Groban still No. 1 in slow release week


NEW YORK -- Not a single new release arrives in the top tiers of the Billboard 200 this week, as Josh Groban's "Noel" retains its lead on the chart for a second week. The 143/Reprise effort moved 539,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 33% increase in sales.

The Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" (Eagles Recording Co.) soars from No. 5 to No. 2 with a 70% boost to 313,000, fueled in part by the band's interview on "60 Minutes."

Alicia Keys' "As I Am" (J) slips from second to third with 257,000 (a 26% decline), while hits compilation "Now 26" falls from No. 3 to No. 4 with 127,000 (a 46% drop). Garth Brooks' Pearl set "The Ultimate Hits" descends a notch from No. 4 to No. 5 with a 41% sales hit to 112,000. The soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical 2" holds tight at No. 6 with 98,000, a 47% drop.

Miley Cyrus' Disney double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" re-enters the top 10 with a climb from No. 12 to No. 7. The album sold 96,000, a 3% drop. Sitting at No. 8 for a second week is Celine Dion's Columbia album "Taking Chances" with 93,000 (down 28%).

Carrie Underwood's "Carnival Ride" (Arista Nashville) falls from No. 7 to No. 9 after selling 89,000 (a 37% drop). Holiday staple Mannheim Steamroller's latest American Gramaphone effort "Christmas Song" vaults from No. 21 to No. 10 with 77,000, a 24% uptick.

The week's biggest debut is rapper Pitbull's "The Boatlift" (TVT) at No. 50 with 22,000. Coming in with only a few dozen sales fewer is Mudvayne's fan-generated Epic collection "By the People for the People" at No. 51.

There are 26 holiday titles on the Billboard 200 this week, compared to the 20 that graced the chart the same week last year. Sales this week (12.26 million units) are down 16.9% from the same week last year (14.75 million). This week's sum is down 12.1% from last week's.