This past week on the Billboard 200, Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" jumped to No. 1, thanks largely to sale pricing by Amazon MP3. The move gave Mars his first No. 1, and an unusual achievement: It was the slowest climb to No. 1 -- 12 weeks -- since 2005. That year, on March 5, Ray Charles' "Genius Loves Company" climbed to No. 1 after 25 weeks on the tally.
It's rare that an album moves to No. 1, as opposed to debuting there. Mars' set is only the sixth title to climb to the top since the start of 2010. Earlier this year, the "Les Miserables" soundtrack hit the top in its third week.
Dating back to when the chart started using Nielsen SoundScan data on May 25, 1991, there have been 568 albums that first reached No. 1. Of that sum, only 75 did not debut at No. 1. And of those 75 albums, there were just 19 that took more than 10 weeks to get to No. 1 (including Mars' album).
The SoundScan era record for the longest march to No. 1 belongs to the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Are Thou?," which topped the list in its 63rd week on the chart.
As for the rest of the chart this week, there were of course some movers and shakers. Let's take a closer look at some of them.
-- Pink Floyd: "The Dark Side of the Moon" celebrates its 40th anniversary on the charts this week, as it debuted almost exactly 40 years ago (to the day) on the list dated March 17, 1973. (This week's charts are dated March 16, 2013.)
On this week's chart, the album jumps from No. 195 to No. 151.
The former No. 1 album continues to hold the record for the most weeks charted on the Billboard 200, with 825 weeks (and counting). It was a fixture on the chart from its initial release until 1988. It has nearly constantly charted on either the Billboard 200 or Catalog Albums charts from 1973-1988 and 1991-present.
All told, Pink Floyd has earned five No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart. In addition to "Dark Side," the band also netted toppers with "Wish You Were Here" (1975), "The Wall" (1980), "The Division Bell" (1994) and "Pulse" (1995).
-- "Joel Whitburn Presents: Billboard #1s - The '70s": Thanks to a one-day Amazon MP3 $1.99 sale tag (Feb. 26), the Billboard brand logs its highest-ranking album ever and the first to crown the Catalog Albums chart (27,000; up from essentially zero last week). The album, first released in 2006, finally debuts on the Billboard 200 this week at No. 11. It is the oldest title to debut this high since the chart began allowing catalog titles in Dec. 2009.
Presented by our longtime partner Joel Whitburn at Record Research, the compilation features 30 songs -- all No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 -- from the likes of the Blondie, Donna Summer, and Hall & Oates.
-- Frank Sinatra With Count Basie and His Orchestra: The 1966 live album "Sinatra at the Sands," which reached the top 10 upon its release, returns to the list after decades away (re-entering at No. 27). Its comeback is courtesy of the one-day $1.99 sale price at Amazon MP3 last week (16,000 sold -- its best sales week since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991).
-- "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2”: The release of the film on DVD and blu-ray on March 2 spurs a 188% sales gain for the album (jumping 189-69), which sold 8,000 last week (its best sales since Christmas).
-- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: After the band earned its best week ever last issue with its new album "Push the Sky Away" (15,000), its album takes a typically steep second-week decline of 70% (falling from 29-114 with 5,000 sold). Bands with especially fervent (though small) fan bases tend to have large second-week drop-offs.
-- Nicki Minaj: After 48 weeks in release, her second album, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded," has sold 51% of what her first album sold in it the same span of time (823,000 vs. 1.6 million). Further, her second set was reissued last November with eight bonus tracks. (Unlike her first set, "Pink Friday," which did not get a later reissue.)