The soundtrack to "Dreamgirls" rises to No. 1. It is the first film
soundtrack to reach the top (without first debuting there) since 2002. The bad news: It registers the lowest sales total for a No. 1 album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991 ... In other news this week, Carly Simon parlays a dead week for new releases (plus a QVC stop) into a top 20 debut ... As The Billboard 200 continues to adjust in the post-Christmas haze, many titles ascend the tally, including Daughtry, Rascal Flatts and Corinne Bailey Rae ... Other acts that make big moves this week include Damien Rice, Shiny Toy Guns, Queen and Journey ... In Progress Reports, we've got updates on Justin Timberlake, Rob Thomas, Chris Brown, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Brad Paisley, the Wreckers and Modest Mouse.




FLASH POINTS

• The "Dreamgirls" soundtrack moves to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week. It's the first film soundtrack to rise to the top (without first debuting there) since "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" climbed to No. 1 in 2002. "Dreamgirls" is the fourth soundtrack to hit No. 1 in the past year, following "Curious George," "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana." Also, "Dreamgirls" is the first movie musical soundtrack to hit No. 1 since 1978's "Grease." (That's discounting the soundtracks from animated features like "The Lion King" and Prince's 1984 quasi-musical "Purple Rain.")


• Unfortunately, the "Dreamgirls" achievement is marred by a rather significant milestone -- with a woeful 66,000 units, it's the smallest figure for a No. 1 album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. Previously, the lowest No. 1 total belonged to OutKast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" when it did 86,000 in January 2004. So far, there have been only 10 weeks where the No. 1 album sold less than 100,000. Half of those occurred from 1991-1994. OutKast's album fell below 100,000 twice in 2004, Jamie Foxx's "Unpredictable" did 97,000 in January of 2006 and Johnny Cash's "American V: A Hundred Highways" started with 88,000 last July ... It should be noted that there are two editions of the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack. The single-disc version is at No. 1 this week, and it serves as a highlights set of music from the film. At No. 51 sits "Dreamgirls: Deluxe Edition," a two-CD expanded album with a higher price tag and many bonus songs not found on the single-disc album. The two versions sold a combined 85,000 copies.


• It's looking good that another soundtrack, from Disney Channel's movie "Jump In!," could make a handsome debut next week. The TV film stars "High School Musical's" Corbin Bleu, and it premieres Jan. 12. The soundtrack not only features Bleu, but also Drew Seeley. The latter is familiar to "High School Musical" fans, as he provided most of the singing voice of "Troy," the character Zac Efron played in the movie. Seeley is currently on tour with the "High School Musical" cast (minus Efron) through the end of the month.


• As The Billboard 200 adjusts to its non-holiday normality, a lot of titles surge one way or the other on the tally. With the overall albums market down 34% compared with last week, the smaller decline in sales you have, the bigger the chart jump you'll make. For example, Daughtry's self-titled album rockets 11-3 even though it's down 27%. Other releases that make sizable position gains are the "Hannah Montana" soundtrack (10-6, down 40%), Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" (22-13, down 29%), Nickelback's "All the Right Reasons" (20-18, down 37%) and Nelly Furtado's "Loose" (29-21, down 23%) ... Nickelback's set is still going strong 66 weeks after its release. With 4.7 million and counting, it has ranked in the top 30 every week since it bowed ... Furtado's album is on the comeback trail, thanks to her current single "Say It Right." The tune rises 9-7 on the CHR/Top 40 chart this week and is also charting on Hot AC/Adult Top 40 and Rhythmic Top 40. Her album started strong last summer thanks to her No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Promiscuous" but took a slide as the set's second single, "Maneater," failed at radio. The album has sold 1.2 million to date.


• Carly Simon takes advantage of a dead week in terms of new releases and bows with her new album, "Into White," at No. 15 (40,000 units). The collection of pop standards and lullabies features such classics as "Blackbird," "Oh! Susanna," "Over the Rainbow" and "You Are My Sunshine." The set should get a big boost in the coming weeks, as Simon appeared on "Good Morning America" yesterday and visits "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Jan. 16. The album's debut was also fueled by a Jan. 5 QVC special, where the singer performed and chatted ... Simon's last release, "Moonlight Serenade," started at No. 7 in 2005 with 58,000. It has sold 329,000 to date ... Simon's set wasn't the only album released Jan. 2. Elvis Presley's "The Essential Elvis Presley" also bowed that day. The two-disc set is the second-highest debut this week and starts at No. 72 with 13,000. While on the surface it's just another repackaging of the King's hits, it's also the latest installment of the best-selling "Essential" series from Sony BMG. But this is the first time The Billboard 200 chart has seen an "Essential" album devoted to a former BMG artist (Presley is on RCA) -- all of the previous chart entries from the "Essential" collection came from those in the old Sony family of labels. They include Columbia's Alice in Chains, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel and Bob Dylan, and Epic's Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, the Clash, Ozzy Osbourne, Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson.


• Who else is taking great strides on The Billboard 200 this week? Corinne Bailey Rae zooms 57-33 with her self-titled album (down only 12%). Robin Thicke's "The Evolution of Robin Thicke" charges 62-35 (down a scant 5%). The various-artists compilation "WOW Hits 2007" climbs 91-76 with a 24% decline while the soundtrack to "Rocky Balboa" motors 109-87 (down only 25%). All of these albums -- plus many more that move up the chart -- were sale-priced at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Target or Kmart ... Damien Rice's "9" vaults 117-58 with Greatest Gainer honors (up nearly 5,000 units - 38%). "9 Crimes," a song from the set, was heard in the Jan. 4 rerun of "Grey's Anatomy" ... Shiny Toy Guns' "We Are Pilots" flies 178-114 after the Apple iTunes Music Store promoted the band's "Le Disko" as a free download single of the week. Interest in the song clearly caused consumers to buy the album -- tagged with a new-artist price of $6.99. Though its overall sales are down 5%, it's up 122% on the Top Digital Albums chart (a debut at No. 13). The digital album configuration made up 43% of the set's sales last week.


• Speaking of iTunes, the store's promotion of greatest-hits sets during the past few weeks sparks some fascinating chart moves. On Top Pop Catalog, Queen's "Greatest Hits I & II" debuts at No. 3 with 9,000 (up 56%). Of that 9,000, 96% of the sales were digital. At the iTunes store, the 34-track set (equal to two CDs in the physical world) went for a crazy cheap $7.99. At one point, the Queen set was the top-selling album at the store. The sale is over now, and the title's price is back up to $33. Amusingly, one comment in the "reviews" section for the album from a user named Nightninja whines "iTunes make it 7.99 again!!!! i won't buy this now." Clearly, you can't please everyone. Nevermind how a consumer can still purchase every song on "Greatest Hits I & II" a la carte for only 99 cents ... iTunes also hyped Journey's "Greatest Hits," causing its debut at No. 20 on Top Digital Albums (3,000; up 73%). Overall, it moves 25-8 on Top Pop Catalog Albums with a scant 4% decline.



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 3 SOUNDTRACK Dreamgirls (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music) 11 12 BEYONCE B'Day (Columbia / Sony Music)
2 2 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG) 12 7 VARIOUS ARTISTS Eminem Presents: The Re-Up (Shady / Interscope)
*3 11 DAUGHTRY Daughtry (RCA / RMG) *13 22 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
4 8 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FutureSex/LoveSounds (Jive / Zomba) 14 17 FERGIE The Dutchess (will.i.am / A&M / Interscope)
5 6 VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW 23 (Sony BMG Strategic Marketing Group / EMI / Universal / Zomba / Sony Music) *15 New CARLY SIMON Into White (Columbia / Sony Music)
6 10 SOUNDTRACK Hannah Montana (Walt Disney ) 16 9 CIARA Ciara: The Evolution (LaFace / Zomba)
7 5 YOUNG JEEZY The Inspiration (Corporate Thugz / Def Jam / IDJMG) 17 14 GWEN STEFANI The Sweet Escape (Interscope )
8 4 NAS Hip Hop Is Dead (Def Jam / Columbia / IDJMG) 18 20 NICKELBACK All The Right Reasons (Roadrunner / IDJMG)
9 13 THE BEATLES Love (Apple / Capitol) 19 15 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
10 1 OMARION 21 (T.U.G. / Epic / Columbia / Sony Music) 20 24 THE FRAY How To Save A Life (Epic / Sony Music)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 9.41 million units
• DOWN 34% from last issue's charts: 14.16 million units
• DOWN 18% from same week, 2005: 11.42 million units
• This week: No albums sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on The Billboard 200: Jamie Foxx held at No. 1 with "Unpredictable," while Mary J. Blige and Eminem were at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. The chart's top debut came from the Strokes' "First Impressions of Earth" at No. 4 (88,000). The top three albums each sold more than 100,000 units.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 1 album this week, the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack (Music World/Columbia/Sony Music), sold 66,000.
• The No. 1 album for the same week of 2006, Jamie Foxx's "Unpredictable" (J/RMG), sold 131,000.
• Average total of the No. 1 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1998-2007): 162,529.



PROGRESS REPORTS

• On the CHR/Top 40 airplay chart, Justin Timberlake flies 16-11 with "What Goes Around ... Comes Around." It will soon be the third top 10 single from his "FutureSex/LoveSounds" album ... Rob Thomas' "Streetcorner Symphony" debuts at No. 38 on CHR/Top 40 -- it's the singer's third CHR/Top 40 hit from his "...Something to Be" album, following "Lonely No More" (No. 9) and "Ever the Same" (No. 33) ... On Rhythmic Top 40, Chris Brown notches his sixth chart single, as "Poppin' " (featuring Jay Biz) debuts at No. 39. Of his six chart entries, all have reached the top 10, and five were from his self-titled debut album ... World music duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela achieve its first radio hit, as "Tamacun" debuts at No. 26 on Triple-A. The act's self-titled album has sold 36,000 since it bowed in October 2006, and it rises 4-3 on Top World Music this week.


• Modest Mouse returns to the Alternative/Modern Rock chart for the first time in nearly two years as "Dashboard" enters at No. 32. The song is the lead track from "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," which is due early this year and is the follow-up to the group's 2004 breakthrough album, "Good News for People Who Love Bad News." That title spawned a pair of Alternative top 10 tracks: "Float On," which spent one week at No. 1 in July 2004, and "Ocean Breathes Salty" which peaked at No. 6 in December 2004.


• With the Hot Country Songs chart's largest gain (5.9 million impressions), Brad Paisley logs a third week atop the Country chart with "She's Everything." That ties his longest chart-topping stretch, achieved when "The World" spent the last of his three weeks at No. 1 on the Nielsen BDS-driven chart dated July 29, 2006 ... Paisley has scored seven No. 1 singles, two of which spent two weeks at No. 1: "We Danced" (2000) and "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)" (2002) ... Concurrently, the Wreckers' "My, Oh My" (Maverick/Warner Bros./WRN) becomes the duo's second straight top 10 as it hops 12-10. Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp became the first new female duo to take a debut single to No. 1 in more than 50 years when "Leave the Pieces" topped the Country chart for two weeks in September 2006.





Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 4 SOUNDTRACK Dreamgirls (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music)
2 3 YOUNG JEEZY The Inspiration (Corporate Thugz / Def Jam / IDJMG)
3 2 NAS Hip Hop Is Dead (Def Jam / Columbia / IDJMG)
4 1 OMARION 21 (T.U.G. / Epic / Columbia / Sony Music)
5 6 AKON Konvicted (Konvict / Upfront / SRC / Universal Motown / UMRG)
6 5 CIARA Ciara: The Evolution (LaFace / Zomba)
7 7 BEYONCE B'Day (Columbia / Sony Music)
*8 15 ROBIN THICKE The Evolution Of Robin Thicke (Overbrook / Star Trak / Interscope)
9 8 JAY-Z Kingdom Come (Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG)
10 9 MARY J. BLIGE Reflections (A Retrospective) (Matriarch / Geffen / Interscope)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Country Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 2 RASCAL FLATTS Me And My Gang (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
2 1 CARRIE UNDERWOOD Some Hearts (Arista / Arista Nashville / RMG)
3 3 KEITH URBAN Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing (Capitol Nashville )
4 4 RODNEY ATKINS If You're Going Through Hell (Curb )
5 7 BRAD PAISLEY Time Well Wasted (Arista Nashville / SBN)
6 5 SUGARLAND Enjoy The Ride (Mercury / UMGN)
7 8 JOSH TURNER Your Man (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
8 6 TAYLOR SWIFT Taylor Swift (Big Machine )
9 10 GEORGE STRAIT It Just Comes Natural (MCA Nashville / UMGN)
10 11 TIM MCGRAW Greatest Hits Vol 2: Reflected (Curb )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Hot Singles Sales

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
1 2 BEYONCE Irreplaceable (Columbia )
2 3 TOBYMAC Made To Love (Forefront )
3 4 KATHARINE MCPHEE Somewhere Over The Rainbow/My Destiny (RCA / RMG)
4 6 THE SHINS Phantom Limb (Sub Pop )
*5 19 RENA SCOTT A Love Thang (Amor / K.E.S.)
6 7 LIL' BASS FEAT. JT MONEY Kool Aid (Pipeline )
7 5 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE FEAT. T.I. My Love (Jive / Zomba)
*8 22 ADRIENNE Magic Tricks (Global Village )
9 12 SEAN BAKER Passion Party (Tyranny )
10 10 MADONNA Jump (Warner Bros. )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Heatseekers

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 4 SHINY TOY GUNS We Are Pilots (Universal Motown / UMRG)
2 3 AUGUSTANA All The Stars And Boulevards (Epic / Sony Music)
3 1 AVENTURA K.O.B.: Live (Premium Latin / Sony BMG Norte)
*4 19 MATT REDMAN Beautiful News (Sixsteps / Sparrow)
5 2 BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE The Poison (Trustkill )
6 6 MAT KEARNEY Nothing Left To Lose (Aware / Columbia / Sony Music)
*7 16 R.K.M. & KEN-Y Masterpiece: Sold Out (Pina / Pr / Universal Latino)
8 12 ANA GABRIEL La Reina Canta A Mexico (Sony BMG Norte )
9 10 BOYS LIKE GIRLS Boys Like Girls (Columbia / Red Ink)
10 5 CARTEL Chroma (The Militia Group / Epic / Sony Music)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week
Top Pop Catalog Albums

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 2 GUNS N' ROSES Greatest Hits (Geffen / Interscope)
2 1 DANE COOK Harmful If Swallowed (Comedy Central )
*3 New QUEEN Greatest Hits I & II (Hollywood )
4 5 BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND Greatest Hits (Capitol )
5 4 PINK FLOYD Dark Side Of The Moon (Capitol )
*6 11 JAMES BROWN 20 All-Time Greatest Hits! (Polydor / UMe)
7 8 RASCAL FLATTS Feels Like Today (Lyric Street / Hollywood)
*8 25 JOURNEY Journey's Greatest Hits (Legacy / Columbia / Sony Music)
9 6 THE BEATLES 1 (Apple / Capitol)
10 9 THE DOORS Best Of The Doors (Elektra / Asylum / Elektra)
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: the soundtrack to Disney Channel's "Jump In!," Ty Herndon's "Right About Now" and the "Crunk Hits 3" compilation, as well as soundtracks from "Notes on a Scandal," "The Pursuit of Happyness," "The Holiday," "Miss Potter," "Freedom Writers" and "The Painted Veil."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2006 when: Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" returned to No. 1 (118,000), pushing Jamie Foxx's "Unpredictable" down to No. 2 (103,000). The Hot Shot Debut on the chart belonged to Bleeding Through's "The Truth" (No. 48; 17,000). Only the top two albums sold more than 100,000 units.