It's all about Jay-Z and the Beatles this week on the Billboard charts. The former notches his amazing 11th No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with "The Blueprint 3" (476,000 copies) while the Fab Four's reissues take over the Comprehensive Albums chart and the Top Pop Catalog Albums tally . . . Jay-Z's No. 1 achievement pushes him ahead of Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums. Jay now has the second-most No. 1 albums among all acts. Fittingly, only the Beatles, with 19 No. 1s, has more . . . Speaking of the Beatles, their album catalog—including those titles not part of the reissue series—sold a combined 626,000 units in the United States, last week according to Nielsen SoundScan, with the biggest of the bunch being 1969's "Abbey Road," which moved 89,000 copies.


FLASH POINTS

• It's all about Jay-Z and the Beatles this week on Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard's album charts.

• Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" shifted 476,000 copies in the week that ended at the close of business Sunday (Sept. 13) night. That easily gives Jay-Z his 11th No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

• All of Jay-Z's solo studio sets have reached No. 1, save for his first two, 1996's "Reasonable Doubt" (No. 23) and 1997's "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1" (No. 3). In addition to his nine No. 1 solo studio sets, he's also hit the top with his R. Kelly collaboration "Unfinished Business" in 2004 and his pairing with Linkin Park on the mash-up effort "Collision Course" in 2004.

• Jay-Z's No. 1 achievement with "Blueprint 3" pushes him ahead of Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums in the 50-plus-year history of the Billboard 200. And Jay now has the second-most No. 1 albums among all acts. Fittingly, only the Beatles, with 19 No. 1s, have more.

• Speaking of the Beatles, the Fab Four's album catalog—including those titles not part of the reissue series—sold a combined 626,000 units in the United States last week, according to SoundScan. In the week previous (the week ending Sept. 6), the band's collective albums sold just 21,000.

• Up through the week ending Sept. 6, the quartet's catalog had sold 635,000 in the United States this year, thus, with this week's haul of 626,000, that brings the Beatles' 2009 sum to 1.3 million. In the whole of 2008, the band sold 1.4 million albums in the United States.

• Since SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991, the Beatles have never sold less than 1 million albums in a year. The group's best year came in 2000, when the release of its hits package "1" helped the band sell 7.3 million copies in the United States.

• The biggest seller of the reissue series last week was 1969's "Abbey Road," which moved 89,000 copies and debuts at No. 3 on the Top Comprehensive Albums chart behind Jay-Z's "Blueprint 3" and Miley Cyrus' "The Time of Our Lives" (No. 2 with 121,000). "Abbey" also starts at No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. It does not appear on the Billboard 200.

• All of the Beatles' individual album reissues are eligible to chart on the Top Comprehensive Albums chart and Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. The former houses all albums, regardless of their age, while the latter is for those 18 months or older. The Billboard 200 tally includes only current and new releases.

• So, the band's two new boxed sets, "Beatles in Stereo" and "Beatles in Mono," will chart on the Billboard 200, while the individual album reissues of the Beatles' catalog will chart on the Top Comprehensive Albums and Top Pop Catalog Albums charts.

• While "Abbey Road" was the best-seller of the Beatles' reissues last week, the rest of the series did quite well. The order of the best-sellers following "Abbey" are: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (74,000), "The White Album" (60,000), "Rubber Soul" (58,000), "Revolver" (46,000), "Help!" (39,000), "Let It Be" (32,000), "Past Masters Vols. I and II" (31,000), "Magical Mystery Tour" (30,000), "A Hard Day's Night" (29,000), "The Beatles in Stereo" (26,000), "Please Please Me" (23,000), "With the Beatles" (22,000), "Beatles for Sale" (21,000), "Yellow Submarine" (14,000) and "The Beatles in Mono" (12,000).

• The "Stereo" and "Mono" boxed sets debut at Nos. 15 and 40, respectively, on the Billboard 200. On the Comprehensive Albums chart, "Abbey" is joined in the top 10 by four other Beatles sets: "Pepper's" (No. 5), "White Album" (No. 7), "Rubber" (No. 8) and "Revolver" (No. 10).

• On the Top Pop Catalog chart, the Beatles own nine of the top 10 slots, with only Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" (No. 6 with 45,000) the lone non-Fab Four title.

• Switching gears back to some non-Jay-Z/Beatles news, let's recap the Billboard 200 chart this week . . . the aforementioned Cyrus holds at No. 2 while last week's No. 1, Whitney Houston's "I Look to You," falls to No. 3 with 88,000 (down 71%). Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2" debuts at No. 4 with 68,000 while Brooks and Dunn's "#1s . . . And Then Some" starts at No. 5 with 55,000. Trey Songz's "Ready" slides three positions to No. 6 with 45,000 (down 65%) while the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." zips up four slots to No. 7 with 44,000 (up 29%). Boys Like Girls' "Love Drunk" debuts at No. 8 with 41,000, Kings of Leon's "Only by the Night" is down two rungs to No. 9 with 40,000 (down 11%) and Taylor Swift's "Fearless" moves down one position to No. 10 with 33,000 (down 6%).

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Sept. 13) totaled 6.7 million units, up 7% compared with the sum last week (6.3 million) and down 2% compared with the same sales week of 2008 (6.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 244.1 million, down 14% compared with the same total at this point last year (284.4 million).



MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 6.7 million units
• UP 7% from last week's charts: 6.3 million units
• DOWN 2% from same week, 2008: 6.8 million units
• This week: The top two albums on the Billboard 200 and Top Comprehensive Albums charts sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: Metallica's "Death Magnetic" blew through 490,000 copies in just three days after a Friday release and debuted at No. 1. Jessica Simpson's "Do You Know" was the second-highest entry of the week, starting at No. 4 with 65,000. The previous week's leader, Young Jeezy's "The Recession," fell to No. 2 in its second week with 90,000 (down 65%).



PROGRESS REPORTS

• British rock trio Muse scores its first No. 1 on the Alternative/Modern Rock radio airplay chart this week as "Uprising" ascends to the top this week. Though the band released its first album back in 1999, the group didn't reach a Billboard chart until 2004 when its "Absolution" set peaked at No. 107 on the Billboard 200. All told, the act has notched seven hits on the Modern Rock chart. "Uprising" is its sixth top 10 single. The tune is the lead-off track from the band's just-released album "The Resistance," which looks good to make a splashy bow next week on the Billboard 200.

• On the Hot Country Songs chart, Jason Aldean's "Big Green Tractor" spends a fourth week at No. 1—the longest run atop the list for a single since Brad Paisley's "Letter to Me" also spent four frames atop the list between Feb. 2 and Feb. 23, 2008 . . . Speaking of Paisley, he nets his 22nd top 10 Country hit this week with "Welcome to the Future," which rises 11-10 in its 12th chart week. The slow and steady climb is Paisley's longest to the top 10 since "She's Everything" also waited 12 weeks before it hit the top 10 on Nov. 25, 2006. Since then, he's notched another seven top 10s in addition to "Welcome to the Future."

• Twenty-six years to the chart week after notching her first No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Club Play Songs chart, Madonna rules for a 40th time, rising 2-1 with "Celebration." She easily extends her lead for most No. 1s in the chart's history, pulling further ahead of runner-up Janet Jackson, who has 18. Madonna first appeared on the tally with "Everybody" on the chart dated Nov. 6, 1982, eventually taking the cut to No. 3. Her follow-up, "Burning Up/Physical Attraction" (counted as one title in Billboard's archives), also reached No. 3. The third time was the charm for Madonna, as the double-sided "Holiday/Lucky Star" marked her first No. 1 stay beginning Sept. 24, 1983.


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: Muse's "The Resistance," Kid Cudi's "Man on the Moon," Nelly Furtado's "Mi Plan," Thrice's "Beggars," Drake's mixtape "So Far Gone" and Uncle Kracker's "Happy Hour."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2008 when: Metallica's "Death Magnetic" held at No. 1 after its first full week in stores with 337,000 (down just 31%). Ne-Yo's "Year of the Gentleman" started in the runner-up slot with 250,000 while Nelly's "Brass Knuckles" knocked in at No. 3 with 84,000.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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