Death Cab for Cutie were the live wires on this week’s album chart, debuting on top with 144,000 units sold for their seventh full-length album, Narrow Stairs. That's a broad step up from the 90,000 that their last album, Plans, opened with in 2005. In retrospect, releasing an eight-and-a-half-minute single ('I Will Possess Your Heart') doesn't seem like such a disastrous move after all, does it?
Now cue Frank Sinatra singing, It was a very good week... Fans snapped up copies of Ol' Blue Eyes' Nothing but the Best collection as if they were commemorative stamps, boosting it all the way up to No. 2 on the Billboard/Soundscan chart with sales of 99,000. That’s the Chairman’s best chart showing since 1993, five years before his death, when his Duets album also hit No. 2.
The title of Jason Mraz’s third album — We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things — accurately describes the cavalier feeling a lot of music fans have about illicit downloading nowadays. Nonetheless, he convinced 73,000 followers to pony up for his new disc, fairly close to the 81,000 who sprang for his last release, Mr. A-Z, in its first week in 2005.
You’ve heard of the greenhouse effect. How about the Winehouse effect? Turns out Amy isn’t the only British white-soul thrush who can translate hype across the pond into Stateside success. Duffy’s Rockferry debuted in the U.S. with a surprising 71,000 in sales.
See who pulled ahead in the battle of the divas and how Rihanna's new single fared in its second week, after the jump...
Other album chart debuts of note: Keith Sweat’s Just Me, in at No. 10 with 37,000 copies sold; 10 Years’ Division, bowing at No. 12 with 28,000 units; and the Prince Caspian soundtrack, debuting at No. 26 with 16,000.
Among holdovers, Leona Lewis fared best, selling 62,000 at No. 5, moving ahead of both No. 6 Mariah Carey and No. 8 Madonna in the diva war. Last week’s big winner, Neil Diamond, slipped from No. 1 to No. 7, a 63 percent decline. Among other second-week slides, Clay Aiken fell to No. 18, selling 21,000, a 78 percent drop, and Gavin DeGraw was down to No. 15 with 21,000, a decline of 67 percent.
On the digital songs front this week, Rihanna had an encore at the top of that chart, selling another 196,000 downloads of her “Take a Bow” single, which is set to appear on a deluxe reissue of her Good Girl Gone Bad CD in June. Bloody but unbowed, Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” held on to the No. 2 spot, selling another 143,000 to add to the song’s 2.1 million total. The highest debut in the digital songs listings belonged to Usher’s “Love in This Club Part II.” The remix/sequel sold 44,000 to come in at No. 18, while the original version is still flying high at No. 6.
Next week on the album chart, look for 3 Doors Down's new disc to take the lead, followed by new albums from rapper Bun B, Dancing with the Stars-standby-turned-country-crooner Julianne Hough, and heartthrob Jesse McCartney.
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