songs by OK Go, Weezer, My Morning Jacket, Amy Lee of Evanescence and the Fray.
The rest of the top 10: Adele's 21 (#3, 82,000), NOW 39 (#6, 44,000), Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines (#7, 35,000), Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party (#9, 29,000) and Eric Church's Chief (#10, 24,000).
Further down the line, Pavement singer Stephen Malkmus and his band the Jicks come in at #43 with Mirror Traffic (8,000), and 30 Seconds to Mars land at #76 with their new Unplugged set (6,000).
Lil Wayne immediately jumped to the top of the iTunes album charts after Tha Carter IV dropped digitally following the VMAs on Sunday. He was followed by the Pistol Annies, Game, Adele, Jay and Kanye, Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' I'm With You, the Muppets album, Foster the People's Torches and Rihanna's resurgent Loud.
Maroon 5 continue to dominate the singles chart with "Moves Like Jagger," while Foster the People are right behind with "Pumped Up Kicks," Gym Class Heroes make a strong showing with "Stereo Hearts" (featuring Maroon's Adam Levine) and Rihanna has plenty to toast as "Cheers (Drink to That)" comes in at #4. Rounding out the tally: Bad Meets Evil's "Lighters," LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," Wayne's "She Will," Lady Gaga's "You and I," Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" and OneRepublic's Good Life."
Things will surely be shaken up next week when Wayne's Tha Carter IV crashes the charts with estimates that it could sell nearly 1 million copies. Also debuting are the Chili Peppers, as well as David Guetta, VMA pre-show performers Cobra Starship and Lenny Kravitz.