The soundtrack to Disney Channel's "High School Musical 2" makes a grand entrance at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with 615,000 units, the year's second-largest sales week. It's also the best debut for a soundtrack since 2002 ... For the first time, Walt Disney Records holds the top two slots on The Billboard 200, as the "Hannah Montana 2" soundtrack rebounds to No. 2 ... In non-Mouse House news, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds team up for another top 10 album, AFI spinoff Blaqk Audio hits the top 20, and new country singer Luke Bryan bows at No. 2 on Top Country Albums ... In Progress Reports, we've got updates on Kenny Chesney's firm grasp at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, Foo Fighters' fast climb up the Alternative/Modern Rock chart and a welcome return for the Eagles.


FLASH POINTS



• There was no question that the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack would debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week. What everyone wanted to know was: Just how much would it sell? Could it blow past half a million? Surpass Linkin Park's best-of-2007 sales week (623,000)? Go even higher? Well, with an eye-popping 615,000, the sequel to last year's best-selling album earns the second-biggest sales frame of the year -- second only to Linkin's "Minutes to Midnight" bow ... Since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991, only three other soundtracks have ever moved more than 615,000 in a week -- and only one debuted stronger than "High School Musical 2." Eminem's "8 Mile" soundtrack bowed at No. 1 with 702,000 in 2002 both "Titanic" and "The Bodyguard" racked up two 600,000-plus weeks each. You may recall how "The Bodyguard" became the first album in the SoundScan era to sell more than 1 million units (1,061,000 to be exact) during Christmas week of 1992.

• Disney Channel's Friday, Aug. 17, premiere of "High School Musical 2" racked up spectacular ratings. It snared 17.24 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research, making it the most-watched basic cable telecast of all time. But wait, there's more! "High School Musical 2" was the most-watched TV telecast ever among kids 6-11 and the most-watched entertainment telecast ever among tweens 9-14. The premiere was also the most-watched Friday telecast, among all networks, in five years. "Musical 2" was followed by a new episode of "Hannah Montana," which grabbed the highest ratings yet for a series telecast on basic cable in total viewers (10.7 million), kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14.

• With all of the "Musical" and "Montana" buzz, it's no surprise that the first "High School Musical" soundtrack returns to the top 20 of The Billboard 200 for the first time since last September, as it rises 28-16 with a 38% gain. The set's 30,000 sold is also its best sales week since Christmas, when it moved 32,000. Total sales for the first "Musical" album now stand at 4.1 million. The massive ratings for the new episode of "Hannah Montana" help push a 10% increase for the second soundtrack from that series, as it rises 4-2, selling 83,000 for the week. Thanks to "Montana" reaching the runner-up slot, it's the first time Walt Disney Records has held Nos. 1 and 2 on The Billboard 200 at the same time. (The "Montana 2" soundtrack is a shared effort with Hollywood Records.) All told, there are eight Buena Vista Music Group titles in the top 50 this week. Aside from the "High School" and "Hannah" soundtracks, there are also releases from Jonas Brothers, Plain White T's, Aly & AJ and Rascal Flatts.

• This week marks the first time since the Sept. 9, 2006, chart that the top 20 of The Billboard 200 houses four soundtracks. All but one -- "Hairspray" -- are Disney titles. On Sept. 9, the albums were OutKast's "Idlewild" (No. 2), "The Cheetah Girls 2" (No. 5), "Step Up" (No. 16) and "High School Musical" (No. 19).

• The winner of this week's non-Disney division is Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, who enter The Billboard 200 at No. 3 with "Live at Radio City" (70,000). The set also claims the No. 1 spot on Top Rock Albums, Top Alternative Albums and Top Internet Albums. It is the second collaboration between Matthews and Reynolds to hit the big chart following the triple-platinum "Live at Luther College," which debuted and peaked at No. 2 (187,000) in the Feb. 6, 1999, issue. Target sale-priced the double-disc "Radio City" collection for $9.98 during the tracking week while Circuit City came in at $10.99 and Best Buy at $11.99. The companion two-DVD collection, which enters Top Music Video at No. 2, was available for $11.98 at Target, $11.99 at Best Buy and $12.99 at Circuit City. The DVD release includes a 46-minute behind-the-scenes documentary. Matthews is touring amphitheaters through the beginning of October with the Dave Matthews Band. During release week the group hit Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Noblesville, Ind.; and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Reynolds embarks on his own tour of small venues Sept. 1 and is slated, along with Dave Matthews Band, to play Farm Aid Sept. 9 at New York's Randall's Island.


• AFI side project Blaqk Audio bows at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 with "CexCells," shifting 29,000. The act comprises AFI's lead singer Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget. The electronic/rock duo's single "Stiff Kittens" rises to No. 20 on the Alternative/Modern Rock chart this week while the "CexCells" album bows at No. 5 on Top Rock Albums, No. 5 on Top Alternative Albums and No. 1 on Top Electronic Albums ... Newcomer Luke Bryan's "I'll Stay Me" enters The Billboard 200 at No. 24 and is the Hot Shot Debut on Top Country Albums at No. 2. On the country list, Bryan's bow (25,000 copies) is the biggest for any rookie since Bucky Covington's self-titled album opened atop the May 5 chart with 61,000 copies. Bryan's quick start comes as his lead single, "All My Friends Say," advances 15-13 in its 30th week on Hot Country Songs. Although the morning-after barroom anthem has taken the slow lane to the upper part of the radio chart, the protracted climb translates to 211 million audience impressions through the week ending Aug. 19, according to Nielsen BDS. The accompanying videoclip has aired 623 times to date on CMT Pure, 394 times on GAC and 136 plays are noted at CMT.





The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New SOUNDTRACK High School Musical 2 (Walt Disney ) 11 9 T.I. T.I. Vs T.I.P. (Grand Hustle / Atlantic / AG)
*2 4 MILEY CYRUS Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus (Walt Disney / Hollywood ) 12 12 LINKIN PARK Minutes To Midnight (Machine Shop / Warner Bros.)
*3 New DAVE MATTHEWS AND TIM REYNOLDS Live At Radio City (Bama Rags / RCA / RMG) *13 15 NICKELBACK All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner )
4 3 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW 25 (Universal / EMI / Sony BMG / Zomba / UMRG) 14 13 AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (Universal Republic / UMRG)
5 6 SOUNDTRACK Hairspray (New Line ) *15 43 PARAMORE RIOT! (Fueled By Ramen / AG)
6 1 UGK Underground Kingz (UGK / Jive / Zomba) *16 28 SOUNDTRACK High School Musical (Walt Disney )
*7 8 FERGIE The Dutchess (will.i.am / A&M / Interscope / IGA) 17 16 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
8 5 JONAS BROTHERS Jonas Brothers (Hollywood ) *18 New BLAQK AUDIO Cexcells (Tiny Evil / Interscope / IGA)
9 2 PLIES The Real Testament (Big Gates / Slip-N-Slide / Atlantic / AG) 19 14 SEAN KINGSTON Sean Kingston (Beluga Heights / Koch / Epic / Sony Music)
10 7 COMMON Finding Forever (G.O.O.D. / Geffen / IGA) 20 11 KIDZ BOP KIDS Kidz Bop 12 (Razor & Tie )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 8.47 million units
• UP 5.4% from last issue's charts: 8.03 million units
• DOWN 11.6% from same week, 2006: 9.58 million units
• This week: Only the No. 1 album sells more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: the entire top five consisted of debuts from Christina Aguilera, Lyfe Jennings, Trace Adkins, Cherish and the "Cheetah Girls 2" soundtrack, at Nos. 1-5, respectively. Aguilera's "Back to Basics" started with 346,000 in the top slot. The top three albums sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 10 album this week, Common's "Finding Forever" (G.O.O.D./Geffen/IGA), sold 39,000.
• The No. 10 album for the same week of 2006, Nickelback's "All the Right Reasons" (Roadrunner), sold 53,000.
• Average total of the No. 10 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 72,693.



PROGRESS REPORTS



• Foo Fighters notch their fifth Alternative/Modern Rock chart-topper as "The Pretender" moves 3-1 with the list's second-largest plays increase (up 197 spins). At just three weeks, the song's climb is the fastest of the group's career, surpassing the six-week ascension of 1999's "Learn to Fly." The band also reached No. 1 with "All My Life" in 2002 and "Best of You" and "DOA" in 2005. "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace," the quartet's upcoming album, is the band's fourth consecutive studio release to have its debut single reach No. 1 on the Alternative/Modern Rock chart.


• Kenny Chesney scores the longest No. 1 run on the Country chart in almost a year as "Never Wanted Nothing More" spends a fifth week atop the list and gains 324,000 audience impressions. That's the longest reign since Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" dominated for five frames starting in the Nov. 3, 2006, issue. Underwood is also the most recent artist to claim a longer No. 1 stay on the Country list when she led with "Jesus, Take the Wheel" for six weeks in early 2006. The format has not seen a solo male top the chart for that long since Keith Urban clocked six straight weeks on top with "Better Life" in autumn 2005.



• Previewing "Long Road out of Eden," the Eagles' highly anticipated first album of all-new studio material in 28 years, the appropriately titled lead track, "How Long," enters Hot Country Songs at No. 44 as the Hot Shot Debut. Since the Eagles' last set of original songs, 1979's "The Long Run," the legendary group has placed five titles on The Billboard 200, including 1994's chart-topping set "Hell Freezes Over," which featured a mix of live and newly recorded songs. One of that album's new cuts, "The Girl From Yesterday," was the band's most recent Country chart hit, reaching No. 58 in late 1994. The group was last in the chart's top 40 when "Lyin' Eyes" hit No. 8 in 1975. "Eden" is scheduled for an October release, and will be available exclusively at Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, walmart.com and the band's official Web site.




Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 UGK Underground Kingz (UGK / Jive / Zomba)
2 2 PLIES The Real Testament (Big Gates / Slip-N-Slide / Atlantic / AG)
3 3 COMMON Finding Forever (G.O.O.D. / Geffen / IGA)
4 4 T.I. T.I. Vs T.I.P. (Grand Hustle / Atlantic / AG)
5 6 T-PAIN Epiphany (Konvict / Nappy Boy / Jive / Zomba)
*6 New WC Guilty By Affiliation ( )
7 5 SEAN KINGSTON Sean Kingston (Beluga Heights / Koch / Epic / Sony Music)
*8 New 2PAC Nu Mixx Klazzics Vol. 2 (Evolution Duets And Remixes) (Death Row )
9 9 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW 25 (Universal / EMI / Sony BMG / Zomba / UMRG)
10 10 AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (Universal Republic / UMRG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
*2 New LUKE BRYAN I'll Stay Me (Capitol Nashville )
3 2 BRAD PAISLEY 5th Gear (Arista Nashville / SBN)
4 3 TIM MCGRAW Let It Go (Curb )
5 4 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
6 5 TOBY KEITH Big Dog Daddy (Show Dog Nashville )
7 7 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
8 6 BIG & RICH Between Raising Hell And Amazing Grace (Warner Bros. / WRN)
9 8 SUGARLAND Enjoy The Ride (Mercury / UMGN)
10 10 JASON ALDEAN Relentless (Broken Bow )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Heatseekers

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New LORI MCKENNA Unglamorous (Stylesonic / Warner Bros. (Nashville) / WRN)
*2 New PAUL VAN DYK In Between (Mute )
3 2 FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS The Distant Future (EP) (Sub Pop )
*4 New CHINGO BLING They Can't Deport Us All (Big Chile / Asylum)
*5 New DROP DEAD, GORGEOUS Worse Than A Fairy Tale (Suretone )
6 7 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE The Poison (Trustkill )
7 5 WITHIN TEMPTATION The Heart Of Everything (Roadrunner )
8 1 GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS This Is Somewhere (Ragged Company / Hollywood)
*9 15 GOGOL BORDELLO Super Taranta! (SideOneDummy )
10 8 EMERSON DRIVE Countrified (Montage / Midas)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 MICHAEL BUBLE It's Time (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
2 2 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / IGA)
3 3 TIM MCGRAW Greatest Hits (Curb )
*4 41 ELVIS PRESLEY Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits (RCA / RMG)
5 4 JOURNEY Journey's Greatest Hits (Legacy / Columbia / Sony Music)
6 5 AC/DC Back In Black (Legacy / Epic / Sony Music)
7 7 MICHAEL BUBLE Michael Buble (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
8 6 ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING Wicked (Decca Broadway / Universal Classics Group)
9 8 KELLY CLARKSON Breakaway (RCA / RMG)
10 9 PINK FLOYD Dark Side Of The Moon (Capitol )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: the New Pornographers' "Challengers," Talib Kweli's "Ear Drum," Joe Nichols' "Real Things," Cartel's "Cartel" and Ricardo Arjona's "Quien Dijo Ayer."
• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: Danity Kane sashayed in at No. 1 with its self-titled debut, selling 234,000. OutKast's soundtrack to "Idlewild" bowed in the runner-up slot with 196,000. Mana, Paris Hilton, Lamb of God, Luther Vandross and Kelis debuted at Nos. 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10, respectively. The top three albums sold more than 100,000 units.

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