Bruce Springsteen Beats Adele for Top Spot on Billboard Album Chart
Bruce Springsteen nets his 10th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as Wrecking Ball debuts atop the tally with 196,000 sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Among all acts, Springsteen ties Elvis Presley for the third-most No. 1s in history. Only the Beatles (with 19) and Jay-Z (12) have more.
Springsteen's first No. 1 was 1980's 0 He last hit the top with his 2009 album Working on a Dream, which launched with 224,000. Wrecking Ball is also the Boss' 17th top 10 album, stretching back to 1975's Born to Run. It spent three weeks at No. 3.
Adele's 21 steps aside for Springsteen, slipping down a spot to No. 2 with 195,000 (down 21%) after 23 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1. Springsteen's Wrecking Ball is one of three debuts in the top 10 this week. He's joined by Luke Bryan's Spring Break 4 -- Suntan City EP (No. 9 with 30,000) and Andrew Bird's Break It Yourself (No. 10 with nearly 30,000 -- a career-best week). It's Bryan's third top 10 set and the first for Bird. The latter's previous album, Noble Beast, debuted and peaked at No. 12 in 2009 with a 26,000 start.
As for the rest of the top 10, it looks a bit wonky, as deep, deep discounting by the Google Play service (which was matched by Amazon MP3) impacts a number of titles. Select digital albums were sold for 25 cents throughout the tracking week (one day only each). Of those, the highest-ranking is the Now 41 compilation, which rises 5-3 with 152,000 (up 235%). In terms of digital sales, it climbed 1,367%, and vaults 19-1 on the Top Digital Albums chart. Downloads represented 82% of its sales this past week.
Back on the Billboard 200, Lady Antebellum's Own the Night zooms 16-4 (108,000; up 437%), Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto moves 29-5 (100,000; up 567%), Drake's Take Care is up 8-7 (58,000; up 97%), and Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV jumps 37-8 (36,000; up 173%). All were promoted for 25 cents at one point in the week.
None of those discounted titles are affected by Billboard's new pricing policy, which took effect in November 2011. Only albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count toward sales data presented by Nielsen SoundScan.
The remaining album in the top 10 that isn't a debut, Adele's 21 or a 25 cent sale title is Whitney Houston's The Greatest Hits. It drops 2-6 with 70,000 (down 38%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, all the titles in the top five hold their positions for a second week. Fun.'s "We Are Young" (featuring Janelle Monae) is No. 1 with 322,000 (up 7%), the Wanted's "Glad You Came" is No. 2 (191,000; down 7%), and Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" is No. 3 (175,000; down 11%). Nicki Minaj's "Starships" is No. 4 (163,000; up 2%), and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" (featuring Kimbra) is No. 5 (153,000; up 3%).
Flo Rida's "Wild Ones" (featuring Sia) jumps 11-6 with 151,000 (up 44%), Katy Perry's "Part of Me" is steady at No. 7 with 124,000 (down 13%), and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" vaults 13-8 with 118,000 (up 25%). Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" (6-9 with 114,000; down 21%) and Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa's "Young, Wild & Free" (holding at No. 10 with 103,000; down 6%) round out the top 10.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending March 11) totaled 6.23 million units, down 2% compared with the sum last week (6.3 million) and up less than 1% compared with the comparable sales week of 2011 (6.22 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 60.6 million, up 3% compared with the same total at this point last year (59 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 25.8 million downloads, down 5% compared with last week (27.1 million) and up 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2011 (24.3 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 283.8 million, up 7% compared with the same total at this point last year (264.9 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2011 when: Adele's 21 returned to No. 1 (up one slot) with 98,000 (down 26%) while Rise Against's Endgame was the top debut, bowing at No. 2 (85,000).