The Week in Album Sales: Taylor Swift Still Tops Charts

With Christmas firmly in the rear-view mirror, the Billboard 200 albums chart begins to approach normality again, as many holiday flavored sets tumble down the tally while contemporary titles rise up the list.

On the chart reflecting the final Nielsen SoundScan tracking week of 2010, Taylor Swift's Speak Now holds at No. 1 for a fifth non-conscutive frame (77,000; down 72%). Last week's No. 2 album, Susan Boyle's Christmas-esque The Gift, dives to No. 31 with 19,000 (down 92%). Its slide was expected, as most anything resembling a holiday album falls hard in the weeks after Dec. 25. (Half of the The Gift's tracklist is made up of Christmas tunes).

With that in mind, it's also not a shock to see Jackie Evancho's O Holy Night slip from No. 4 last week to No. 39 (16,000; down 89%). Same goes for the Glee Christmas set, which plows from No. 3 to No. 108 (7,000; down 96%).

Also in danger in the weeks right after Christmas? Titles that were selling well (and charting high) thanks in large part to gift purchases. An example of this could be Michael Jackson's Michael, which moves from No. 5 to No. 18 (27,000; down 82%).

Conversely, a number of non-holiday-driven albums make positional leaps up the chart, like Eminem's Recovery, which, despite a sales loss of 54% this week, rises from No. 7 to No. 2 (63,000) -- its best rank since the chart dated Sept. 25. You'll be hard-pressed to find many titles that post an increase in sales this week, as the chart readjusts back to non-holiday sales patterns. Thus, albums with the smallest decrease in sales will take significant jumps up the list. (The highest ranking album with a gain this week is Journey's Greatest Hits at No. 44, which sells 15,000 and is up 8%).

Also rising: Rihanna's Loud (up seven to No. 3 with 62,000; down 44%) and Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday (up four to No. 4 with 61,000; down 54%).

Five albums jumps back into the top 10 this week, led by Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which rises 14 slots to No. 5 (59,000; down 32%). After that, we get Daft Punk's TRON: Legacy soundtrack up 21 slots to a new peak of No. 6 (54,000; down 22%), Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans moving up 13 rungs to No. 7 (45,000; down 46%) and Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More flying up 26 slots to a new peak of No. 8 (39,000; down 29%).

Rounding out the top 10 albums of the week are Katy Perry's Teenage Dream up three to No. 9 (38,000; down 62%) and Keyshia Cole's Calling All Hearts, which falls just one spot to No. 10 in its second week (37,000; down 71%).

Meanwhile, over on the Digital Songs chart, Bruno Mars' Grenade remains at No. 1 for a third straight week, shifting 425,000 (down 24%). Katy Perry's Firework is steady at No. 2 (398,000; down 22%) and Ke$ha's We R Who We R is another non-mover at No. 3 (319,000; down 22%).

No entirely new faces dot the top 10 on Digital Songs, though a couple titles return to the region this week. P!nk's Raise Your Glass climbs two to No. 4 (273,000; down 16%), Enrique Iglesias' Tonight (I'm Lovin' You) rises two to No. 5 (270,000; down 14%) and Rihanna's What's My Name descends two to No. 6 (262,000; down 24%).

Wiz Khalifa's Black And Yellow also falls two rungs, moving to No. 7 (261,000; down 21%) while the Black Eyed Peas' The Time (Dirty Bit) rises one to No. 8 (260,000; down 11%). Closing out the top 10 are Trey Songz's Bottoms Up at No. 9 -- up one -- with 224,000 (down 23%) and Nelly's Just a Dream at No. 10 -- up three positions -- with 204,000 (down just 4%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Jan. 2) totaled 7.15 million units, down 53% compared to the sum last week (15.08 million) and down 8% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (7.76 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 42.07 million downloads, down 4% compared to last week (43.96 million) and up 13% stacked next to the comparable week of 2009 (37.21 million).


Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when: Ke$ha's Animal debuted at No. 1 with 152,000, bumping Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream down to No. 2 (93,000; down 32%). The next highest bow after Ke$ha was down at No. 27, where Katherine McPhee's Unbroken started with 15,000. 

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