It's a busy week at the top of the The Billboard 200, with Madonna's "Hard Candy" leading the action at No. 1. It is the artist's seventh chart-topper, the second-most among all female artists -- only

It's a busy week at the top of the The Billboard 200, with Madonna's "Hard Candy" leading the action at No. 1. It is the artist's seventh chart-topper, the second-most among all female artists -- only Barbra Streisand, with eight, has more. The Warner Bros. set moved 280,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. After racing 68-3 last month, the diva's single "4 Minutes" featuring Justin Timberlake gave Madonna her 37th top 10 hit -- the most of any artist in the rock era. Until now, she and Elvis Presley were tied with 36 apiece.

As a consequence, Mariah Carey's "E=MC2" (Island Def Jam) is dethroned to No. 2 after two weeks on top; the album moved 95,000 units, a 48% sales drop-off. Leona Lewis' "Spirit" (Syco/J) slips 2-3 with 84,000 (-12%).

Lyfe Jennings' Columbia album "Lyfe Change" starts with 80,000 at No. 4. His last set trumps this start though, as "The Phoenix" began at No. 2 with 136,000 in 2006.

Def Leppard scores its 11th consecutive top 20 album with the bow of "Songs from the Sparkle Lounge" (Island/UMe) at No. 5 with 55,000 units. The band started its top 20 streak on The Billboard 200 back with 1983's "Pyromania" when it peaked at No. 2. Since "Pyromania," every Def Leppard album has reached the top 20.

The Roots' ninth album, Def Jam set "Rising Down," enters at No. 6 off of a 54,000 start. The hip-hop act's last release, 2006's "Game Theory," started at No. 9 with 61,000.

Portishead returns with its first studio album in more than 10 years as "Third" bows with 53,000 at No. 7, a new charting high-water mark for the U.K. act. Its last studio effort, 1997's "Portishead," debuted and peaked at No. 21.

Tom Petty side project Mudcrutch -- which was actually the precursor to Petty's career as a solo artist -- has a No. 8 start with its self-titled Reprise set with 38,000. Petty's last release, 2006's "Highway Companion," started at No. 4 with 112,000.

The multi-label "Now 27" continues its decline 6-9 with 31,000 and a 4% decrease.

The Wal-Mart exclusive set "Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2" from Tim McGraw bows at No. 10 with 29,000. The 2-CD set combines the singer's 2000 "Greatest Hits" with his 2006 "Greatest Hits Vol. 2: Reflected."

Aside from those seven releases, 24 other albums debut inside The Billboard 200, including Steve Winwood's "Nine Lives" (Columbia, No. 12, 26,000), Carly Simon's "This Kind of Love" (Hear Music, No. 15, 23,000), Augustana's "Can't Love, Can't Hurt" (Epic, No. 21, 21,000), Lil Mama's "VYP: Voice of the Young People (Jive, No. 25, 19,000), Mindless Self Indulgence's "If" (The End Records, No. 27, 18,000) and Mana's "Arde El Cielo" (Warner Music Latina, No. 30, 17,000).

Album sales this week are up 10% from last week's sum with 7.55 million units and down 10.4% from the same week last year.

Browse the Billboard charts.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print