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As projected last week, Taylor Swift‘s Red album rules for a second week atop the Billboard 200, selling 344,000 copies (down 72%), according to Nielsen SoundScan. Last week, the Big Machine Records album blasted in at No. 1 with 1.2 million, marking the largest sales week for an album since 2002.
With nearly 1.6 million sold in two weeks, Red overtakes One Direction’s Up All Night (1.3 million) to become the second-biggest-selling album of the year. Adele‘s 21 is way ahead as 2012’s biggest set, with 4.1 million.
Swift’s previous album, Speak Now, spent its first two weeks at No. 1 as well, moving 1 million and 320,000 in those respective frames. It then left the top slot for five weeks, only to return for four more straight weeks at No. 1 on the Jan. 1-22, 2011, charts.
Behind Swift at No. 2 this week is rapper Meek Mill, whose debut studio album, Dreams & Nightmares, arrives with 165,000. That’s a bit less than the 170,000 to 185,000 that had been projected by industry insiders last Friday, Nov. 2.
Rod Stewart‘s Merry Christmas, Baby debuts at No. 3 with 88,000, giving the pop icon his 16th top 10 set. Upwards of 20,000 copies of “Merry Christmas” were sold via HSN. Not only did the network offer an exclusive version of the album (with eight bonus songs) but Stewart performed on the channel during an Oct. 26 special.
Jason Aldean‘s former No. 1 Night Train moves 3-4 with 71,000 (down 39%), and Kendrick Lamar‘s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City falls 2-5 in its second week with 63,000 (down 74%).
Country king Toby Keith ropes his lucky 13th top 10 album as Hope on the Rocks bows at No. 6 with 48,000. Over on the Country Albums chart, it is his 20th top 10. (He’s blocked from earning his 11th No. 1 — and sixth straight chart-topper — by the aforementioned Swift and her Red set.)
Mumford & Sons‘ Babel moves another 44,000 this week (down 18%), slipping from 4-7 on the Billboard 200. The set also surpasses 1 million in sales in its sixth week on the chart, becoming the fifth album to sell 1 million units this year. At this point a year ago, there were six million-sellers.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s Psychedelic Pill starts at No. 8 with 34,000, giving Young his second top 10 set this year after June’s Americana (No. 6). He’s previously logged a pair of top 10s within a year’s time once before, with Comes a Time (No. 7, 1978) and Rust Never Sleeps (No. 8, 1979).
Trans-Siberian Orchestra notches its second top 10 album as its Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night) EP starts at No. 9 with 32,000. The act, always a favorite around the holidays, only previously visited the top 10 once before, with 2009’s Night Castle. That full-length set (which wasn’t a Christmas album) debuted and peaked at No. 5 with 83,000 in its first week.
Rounding out the top 10 is Little Big Town’s Tornado, rising a slot with 29,000. The set earned a 43% sales gain, thanks in part to the group’s performance and wins on the Nov. 1 Country Music Assn. Awards. The quartet took home the award for single of the year for its former No. 1 Country Songs hit “Pontoon” and vocal group of the year.
Other notable gains on the chart owed to the CMA Awards include Luke Bryan‘s Tailgates & Tanlines (24-11 with 24,000; up 87%), Carrie Underwood‘s Blown Away (20-12 with 24,000; up 59%) and Eric Church‘s Chief (36-13 with 23,000; up 121%). Blake Shelton, the newly crowned CMA entertainer of the year, has three charting albums that all post gains: Cheers, It’s Christmas (45-28 with 13,000; up 47%), Red River Blue (149-49 with 8,000; up 179%) and Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton (a re-entry at No. 142 with 3,000; up 49%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, all of the top six titles are non-movers. PSY‘s “Gangnam Style” is No. 1 with 226,000 downloads sold (down 11%) while Bruno Mars‘ “Locked Out of Heaven” is in the runner-up slot with 149,000 (down 7%). Mars is followed by Ke$ha‘s “Die Young” (139,000; down 7%), Maroon 5’s “One More Night” (134,000; down 6%), Rihanna‘s “Diamonds” (121,000; down 1%) and fun.’s “Some Nights” (116,000; up 4%) at Nos. 3-6, respectively.
Flo Rida‘s “I Cry” rises 8-7 with 107,000 (up 2%), Alicia Keys‘ “Girl on Fire” (featuring Nicki Minaj) sizzles 12-8 with 94,000 (up 25%), and Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” returns to the top 10 at No. 9 with 87,000. Rounding out the top 10 is Phillip Phillips‘ “Home,” slipping one rung to No. 10 with 84,000 (down less than 1%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Nov. 4) totaled 5.4 million units, down 13% compared with the sum last week (6.3 million) and down 12% compared with the comparable sales week of 2011 (6.2 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 245.9 million, down 4% compared with the same total at this point last year (255.5 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 21.4 million downloads, up 2% compared with last week (21.1 million) and up 3% stacked next to the comparable week of 2011 (20.9 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 1.11 billion, up 6% compared with the same total at this point last year (1.05 billion).
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