Maroon5's 'Before Long' tops Billboard 200


NEW YORK -- In a week where four of the five top albums on The Billboard 200 are debuts, Maroon5's "It Won't Be Soon Before Long" leads the pack at No. 1. The A&M/Octone effort moved 429,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The group's prior best sales week came in December 2004, when its debut, "Songs About Jane," sold 138,000.

"It Won't Be Soon Before Long" sold 102,000 copies digitally, breaking a record set last week when Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight" (Machine Shop/Warner Bros.) moved 84,000 via that format to debut at No. 1. The latter album slips to No. 2 this week with 198,000, a 68% sales decline.

At No. 3, Ozzy Osbourne scores his best charting album ever with "Black Rain," which sold 152,000. That's only 1,000 less than the opening week for 2001's "Down to Earth," which entered at No. 4. Nearly a quarter of sales for "Black Rain" came from digital retailers, which offered early ticketing to this summer's Ozzfest with pre-orders for the limited edition of the album.

Hip-hop trio U.S.D.A., Young Jeezy's collaboration with Slick Pulla and Blood Raw, starts at No. 4 with "Cold Summer." The Def Jam set moved 95,000 units, enough to top the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.

Back on The Billboard 200, rock troupe the Used's "Lies for the Liars" (Reprise) bows at No. 5 with 92,000, a chart high-water mark. The quartet's last effort, 2004's "In Love and Death," started at No. 6 with 93,000. The new album's first single, "The Bird and the Worm," already peaked at No. 11 on the Modern Rock chart.

"American Idol" rocker Daughtry's self-titled RCA debut climbs 10-6 with 74,000 (+45%), while Michael Buble's "Call Me Irresponsible" (143/Reprise) dips 3-7 with 62,000 (-29%). Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" (Arista Nashville) re-enters the top tier in its 80th week on the chart, selling 51,000 (+10%) and ascending 11-8 after her appearance on the season six "Idol" finale last week.

Avril Lavigne's "The Best Damn Thing" (RCA) falls 6-9 with 48,000, a 14% sales hit, while Ne-Yo's "Because of You" (Def Jam) drops 7-19 with 41,000 (-26%).

The soundtrack to Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" enters at No. 14 with 35,000, a sales and chart best for the adventure movie series. Lil Boosie, Webbie & Foxx's "Survival of the Fittest" (Trill/Asylum), the trio's first album collaboration, starts at No. 17 with 31,000. Other debuts this week include the Bravery's "The Sun and the Moon" (Island) at No. 24 with 22,000 and the Beach Boys compilation "Warmth of the Sun"(Capitol/EMI), at No. 40 with 14,000.

Album sales are down 3.2% from last week's total at 8.35 million units and down 16.7% compared to the same week last year.