Barry Manilow sings about writing songs that make the whole world sing — the songs, he's claimed, that make the young girls cry. But this week, R&B diva Mary J. Blige might be the only one sobbing — thanks to a collection of songs that Barry didn't write.
It was a close race to Billboard's winners' circle, but in the end, The Greatest Songs of the Fifties — a collection of hits from the golden years produced by none other than Clive Davis — bests Blige's The Breakthrough by a formidable nose.
According to the latest SoundScan totals, sales of Manilow's album — which were helped along by the pop icon's appearance last week on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" — came in at just under 156,000, to secure The Greatest Songs of the Fifties the top spot on the albums chart. Despite a 25 percent hike in retail mobility, Blige's The Breakthrough couldn't keep up and finished at #2 with 123,000 scans.
The next closest threat to Manilow's reign came from Tuscan-born tenor Andrea Bocelli and his Amore, which opens at #3 with week-one sales of 113,000. One of the top five's most recent and stable leaders, Jamie Foxx's Unpredictable, continues to slide. The disc, which finished third last week, checks in at #4 with a 95,000-plus performance. In My Mind, the latest studio LP from R&B songbird Heather Headley, follows at #5 with debut-week sales of just over 95,000. Headley's LP features contributions from Lil Jon, Shaggy, Babyface and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Simon Cowell-conceived pop act Il Divo's Ancora tumbles from #1 to #6, thanks to a 40 percent drop in retail interest. In its second week in stores, the disc sold more than 93,000 copies. Eminem's Curtain Call: The Hits climbs one spot to #7 with 78,000 units sold, while "American Idol" champ Carrie Underwood's Some Hearts claims the sales chart's #8 opening with 74,000 sales — just enough to push total sales of her debut past the 2-million mark. James Blunt's Back to Bedlam returns to the top 10 at #9, following last week's stint at #11. A 47 percent sales surge helped the Brit rocker move more than 71,000 units during the album's 18th week at retail.
Train return to the Billboard albums chart this week with For Me It's You, the band's fifth full-length effort. With first-week sales of 62,000 and then some, the band is sitting comfortably at the #10 spot. But Train weren't the chart's sole rock newcomer: Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition, a collection of hair-metal tearjerkers, debuts at #18 with 44,000 copies sold. The compilation features Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," Warrant's "Heaven," Extreme's "More Than Words," and Cinderella's "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)," among others. And the self-titled debut from brood-rockers She Wants Revenge opens at #38 with sales nearing 26,000.
Several Grammy nominees enjoyed a sales boost in the week leading up to the big night. Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi finished at #14 with 53,000 copies sold — a sales jump of 37 percent. Sales of the Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business swelled 21 percent, giving the group the chart's #17 slot and another 46,000 scans. Demon Days from the Gorillaz ends the week at #49 with 20,000 in sales (a 19 percent spike) and John Legend's Get Lifted returns to the top 200 at #187 following a 40 percent sales leap.