The Week in Music Sales: Game's 'R.E.D.' Bows at No. 1
Game's R.E.D album arrives at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 98,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan, marking the rapper's third chart-topping set following 2005's The Documentary and 2007's Doctor's Advocate. His last album, LAX, started at No. 2 in 2008 with 239,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Game will likely step aside next week when Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV will hit No. 1. It's expected that the album will sell anywhere from 850,000 to 900,000 copies in its first frame.
Last week's No. 1, Jay-Z & Kanye West's Watch the Throne, slides to No. 2 this week with 94,000 (down 47%). The set has shifted 707,000 in its three weeks of release.
Adele's 21 also falls one spot -- but with a 3% gain -- to No. 3, with 82,000. Figure that while the MTV Video Music Awards aired late on Sunday (Aug. 28) night -- the final day of the SoundScan tracking week -- some of 21's 3% gain is owed to her performance on the show and fast reaction from consumers. On the VMAs, she sang the set's newest U.S. single, "Someone Like You."
In turn, "Someone" rallies 25-11 on the Digital Songs chart with 95,000 downloads sold (up 69%). We'll see further -- and bigger -- chart moves next week generated by the VMAs, after a full seven days' worth of sales have been registered.
At No. 4 on the Billboard 200 is a new arrival from Barbra Streisand, who sees her What Matters Most album launch with 68,000. It's the legendary diva's 31st top 10 album, which pulls her ahead of the Beatles for the third-most top 10s in history. (The fab four have 30.) Only the Rolling Stones (with 36) and Frank Sinatra (33) have more than Streisand. Her first top 10 set came with her debut album, fittingly titled The Barbra Streisand Album, which peaked at No. 9 in 1963.
The Now 39 compilation drops three spots to No. 6 with 44,000 (down 31%) while Pistol Annies' Hell On Heels kicks in at No. 5 with a 44,000 bow. Annies is country singer Miranda Lambert's new side project, which also includes Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley. Hell also takes a bow at No. 1 on the Country Albums chart.
Luke Bryan's Tailgates & Tanlines moves 4-7 on the Billboard 200 with 35,000 (down 34%) while the new Muppets: the Green Album, debuts at No. 8 with 30,000. The latter set boasts rock acts covering familiar Muppets tunes like The Rainbow Connection and Bein' Green.
Closing out the Billboard 200 album chart's top 10 are Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party (5-9 with 29,000; down 22%) and Eric Church's Chief (7-10 with 24,000; down 23%).
On the Digital Songs chart, "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera reclaims the No. 1 spot (2-1) with 217,000 (up 6%). Last week's No. 1, Lil Wayne's "She Will" featuring Drake, dives to No. 7 with 112,000 (down 56%). Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" climbs 3-2 with 194,000 Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts" (featuring Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine) flies 7-3 with 146,000 (up 28%).
LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock, moves 5-4 with 134,000 (though it's down 9%) while Rihanna's "Cheers (Drink to That)" flies 15-5 with 131,000 (up 68%). Bad Meets Evil's "Lighters," featuring Bruno Mars, is steady at No. 6 with 128,000 (down 8%) while Lady Gaga's "You And I" runs 24-8 with 109,000 (up 92%) following her show-opening performance of the track on the VMAs.
OneRepublic's "Good Life" and Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" hold at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively, with 99,000 (down 13%) and 97,000 (down 9%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Aug. 28) totaled 5.14 million units, down 4% compared to the sum last week (5.35 million) and up less than 1% compared to the comparable sales week of 2010 (5.13 million). Year to date album sales stand at 199.91 million, up 2% compared to the same total at this point last year (195.33 million). It is the 14th week in a row where year-to-date album volume is greater than the same time in the prior year.
Digital track sales this past week totaled 22.44 million downloads, down 3% compared to last week (23.12 million) and up 13% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (19.88 million). Year to date track sales are at 845.91 million, up 11% compared to the same total at this point last year (762.37 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when Disturbed's Asylum bowed at No. 1 with 179,000 and the Now 35 compilation entered at No. 2 with 105,000. The previous week's leader, Katy Perry's Teenage Dream, slipped to No. 4 with 88,000 (down 54%).