Digital sales propel Johnson to second No. 1
EmptyJack Johnson scores his second Billboard 200 chart-topper -- and his biggest sales week yet -- as "Sleep Through the Static" climbs on board at No. 1. The Brushfire set moved 375,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, which outdoes the 163,000 start of the soundtrack to 2006's "Curious George," Johnson's other No. 1.
Of the new album's total, 139,000 units (37%) were digital downloads, making it the biggest sales week for a digital set since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking such sales. The previous high came when Kanye West's "Graduation" moved 133,000 digital albums in its first week last year.
Starting with 92,000 copies, Sheryl Crow's sixth studio effort, "Detours" (A&M), bows at No. 2 -- her fourth consecutive runner-up slot. Her last release, 2005's "Wildflower," began with 140,000; in fact, this is the singer/songwriter's lowest sales debut since her 1996 self-titled sophomore album bowed with 80,000.
Alicia Keys' "As I Am" (J) falls 1-3 despite a 31% sales increase to 80,000. Lenny Kravitz returns to The Billboard 200 at No. 4 with "It Is Time for a Love Revolution," which sold 73,000. It's the follow-up to 2004's "Baptism," which bowed at No. 14 with 52,000.
The "2008 Grammy Nominees" multi-artist compilation album holds tight at No. 5 for a second week with 52,000 units, a 3% sales bump. The Rhino soundtrack to "Juno" falls 2-6 with 47,000 (-14%), while Mary J. Blige's Matriarch/Geffen album "Growing Pains" slips 6-7 with 45,00 (-6%).
While it doesn't provide her best sales week ever, k.d. lang's "Watershed" (Nonesuch) becomes her highest charting album, entering at No. 8 with 41,000. Her two bigger weeks came in 1993, when "Ingenue" did 46,000 and 42,000 in successive frames following her performance on that year's Grammy Awards.
Miley Cyrus' Disney double-disc "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" climbs a notch 10-9 with 40,000 (+13%) as Taylor Swift's self-titled Big Machine debut flip-flops with it, descending 9-10 with 39,000 (+8%).
Only two other albums bow inside the top 50 on The Billboard 200 this week. Atlantic's soundtrack to the film "Step Up 2," featuring Flo Rida's No. 1 hit "Low" and new songs from Missy Elliott, debuts at No. 13 with 31,000. Kenny G's new set "Rhythm & Romance" starts right behind that at No. 14, also with roughly 31,000; the album is his first released through Starbucks' Hear Music label.
Sales this week are up 11% from last week at 8.43 million units and down 14% from the same week last year.
Katie Hasty is an online editor at Billboard.com. (NY)