The Week in Music Sales: George Strait Debuts at No. 3 on Billboard 200
Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV easily holds at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart for a second week, as it sells another 219,000 (down 77%) according to Nielsen SoundScan. It arrived atop the list with 964,000 last week -- 2011's second-largest sales frame.
Its sizable second-week decline was expected, as Billboard forecasted the set would drop by anywhere between 65%-80%. The last three albums to post bigger debuts -- all over a million -- also saw large sophomore-frame drops. Earlier this year Lady Gaga's Born This Way fell 84% from a 1.11 million start. Previous to that, Taylor Swift's Speak Now and Wayne's Tha Carter III both declined by 69% after debuting with 1.05 and 1.01 million, respectively.
Meanwhile, Adele's 21 moves up on spot to No. 2 with 121,000 (down 21%) while last week's runner-up, Red Hot Chili Peppers' I'm With You, falls to No. 5 with 58,000 (down 75%).
The Billboard 200's top debut is George Strait's Here For a Good Time, starting at No. 3 with 91,000. It's the country icon's follow-up to 2009's No. 1-debuting Twang, which launched with 155,000. "Here" is Strait's 17th top 10 on the Billboard 200 and 24th No. 1 on the Country Albums chart. However, it is also his first studio album to bow with less than 100,000 since way back in 1994, when "Lead On" started with 56,000 at No. 26.
The Beatles' 1 re-enters at No. 4 with 60,000 (up 5,786%) after the greatest hits package made its digital debut in the iTunes Store last week. Promotion from the retailer, its sale price of $9.99 and a successful Twitter campaign enables the album's lofty return. The set, first released in 2000, sold just 1,000 copies the previous week.
On Twitter, the promoted hash tag #MyBeatles1 asked fans: What is your favorite "1" track? The question prompted responses from regular folks and celebrities, too. Among the stars tweeting their favorites: Justin Bieber ("She Loves You"), Ke$ha ("I Want To Hold Your Hand"), Foo Fighters ("Hey Jude") and Coldplay ("Something").
The Beatles' 1 spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in late 2000 and early 2001 and has sold 11.8 million copies in the U.S. It's the sixth-biggest selling album of the past 20 years. The 27-track set contains every No. 1 hit by the band on the Billboard Hot 100 and the U.K.'s Official Singles Chart.
Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne falls 4-6 (49,000; down 38%), the Now 39 compilation climbs 10-8 (27,000; down 25%) and Beyonce's 4 slips 7-9 (25,000; down 35%).
Maroon 5's Hands All Over returns to the top 10 for the first time since its second week on the chart last October, as it vaults 23-7 with 29,000 (up 97%). The set's gain was sparked by a four-day $6.99 sale price in the iTunes Store. This is the album's best sales frame since its second chart week when it moved 41,000 and its highest rank since it debuted at No. 2 on Oct. 9, 2010.
Also coming back to the top 10 is Foster the People's Torches, climbing 12-10 with a little under 25,000 (down 14%). The album previously spent one week in the top 10 -- its debut frame -- at No. 8 on June 11.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, the tally returns to normal after last week's list got shook up by the "MTV Video Music Awards." "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera regains the No. 1 position (up two slots with 220,000; up 6%) while last week's topper, Adele's "Someone Like You," drops to No. 2 with 213,000 (down 22%).
The Digital Songs chart's top debut is Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All," which arrives at No. 9 with 107,000. Its the first single from her fifth studio album, "Stronger," due out Oct. 24. Her last top 10 on the Digital Songs tally came with "My Life Would Suck Without You," which premiered at No. 1 with 280,000 in 2009.
Lil Wayne's "How to Love" rebounds, zipping 20-10 with 90,000 (up 33%), Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" falls 2-3 (193,000; down 11%) and LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" jumps 8-4 (155,000; up 10%). ' "Stereo Hearts" (featuring Adam Levine) rises 9-5 (145,000; up 4%), Lady Gaga's "You and I" slips 4-6 (141,000; down 19%), Cobra Starship's "You Make Me Feel" (featuring Sabi) descends 5-7 (127,000; down 20%) and Rihanna's "Cheers (Drink to That)" moves 7-8 (126,000; down 11%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 11) totaled 5.49 million units, down 17% compared to the sum last week (6.65 million) and up 14% compared to the comparable sales week of 2010 (4.83 million). Year to date album sales stand at 212.06 million, up 3% compared to the same total at this point last year (205.38 million). It is the 16th 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 21.26 million downloads, down 5% compared to last week (22.43 million) and up 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (20.03 million). Year to date track sales are at 889.59 million, up 11% compared to the same total at this point last year (801.84 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when: Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns started at No. 1 with 241,000, just barely beating out Trey Songz's No. 2 debut with Passion, Pain & Pleasure (240,000).