Bruce Springsteen's "Magic" returns to No. 1 in a slow week on The Billboard 200 while Jimmy Eat World starts at No. 5 with "Chase This Light" ... Santana bows in the top 10 with his new greatest hits package "Ultimate Santana" while Angie Stone nabs a No. 11 debut ... Toby Keith's second Christmas set takes a bow while Thrice's newest starts in the top 30 of The Billboard 200 ... In Progress Reports, we take note of a historic week for Linkin Park and the Alternative/Modern Rock chart, George Strait's 76th top 10 hit on Hot Country Songs and the fast-rising Colbie Caillat.



FLASH POINTS



• Since Nielsen SoundScan introduced its new building charts feature six weeks ago, the data has been pretty straight forward. If your album has been No. 1 on the building charts (which tally unweighted midweek sales from eight leading music accounts), it's likely you'll end up No. 1 when the final chart is released the following week. That's been the case over the previous five frames, which left little doubt who would top The Billboard 200. However, last week, when Jimmy Eat World's "Chase This Light" was released, it looks liked the rock band would achieve its first No. 1 album. The title led the building charts released on both Wednesday (17) and Friday (19). However, the weekend seemingly took its toll on Jimmy Eat World, giving Bruce Springsteen a second week atop The Billboard 200 with "Magic." On the final chart, Jimmy Eat World starts at No. 5 with 62,000 while Springsteen rises at No. 1 with 77,000 (down 42%).

• So what happened? On last Wednesday's building chart -- which tallied up first day unweighted sales from eight leading music accounts -- "Chase This Light" was ahead of the chart's runner-up by nearly 9,000. On the building chart released Friday, the gap between Nos. 1 and 2 had shrunk to 7,000. Perhaps the band's devoted fans snapped up the album in its first few days of release, leaving few casual consumers left to buy the album over the weekend ... Jimmy Eat World's last album, 2004's "Futures," bowed at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 with 99,000.

• Santana notches his fourth top 10 album for Arista, as "Ultimate Santana" bows at No. 8 with 56,000. The set collects his more recent Arista-era hits and mingles them with his early Columbia smashes from the 1970s. The album's lead single, "Into the Night" (featuring Chad Kroeger), climbs to No. 13 on the Hot AC/Adult Top 40 chart this week. It's on the verge of entering the CHR/Top 40 airplay chart as well. Once it debuts -- possibly next week -- it will be Santana's first CHR/Top 40 hit since 2003's "Why Don't You & I" reached No. 3.

• Here's two surprising things to see near the top 10 of The Billboard 200 this week: Angie Stone and the Stax label. The former's "The Art of Love and War" (No. 11) is the first release for Stone since she departed J Records and also happens to be her highest charting album. It debuts with 45,000. The relaunched Stax label is the new home of Stone. The artist's previous album, "Stone Love," bowed at No. 14 in 2004 with 53,000 ... "The Art of Love and War" also bows atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart -- her first No. 1 on that tally.

• Toby Keith joins the holiday party with his second Christmas album, "A Classic Christmas," starting at No. 39 on The Billboard 200 with 18,000. His first holiday set, 1995's "Christmas to Christmas," failed to dent either The Billboard 200 or Top Country Albums. Though it has charted on our Top Holiday Albums list, climbing as high as No. 7 over Christmas week of 2006 ... Meanwhile, back on The Billboard 200, Josh Groban's "Noel" moves from No. 10 to No. 4 in its second week, shifting 64,000 (down by less than 1%) ... Rock act Thrice returns to The Billboard 200 with the double-EP release "Alchemy Index, Vols. 1 & 2" at No. 24 with 28,000. The band's last full-length album, "Vheissu," started at No. 15 in 2005 with 46,000.




The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 2 BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Magic (Columbia / Sony Music) *11 New ANGIE STONE The Art Of Love & War (Stax / Concord)
2 1 KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG) 12 11 KEYSHIA COLE Just Like You (Confidential / Imani / Geffen / IGA)
3 3 RASCAL FLATTS Still Feels Good (Lyric Street / Hollywood) 13 5 MATCHBOX TWENTY Exile On Mainstream (Melisma / Atlantic / AG)
4 10 JOSH GROBAN Noel (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.) 14 15 SOULJA BOY TELL'EM souljaboytellem.com (ColliPark / Interscope / IGA)
*5 New JIMMY EAT WORLD Chase This Light (Tiny Evil / Interscope / IGA) 15 18 JILL SCOTT The Real Thing: Words And Sounds Vol. 3 (Hidden Beach )
6 7 REBA MCENTIRE Reba Duets (MCA Nashville / UMGN) 16 20 J. HOLIDAY Back Of My Lac' (Music Line / Capitol)
7 9 SOUNDTRACK High School Musical 2 (Walt Disney ) 17 22 MILEY CYRUS Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus (Walt Disney / Hollywood )
*8 New SANTANA Ultimate Santana (Legacy / Columbia / Arista / RMG) 18 24 NICKELBACK All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner )
9 6 KANYE WEST Graduation (Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG) 19 8 SARA EVANS Greatest Hits (RCA Nashville / SBN)
*10 16 COLBIE CAILLAT Coco (Universal Republic / UMRG) 20 14 ERIC CLAPTON Complete Clapton (Duck / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 7.93 million units
• DOWN 4.9% from last issue's charts: 8.34 million units
• DOWN 19.6% from same week, 2006: 9.86 million units
• This week: No albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: Diddy debuted at No. 1 with "Press Play," selling 170,000. JoJo's "The High Road" started high at No. 3 with 108,000 while Dierks Bentley and Ruben Studdard bowed at Nos. 5 and 8, respectively. The top three albums sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 200 album this week, will.i.am's "Songs About Girls," (will.i.am/Interscope/IGA) sold 4,000.
• The No. 200 album for the same week of 2006, Mat Kearney's "Nothing Left to Lose," (Aware/Columbia/Sony Music) sold 5,000.
• Average total of the No. 200 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 5,693.



PROGRESS REPORTS



• Linkin Park becomes the third act in the history of the Alternative/Modern Rock chart to simultaneously place three singles in the top 20, as "Shadow of the Day" leaps from No. 27 to No. 20. It joins "Bleed It Out" (No. 2) and "What I've Done" (No. 13). It's the first time an act has landed three top 20s in the same week since U2 in February 1992 with "Until the End of the World" (No. 5), "Mysterious Ways" (No. 8) and "One" (No. 18). The Irish quartet posted three top 20 tracks during three weeks in 1992 and two weeks in 1988. Coincidentally, it was during one of those two weeks in 1988 when R.E.M. also scored three top 20s.

• Country kingpin George Strait adds more ink to his already remarkable chart history as "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls" rises to No. 9 on the Hot Country Songs chart -- giving him his 76th top 10 single. That moves Strait past Conway Twitty (with 75 top 10s) into sole possession of third place behind Eddy Arnold (92) and George Jones (78) for the most top 10s in the chart's 63-year history. Strait began his top 10 run with his debut chart single "Unwound," a No. 6 hit in 1981 ... Hot Country Songs' top 10 also sees the return of Strait's fellow Texan, Clay Walker, who scores his 16th top 10 with "Fall" which hops from No. 12 to No. 10. Walker most recently cracked the top 10 when "I Can't Sleep" peaked at No. 9 in September 2003.

• Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly" takes the second-fastest rise into the top five of the CHR/Top 40 radio chart this year as the single moves from No. 9 to No. 5 in only its sixth chart week. Only two other tunes have moved as fast up the chart in 2007 -- Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls" took six weeks to get to the top five while Timbaland's "Apologize" did the trick in only five weeks.



Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New ANGIE STONE The Art Of Love & War (Stax / Concord)
2 1 KEYSHIA COLE Just Like You (Confidential / Imani / Geffen / IGA)
3 3 JILL SCOTT The Real Thing: Words And Sounds Vol. 3 (Hidden Beach )
4 2 KANYE WEST Graduation (Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG)
5 4 J. HOLIDAY Back Of My Lac' (Music Line / Capitol)
6 5 SOULJA BOY TELL'EM souljaboytellem.com (ColliPark / Interscope / IGA)
*7 10 SOUNDTRACK Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (Atlantic / AG)
8 6 TREY SONGZ Trey Day (Song Book / Atlantic / AG)
9 9 JAGGED EDGE Baby Makin' Project (So So Def / Island Urban / IDJMG)
10 8 50 CENT Curtis (Shady / Aftermath / Interscope / IGA)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 EAGLES The Very Best Of (Warner Strategic Marketing )
*2 5 JOHN ST. JOHN Sounds Of Horror (Madacy Special Products / Madacy)
3 2 MICHAEL BUBLE It's Time (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
4 4 TIM MCGRAW Greatest Hits (Curb )
*5 7 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / IGA)
6 6 BEE GEES Greatest (Reprise / Warner Strategic Marketing)
*7 9 ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING Wicked (Decca Broadway / Universal Classics Group)
8 8 PINK FLOYD Dark Side Of The Moon (Capitol )
9 10 JOURNEY Journey's Greatest Hits (Legacy / Columbia / Sony Music)
*10 15 KIDZ BOP KIDS Kidz Bop Halloween (Razor & Tie )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Carrie Underwood's "Carnival Ride," Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' "Raising Sand," Gary Allan's "Living Hard," Seether's "Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces," Juanes' "La Vida ... Es un Ratico," Rob Zombie's "Zombie Live," Steven Curtis Chapman's "This Moment," Relient K's "Let It Snow Baby... Let It Reindeer" and Coheed and Cambria's "No World for Tomorrow."
• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: the soundtrack from Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" bowed at No. 1, selling 281,000. My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade" debuted in the runner-up slot with 240,000 and John Legend started at No. 3 with "Once Again" (231,000).

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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