The Billboard 200 albums chart has a new champion, but despite six debuts in the top 10, the [article id="1615461"]real chart story was Michael Jackson[/article] once again. In the first full week of reporting since the pop icon's death, his catalog once again easily outsold the top 20 current albums.
The Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 31 compilation -- with songs by [artist id="3061469"]Lady Gaga[/artist], the [artist id="30064"]Black Eyed Peas[/artist], [artist id="1678002"]Pitbull[/artist], [artist id="1946832"]the Fray[/artist] and [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] -- debuts at #1 on sales of 169,000. That's about half the sales of Jackson's Number Ones, which is not eligible for the Top Current Albums chart because it has been out for more than 18 months and does not have a current single on the radio. Just behind is country star [artist id="760526"]Brad Paisley's[/artist] American Saturday Night (130,000), followed by [artist id="746"]Matchbox Twenty[/artist] singer [artist id="1241405"]Rob Thomas'[/artist] solo album, Cradlesong (122,000). The latest from Chicago alt rockers [artist id="1160"]Wilco[/artist], Wilco (The Album), hits the charts at #4 on sales of 99,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan. Other debuts included the self-titled first effort from R&B singer [artist id="3176764"]Jeremih[/artist] (#6, 59,000) and the self-titled album from hard rockers [artist id="1225523"]Killswitch Engage[/artist] (#7, 58,000).
The rest of the top 10 includes the [artist id="30064"]Black Eyed Peas'[/artist] E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies), which drops from the #1 spot to #5 on sales of close to 70,000; the [artist id="2088128"]Jonas Brothers'[/artist] Lines, Vines and Trying Times (#8, 42,000); [artist id="502642"]Eminem's[/artist] Relapse (#9, 39,000); and Lady Gaga's unstoppable Fame (#10, 36,000).
Just outside the top 20, veteran electronic act Moby debuts at #22 with his synth blues Wait for Me (20,000). Rapper Ace Hood bows right behind with Ruthless (20,000), while MC Maino hits #25 in his first week with If Tomorrow Comes (18,000). The American Idol Season 8 compilation sneaks in at #34 on sales of 14,000.
After a surprisingly high debut last week (#3), indie darling Regina Spektor takes a 63 percent tumble to #26 with Far (18,000). Her drop is outdone only by prog-rock vets Dream Theater, whose Black Clouds & Silver Linings plummets 40 spots in its second week to #46 (10,000), after shedding 75 percent of its first-week business.
Don't expect much shakeup next week, though the long-awaited return from R&B crooner Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night, could put up some impressive numbers.