Bon Jovi, David Bowie Headed to Nos. 1 and 2 on Billboard 200

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Earlier this week we reported that Bon Jovi and David Bowie were vying for the No. 1 slot on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart. However, Bon Jovi has now pulled ahead, and it seems like the band's "What About Now" is a lock for a No. 1 bow on the chart.

Industry sources suggest the group's album might sell just under 90,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, March 17. It will mark the band's fifth No. 1 set -- and third straight studio effort to hit the top.

Meanwhile, David Bowie's new "The Next Day" -- his first studio album since 2003 -- should arrive in the No. 2 position with perhaps 80,000.

David Bowie, 'The Next Day': Track-By-Track Review

While a No. 1 album will seemingly continue to elude Bowie (who has yet to notch a chart-topper), a No. 2 bow will give him his best ranking ever. Somewhat shockingly, his highest-charting album to date is 1976's "Station to Station," which peaked at No. 3.

"The Next Day" will also likely score Bowie his best sales week for an album in the Nielsen SoundScan era (1991-present). He's never sold more than 55,000 in a week for a single album, when 2002's "Heathen" debuted at No. 14. "The Next Day's" numbers are especially impressive, considering Bowie himself has done no press for the set. While he's released two music videos, the artist has not made a single media appearance or given an interview to promote the effort.

Elsewhere in next week's top 10, look for debuts from the "Passion: Let the Future Begin" album, Mindless Behavior, Eric Clapton and the "Sound City" soundtrack. The "Passion" album might sell around 40,000 or so, while Clapton, "Sound City" and Mindless Behavior are in the 35,000 range.

On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Bowie is No. 1 while Bon Jovie is No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants. Though Bowie is ahead of Bon Jovi on the Building chart, that does not mean Bowie will necessarily be No. 1 on the official Billboard 200 chart when revealed next Wednesday.

As for the rest of the Building chart's top 10: Luke Bryan's current Billboard 200 topper, "Spring Break . . . Here to Party" is in the No. 3 position, while the "Sound City" soundtrack is No. 4. Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" is No. 5, Mindless Behavior's "All Around the World" is No. 6 and Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" is No. 7. Eric Clapton's new "Old Sock" is No. 8, P!nk's "The Truth About Love" is No. 9 and Mumford & Sons' "Babel" is No. 10.

Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart
Rank LW
BB 200
Artist Title
1 NEW David Bowie "The Next Day"
2 NEW Bon Jovi "What About Now"
3 1 Luke Bryan "Spring Break . . . Here to Party"
4 NEW Soundtrack "Sound City: Real to Reel"
5 3 Bruno Mars "Unorthodox Jukebox"
6 NEW Mindless Behavior "All Around the World"
7 8 Imagine Dragons "Night Visions"
8 NEW Eric Clapton "Old Sock"
9 12 P!nk "The Truth About Love"
10 4 Mumford & Sons "Babel"
The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.