There are some weeks where the race for Billboard's coveted peak position is a close one. Take last week's chart battle for instance: Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone narrowly beat out the Game's L.A.X. for the #1 spot, by a margin of fewer than 2,000 copies. Other weeks, there's a clear-cut winner, whose ascension to the top goes largely unchallenged.
This week's chart falls under the latter category. Rapper Young Jeezy's The Recession is slated to enter next week's albums chart at #1, with first-week sales clocked at close to 260,000 copies. Jeezy's nearest competitor? The reunited New Kids on the Block, whose new one, The Block, debuts at #2, marking the first time in 14 years that one of the band's studio efforts has entered the top 200. According to the latest Nielsen SoundScan sales totals, NKOTB's latest sold 95,000 copies, meaning Jeezy's run for #1 wasn't much of a race.
The Recession is Jeezy's second consecutive album to bow at #1, following 2006's The Inspiration, which opened on top with 352,000 sold. In 2005, his debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, entered the chart at #2, scanning 172,000 copies.
Slipknot may have spanked the Game on last week's chart, but this week, it's the Game who outsold the 'Knot. L.A.X. falls one spot to #3 on next week's chart, selling 89,000 copies during its second week in stores, while Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone plunges four chart positions to #5 with 75,000 sold. Wedged between those two LPs, we find Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus, which falls one place to #4 with a reported 79,000 in sales. Jonas Brothers' A Little Bit Longer slides two spots to #6, with 57,000 sold, followed at #7 by the "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack, which sold another 56,000 units. Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III rounds things out at #10, having scanned another 47,000 copies.
Jeezy and NKOTB's latest offerings weren't the only newcomers to next week's chart. Two other releases debuted in the top 10: Underoath's Lost in the Sound of Separation opens at #8 with week-one sales of 56,000, and Chris Tomlin's Hello Love follows at #9 with 52,000 scans. A dozen other new releases impact next week's chart, including Diddy protégé Donnie Klang's Just a Rolling Stone, which enters at #19 with 22,000 sold.
Hollywood Undead's debut Swan Songs enters the chart at #22, on the strength of 21,000 scans, while actor Terrence Howard's debut LP, Shine Through It, bows at #31 with 14,000 sold. The soundtrack to Joss Whedon's Web miniseries "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" comes in at #39 with 12,000 copies sold. Meanwhile, Back by Blockular Demand: Serve & Collect II, the second studio album from Slim Thug's group Boss Hogg Outlawz, enters the chart at #48, with close to 10,000 sold.