Bright Eyes and rock super group Hellyeah take advantage of a sleepy post-Easter sales week and snare top 10 bows on The Billboard 200 ... "Now 24" retains the No. 1 slot on the chart while Tim McGraw also holds at No. 2 ... Other debuts in the top 100 of The Billboard 200 chart include Chayanne, the Clark Sisters, Blonde Redhead, Brother Ali, Tiesto and From Autumn to Ashes ... In Progress Reports, we've got news on how Billy Currington's latest single has helped revive his "Doin' Somethin' Right" album, Ozzy Osbourne's return to the charts after two years and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's record-setting achievement on the Rhythmic and CHR/Top 40 radio charts.




FLASH POINTS



• While we await the arrival of Avril Lavigne and Nine Inch Nails next week on The Billboard 200, a rather quiet release week yields a career-high sales start and chart position for Bright Eyes. Its album "Cassadaga" debuts at No. 4 with 58,000 ... In 2005, the act's simultaneously released studio albums "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" and "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn" debuted at Nos. 10 and 15, respectively. "Wide" started with 56,000 on its way to 394,000 to date while "Digital" began with 46,000, eventually hitting 248,000. NPR and its affiliate stations were a force in helping promote "Cassadaga," as Bright Eyes played "The World Cafe" (April 13) and KCRW Los Angeles' "Morning Becomes Eclectic" (April 10), and Conor Oberst (the man behind the act) was the guest DJ on NPR's "All Songs Considered" Web site in March. Bright Eyes' U.S. tour begins April 22 in Milwaukee and has dates lined up through June 1.

• The week after Easter wasn't ripe with superstar releases, as you'd generally want to put out an album the week before Easter to capitalize on the shopping rush. Because of that, there are only two debuts in the top 40 of The Billboard 200 this week. The second belongs to rock super group Hellyeah and its self-titled debut (No. 9; 49,000). The quintet comprises Mudvayne singer Chad Gray and guitarist Gregg Tribbett, former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano. The album's lead single, "You Wouldn't Know," climbs 12-9 on the Active Rock radio chart this week. For the week ending April 15, the song aired on 103 monitored radio stations, according to Nielsen BDS. They include KILO Colorado Springs, Colo., where it was the most-played song of the week (34 detections).

• The "Now 24" compilation holds at No. 1 for a second week (89,000 units; down 58%) while Tim McGraw also stays put at No. 2 with "Let It Go" (66,000; down 63%). Akon's "Konvicted" jumps 9-3 (60,000; down 20%) while Timbaland's star-studded "Timbaland Presents Shock Value" stays put at No. 5 (58,000; down 58%). Daughtry's "Daughtry" scoots 7-6 (54,000; down 45%) while Beyonce's "B'Day" slips 6-7 (51,000; down 59%). Martina McBride's "Waking Up Laughing" slides 4-8 (50,000 units; down 64%) but could perk up next week after her mentoring gig on "American Idol" (April 17-18). Finally, rounding out the top 10, Alison Krauss' "A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection" is steady at No. 10 (42,000; down 42%). ... The post-Easter sales week frame shakes up The Billboard 200, where many titles make sizable moves up and down the chart. Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" motors 22-12 with a 17% decline. But, with overall album sales down 24% this week, Winehouse's drop is comparably small, thus enabling her handsome chart climb. Jennifer Lopez's "Como Ama Una Mujer" zips 45-24 (24,000; down only 7%) following her stint as an "American Idol" mentor and performer.

• Other Billboard 200 debuts this week include Chayanne's "Mi Tiempo" at No. 42 with 17,000. It's his highest-charting album on the big chart, though it's not his best sales week. On Top Latin Albums, it bows at No. 2 (behind Lopez), becoming his seventh straight top 10 album on that tally. The Clark Sisters hit The Billboard 200 for the first time as "Live ... One Last Time" enters at No. 56 with 12,000 units. It also bows at No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums -- the act's first chart-topper. "Live" is the first album for the quartet since 1995, when "Miracle" hit No. 35 on Top Gospel Albums. Blonde Redhead'salbum "23" bows at No. 63 with 11,000 units and easily outpaces the debut and peak of the trio's last set, 2004's "Misery Is a Butterfly" (No. 180; 7,000). Hip-hop artist Brother Ali makes his Billboard 200 debut with his second full-length effort, "The Undisputed Truth" (No. 69; 11,000). The Rhymesayers effort also bows at No. 48 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 24 on Top Rap Albums. Tiesto, who has been a fixture on Billboard's Dance and Electronic charts since 2001, notches his best sales week yet, as "Elements of Life" enters The Billboard 200 at No. 71 with 11,000. Rock band From Autumn to Ashes starts at No. 74 with "Holding a Wolf By Its Ears" (10,000). Drummer (and part-time vocalist) Francis Mark took over lead vocal duties after Ben Perri departed the group last year. The band's last set, 2005's "Abandon Your Friends," debuted and peaked at No. 58 with 16,000.




The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW 24 (EMI / Sony BMG / Universal / Zomba / Capitol) 11 3 HILARY DUFF Dignity (Hollywood )
2 2 TIM MCGRAW Let It Go (Curb ) *12 22 AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (Universal Republic / UMRG)
*3 9 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG) 13 8 PAUL WALL Get Money Stay True (Swishahouse / Asylum / Atlantic / AG)
*4 New BRIGHT EYES Cassadaga (Saddle Creek ) 14 18 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
5 5 TIMBALAND Timbaland Presents Shock Value (Mosley / Blackground / Interscope) 15 17 YOUNG BUCK Buck The World (G-Unit / Interscope)
6 7 DAUGHTRY Daughtry (RCA / RMG) 16 20 JOSS STONE Introducing Joss Stone (Virgin )
7 6 BEYONCE B'Day (Columbia / Sony Music) 17 19 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive / Zomba)
8 4 MARTINA MCBRIDE Waking Up Laughing (RCA Nashville / SBN) 18 13 GWEN STEFANI The Sweet Escape (Interscope )
*9 New HELLYEAH HellYeah (Epic / Sony Music) *19 33 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope)
10 10 ALISON KRAUSS A Hundred Miles Or More: A Collection (Rounder ) 20 24 NICKELBACK All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 8.05 million units
• DOWN 23.8% from last issue's charts: 10.58 million units
• DOWN 32% from same week, 2006: 11.78 million units
• This week: No albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: During the Easter week sales frame, Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" held at No. 1 for a second week, selling 345,000. Toby Keith's "White Trash With Money" bowed at No. 2 (330,000), LL Cool J started at No. 6 with "Todd Smith" (116,000) and Daniel Powter entered at No. 9 (89,000). The top seven albums sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 10 album this week, Alison Krauss' "A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection" (Rounder), sold 42,000.
• The No. 10 album for the same week of 2006, James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" (Custard/Atlantic), sold 83,000.
• Average total of the No. 10 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 76,133.



PROGRESS REPORTS

• Billy Currington's "Good Directions" has the largest audience gain on the Hot Country Songs chart (No. 6, up 3.9 million impressions), scoring the Greatest Gainer award for a second straight week. It's the first time a song has snared the trophy two weeks in a row while in the top 10 since Toby Keith's "As Good As I Once Was" did the trick in June 2005. Keith's song went on to spend six weeks at No. 1 ... "Good Directions" is the third single from Currington's 2005 album "Doin' Somethin' Right." It has spawned two earlier top 15 hits -- "Must Be Doin' Somethin' Right" and "Why, Why, Why." Thanks to the success of the set's latest single, the album has staged a comeback on the Top Country Albums chart, with its sales increasing in 10 of the past 12 weeks ... Meanwhile, Carrie Underwood's "Wasted" holds at No. 1 for a second week. It's her 13th week at No. 1 overall, extending her lead as the female artist with the most weeks at No. 1 since 2000.

• Ozzy Osbourne reappears after a two-year absence as "I Don't Wanna Stop" debuts on the Rock and Active Rock radio charts at Nos. 17 and 28, respectively. (Rock is the former Heritage Rock chart.) "I Don't Wanna Stop" is the first single from his new Epic album "Black Rain," which streets May 22. Osbourne last charted with "Mississippi Queen" from his "Under Covers" collection. That title hit No. 6 on Rock and No. 16 on Active in April 2005. Osbourne's last album of all new material, "Down to Earth," was released in October 2001.

• Bone Thugs-N-Harmony sets the mark for longest gap between top 10 hits on the Rhythmic radio chart as "I Tried" (featuring the red-hot Akon) climbs 11-9. It's the group's first foray into the upper deck since "Days of Our Livez" in October 1996. The 10-year top 10 gap topples the prior mark of exactly nine years that Naughty by Nature set with "Hip Hop Hooray" (1993) and "Feels Good (Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing)" (2002). Bone Thugs also sets the record for longest drought between appearances on the CHR/Top 40 radio chart as "I Tried" debuts at No. 36 this week. The act returns to the list for the first time since its sole previous CHR/Top 40 hit, "Tha Crossroads," spent its last week on the chart dated Oct. 11, 1996. In the more than 14-year history of the Nielsen BDS CHR/Top 40 chart, the next-longest gap between chart hits belongs to Kenny G, who went six years and six months between appearances in 1993 ("By the Time This Night Is Over") and 2000 ("Auld Lang Syne").






Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 4 YOUNG BUCK Buck The World (G-Unit / Interscope)
*2 7 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG)
3 1 BEYONCE B'Day (Columbia / Sony Music)
4 2 PAUL WALL Get Money Stay True (Swishahouse / Asylum / Atlantic / AG)
5 3 TIMBALAND Timbaland Presents Shock Value (Mosley / Blackground / Interscope)
*6 11 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Star Trak / Interscope)
7 8 MUSIQ SOULCHILD Luvanmusiq (Atlantic / AG)
8 6 LLOYD Street Love (The Inc. / Universal Motown / UMRG)
9 10 RICH BOY Rich Boy (Zone 4 / Interscope)
10 5 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW 24 (EMI / Sony BMG / Universal / Zomba / Capitol)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 TIM MCGRAW Let It Go (Curb )
2 2 MARTINA MCBRIDE Waking Up Laughing (RCA / SBN)
3 3 ALISON KRAUSS A Hundred Miles Or More: A Collection (Rounder )
4 6 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
5 5 LARRY THE CABLE GUY Morning Constitutions (Jack / Warner Bros. / WRN)
6 4 ALAN JACKSON/GEORGE STRAIT/JIMMY BUFFETT Live At Texas Stadium (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
7 7 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
8 8 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
9 9 GARY ALLAN Greatest Hits (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
10 10 DIXIE CHICKS Taking The Long Way (Columbia / Sony Music)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Heatseekers

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New GRINDERMAN Grinderman (Mute / Anti- / Epitaph)
*2 8 PETER BJORN AND JOHN Writer's Block (AlmostGold )
3 2 UNK Beat'n Down Yo Block (Big Oomp / Koch)
4 5 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE The Poison (Trustkill )
5 3 BOYS LIKE GIRLS Boys Like Girls (Columbia / Sony Music)
6 4 SICK PUPPIES Dressed Up As Life (RMR / Virgin)
*7 New VNV NATION Judgement (Metropolis )
*8 New 33MILES 33Miles (INO / Columbia / Sony Music)
9 11 XTREME Haciendo Historia (La Calle / UG)
*10 14 LOS CUATES DE SINALOA Puro Sierreno Bravo (Sony BMG Norte )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 1 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / Interscope)
*2 4 PINK FLOYD Dark Side Of The Moon (Capitol )
3 3 ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING Wicked (Decca Broadway / Universal Classics Group)
4 7 MICHAEL BUBLE It's Time (143 / Reprise / Warner Bros.)
5 9 NORAH JONES Come Away With Me (Blue Note / BLG)
*6 12 CREED Greatest Hits (Wind-up )
7 11 AC/DC Back In Black (Legacy / Epic / Sony Music)
8 5 TIM MCGRAW Greatest Hits (Curb )
9 13 EVANESCENCE Fallen (Wind-up )
10 8 CELTIC WOMAN Celtic Woman (Manhattan / BLG)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: Nine Inch Nails' "Year Zero," Avril Lavigne's "The Best Damn Thing," Bucky Covington's "Bucky Covington" and Lumidee's "Unexpected."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" was steady at No. 1 for a third week, selling 143,000. No new albums bowed in the top 40 -- the Hot Shot Debut belonged to the Dresden Dolls' "Yes, Virginia..." at No. 42 (19,000). The top four albums sold more than 100,000 units.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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