Mumford & Sons' 'Babel' No. 1 For Fifth Week On Billboard 200
While there was a lot of excitement on last week's Billboard 200 thanks to the impact from the Grammy Awards, things get back to a (dreary) normal on this week's tally.
Mumford & Sons' Babel remains at No. 1 for a fifth nonconsecutive week, but sells just 63,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's down 66% compared with last week, when it jumped back to the top of the list with 185,000.
Babel’s sum this week is the lowest sales week for a No. 1 album since Zac Brown Band's Uncaged moved a light 48,000 on the list dated Aug. 11, 2012.
On the bright side, Babel marks the longest run at No. 1 for an album by a duo or group since 2004. That year, OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below wrapped a seven-week nonconsecutive rule at No. 1 on the Feb. 7 chart.
The last group to reign for more than five weeks at No. 1 was Creed, with Weathered in late 2001 and early 2002. The album tallied eight consecutive frames at No. 1 between Dec. 8, 2001, and Jan. 26, 2002.
The rest of this week's top 10 is pretty ho-hum, without a single debut in the region. (The highest debut is down at No. 20, where Buckcherry's Confessions starts with 18,000.)
Though the top 10 is pretty sleepy, there are a few bright spots:
Rock band Alabama Shakes returns to the top 10 for the first time in almost a year, as Boys & Girls jumps 20-6 with 33,000 (up 10%). It's the set's second-largest sales week yet, and comes in the wake of the act's performance on NBC's Saturday Night Live on Feb. 16. (The show was given an encore airing, although in an edited form, a week later on Feb. 23.)
The band last sold more in a week way back on the April 28, 2012, chart, when the album vaulted 16-8 with 43,000 in its second week. It debuted at No. 16 with a digital-exclusive title, before then jumping to No. 8 with both digital and physical sales.
One more album returns to the top 10 this week, as Rihanna's Unapologetic zips 15-9 with 29,000 (though it's down 29% in sales). The effort was last in the top 10 on the Jan. 12 chart.
As for the rest of the top 10: Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox returns to its No. 2 peak by climbing one spot with 48,000 (down 44%). Josh Groban's All That Echoes rises 5-3 (41,000; down 43%), and the Now 45 album jumps 8-4 (38,000; down 41%). The Lumineers' self-titled album is up one rung to No. 5 (35,000; down 47%), the 2013 Grammy Nominees album falls 2-7 (30,000; down 66%), and fun.'s Some Nights slips 7-8 (nearly 30,000; down 55%). Taylor Swift's Red closes out the top 10, down six slots to No. 10 (28,000; down 61%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz) is No. 1 for a seventh straight week (363,000; down 12%). It is the longest run at No. 1 since July 21, 2012, when Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" wrapped its seventh (and final) week at No. 1. Also, "Thrift Shop" is now one of only two songs to sell in excess of 300,000 downloads for seven weeks. (Fun.'s "We Are Young" is the other.)
Baauer's "Harlem Shake" rises 3-2 on the Digital Songs chart this week, selling 297,000 downloads (up 13%).
Mars' "When I Was Your Man" moves up 4-3 (229,000; up 6%), while Rihanna's "Stay" (featuring Mikky Ekko), slips 2-4 (213,000; down 31%) after its big jump last week thanks to its Grammy Awards performance.
Drake's "Started From the Bottom" is up 8-5 with 152,000 (though down 10%), while will.i.am & Britney Spears' "Scream & Shout" moves back up 10-6 with 140,000 (but down 12%).
Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" (featuring Jay Z), is down two slots to No. 7 with 135,000 (down 33%). One Direction's charity single "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)" flies 16-8 after its first full charting week (135,000; up 26%). It debuted a week ago from only one full day's worth of sales, on Sunday, Feb. 17.
The song is mostly a cover of Blondie's "One Way or Another," mixed in with a bit of the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks." Proceeds from the One Direction single benefit the British charity Comic Relief.
Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" climbs 11-9 (133,000; down 11%), and Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" rises 14-10 (109,000; down 19%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 24) totaled 5.5 million units, down 20% compared with the sum last week (6.81 million) and down 13% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (6.3 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 44.6 million, down 7% compared with the same total at this point last year (48 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 26.9 million downloads, down 9% compared with last week (29.4 million) and down 5% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (28.1 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 227.3 million, down 2% compared with the same total at this point last year (230.9 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Adele's 21 was No. 1 for a 23rd nonconsecutive week (247,000; down 17%). The highest debut was WZRD's self-titled album, starting at No. 3 with 66,000.