Johnson remains No. 1; Winehouse, Hancock soar
EmptyIn a slow week for new releases, Jack Johnson's "Sleep Through the Static" remains No. 1 on The Billboard 200 for a second week, despite a 52% sales slide. The Brushfire effort sold 180,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The bigger news is significant jumps for artists who appeared on the Feb. 10 Grammy Awards, led by top winner Amy Winehouse. Her Universal Republic set "Back to Black" bounces back into the top 10 in a big way, zooming up 24-2 for a new charting high and sales week with 115,000. Winehouse led the Grammy field with five wins.
Album of the year winner Herbie Hancock's "River: The Joni Letters" (Verve) explodes 159-5, with a 967% bump to 54,000, while Foo Fighters' "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" (Roswell/RCA) climbs 65-22 with 33,000 (+160%). Kanye West's "Graduation" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) ascends 64-40 with a 74% gain, selling 23,000.
"As I Am" (J) by Alicia Keys, who performed twice at the ceremony, stays put at No. 3 for a second week with 109,000 (+36%). The "2008 Grammy Nominees" compilation climbs a notch 5-4 with 72,000, a 40% increase.
Back on The Billboard 200, the Rhino soundtrack to "Juno" holds tight at No. 6 with 53,000 (+13%), while Taylor Swift's Big Machine self-titled album ascends 10-7 with 52,000 (+35%). Also moving 52,000, Sheryl Crow's "Detours" (A&M/Interscope) falls 2-8 with a 44% sales hit.
Mary J. Blige's Matriarch/Geffen album "Growing Pains" slips 6-7 with 49,000 (+9%) as Atlantic's soundtrack to the film "Step Up 2" steps up 13-10, moving 45,000 units with a 44% increase.
Considering its status as a catalog release, the new 25th anniversary reissue of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" (Epic/Legacy) was ineligible to chart on The Billboard 200 this week. But it does bow at No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums tally after selling 166,000. The project includes reworked "Thriller" tracks by Akon, Kanye West, Fergie and will.i.am.
Only two other albums bow inside the top 50. Simple Plan's self-titled Lava/Atlantic album starts at No. 14 with 39,000, and the "WOW Gospel 2008" multi-label compilation debuts at No. 34 with 28,000.
Sales this week are up 16.1% from last week at 9.78 million units and down 11.6% from the same week last year.
Katie Hasty is an online editor at Billboard.com. (NY)