While Nas achieves his fifth No. 1 album, it's ABBA mania on the charts as the "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack charges at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with a huge gain. The pop group is also a main attraction on the Top Pop Catalog and Top Cast Albums charts . . . Back on the Billboard 200, John Mellencamp grabs his fourth top 10 debut while country veteran Randy Travis has his best week ever . . . Meanwhile, over on Top Country Albums Taylor Swift monopolizes the top two slots -- the first time any artist has done so since 1997 . . . In Progress Reports, we've got updates on Alan Jackson, Foo Fighters and Menudo.
Nas scores his fifth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 as his new untitled effort starts in the penthouse with 187,000. It's the follow-up to his 2006 No. 1 set "Hip Hop Is Dead," which started with 354,000 during Christmas week. Last week marked the first time since 1999 that Nas released a new studio set outside of the fourth quarter. Nas has also rang the bell at No. 1 with 1996's "It Was Written," 1999's "I Am . . . " and as part of the 1997 self-titled Firm supergroup album . . . Last week's No. 1, Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III," slips to No. 2 (105,000; down 15%).
The "Mamma Mia!" soundtrack jumps to No. 3 with an 89% increase in sales, shifting 91,000 this week. The film bowed in U.S. theaters last Friday (July 18) and earned the highest-grossing weekend opening for a musical. The film of course is based on the stage musical "Mamma Mia!" and the music of ABBA. The group's presence is very much felt all over the charts this week thanks to the movie's boffo bow. The act's "Gold -- Greatest Hits" rises to No. 1 for the first time on Top Pop Catalog (15,000; up 96%) while the group is also at Nos. 13 and 24 with two more compilations. Additionally, the original cast recording of "Mamma Mia" zooms 47-8 on Top Pop Catalog (6,000; up 92%) and is a mere handful of units away from the No. 1 slot on Top Cast Albums.
John Mellencamp grabs his fourth top 10 debut as "Life Death Love and Freedom" starts at No. 7 with 56,000. It's his 19th charting album overall, stretching back to the Aug. 18, 1979, debut of "John Cougar" ... David Banner plants the flag at No. 8 with his third straight top 10 studio album, "The Greatest Story Ever Told," shifting 52,000 ... Taylor Swift bows at No. 9 with her Wal-Mart exclusive EP "Beautiful Eyes" (45,000). On Top Country Albums, it starts at No. 1. She also happens to be No. 2 on the Country Albums chart with her self-titled debut, making it the first time the top two slots on the Top Country Albums chart are owned by the same artist since LeAnn Rimes did the trick in 1997.
Country veteran Randy Travis snares his highest-charting album on the Billboard 200 as "Around the Bend" debuts at No. 14 with 31,000 -- his best sales week since 1992. Over on Top Country Albums, it begins at No. 3, his highest rank since 1991 when "High Lonesome" peaked at that spot. Travis played "Late Show With David Letterman" (July 15) and "Good Morning America" (July 16) during release week.
Other debuts landing on the Billboard 200 this week include . . . a new chart peak for O.A.R. as the band returns with "All Sides," its first studio album since 2005 (No. 13 with 33,000) and the soundtrack to "The Dark Knight" (No. 20 with 25,000). Also, the Hold Steady re-enters the chart at No. 30 with "Stay Positive" after the album was released physically last week. It had been available only in digital for the past month.
|The Billboard 200
Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
|*1||New||NAS Untitled (Def Jam / Columbia / IDJMG)||11||6||VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW 28 (EMI / Sony BMG / Universal / Zomba / Capitol)|
|2||1||LIL WAYNE Tha Carter III (Cash Money / Universal Motown / UMRG)||*12||14||TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )|
|*3||7||SOUNDTRACK Mamma Mia! (Decca )||*13||New||O.A.R. All Sides (Everfine / Atlantic / AG)|
|4||2||COLDPLAY Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends (Capitol )||*14||New||RANDY TRAVIS Around The Bend (Warner Bros. (Nashville) / WRN)|
|5||3||SOUNDTRACK Camp Rock (Walt Disney )||15||12||KATY PERRY One Of The Boys (Capitol )|
|*6||5||KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG)||16||4||BECK Modern Guilt (DGC / IGA)|
|*7||New||JOHN MELLENCAMP Life Death Love And Freedom (Hear )||17||13||DISTURBED Indestructible (Reprise / Warner Bros.)|
|*8||New||DAVID BANNER The Greatest Story Ever Told (b.i.G. f.a.c.e. / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG)||*18||18||JOURNEY Revelation (Nomota )|
|*9||New||TAYLOR SWIFT Beautiful Eyes (EP) (Big Machine )||19||11||USHER Here I Stand (LaFace / Zomba)|
|10||8||RIHANNA Good Girl Gone Bad (SRP / Def Jam / IDJMG)||*20||New||SOUNDTRACK The Dark Knight (Warner Sunset / Warner Bros.)|
|* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week|
Album units, current chart week: 7.48 million units
UP 2.1% from last issue's charts: 7.33 million units
DOWN 7.85% from same week, 2007: 8.11 million units
This week: The top two albums each sell more than 100,000 copies.
This week last year on the Billboard 200: The "Now 25" compilation started atop the list with 223,000. Meanwhile, the soundtrack to "Hairspray" jumped 20-4, selling 72,000, and Colbie Caillat's "Coco" started at No. 5 with 51,000. Only the top two albums sold more than 100,000.
The No. 10 album this week, Rihanna's "Good Girl Gone Bad" (Island/IDJMG), sold 41,000.
The No. 10 album for the same week of 2007, Bon Jovi's "Lost Highway" (Mercury/Island/UMGN/IDJMG), sold 42,000.
Average total of the No. 10 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1999-2008): 63,672.
Alan Jackson collects his 23rd No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, as "Good Time" ascends 2-1. The song follows his previous leader, "Small Town Southern Man," which reigned for two weeks in March to give Jackson his first back-to-back No. 1s (not including non-promoted album tracks) since "Where I Come From" and "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" in 2001.
Foo Fighters earn their seventh Modern Rock No. 1, and third from the album "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace," as "Let It Die" moves 2-1. "Echoes" becomes just the ninth album to yield at least three chart-toppers in the nearly 20-year history of the Modern Rock chart. "Die" follows "The Pretender," which held the pole position for a record 18 weeks, and "Long Road to Ruin," which topped the chart for seven weeks.
The Menudo franchise gets its first Top 40 Mainstream airplay hit as "Lost" lands at No. 38. The reborn quintet, whose album is set for release in the fall, is the second boy band of '80s origin to grace the list; New Kids on the Block -- with all five original members -- rank at No. 21 with "Summertime."
A LOOK AHEAD
Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Miley Cyrus' "Breakout," the deluxe edition of Sugarland's "Love on the Inside" and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "CSNY/Deja Vu Live."
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2007 when: The "Now 25" compilation held at No. 1 with 149,000, the "Hairspray" soundtrack moved 4-2 with 101,000, and Prince's "Planet Earth" bowed at No. 3 with 96,000. Only the top two albums sold more than 100,000.