As reported earlier this week, Bon Jovi and David Bowie were vying for the No. 1 slot on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart. Bon Jovi has now pulled ahead, and it seems like the band's new album, "What About Now," is a lock for a No. 1 bow on the chart.
Industry sources suggest that Bon Jovi’s album might sell just under 90,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on March 17. It will mark the band's fifth No. 1 set and third straight studio effort to hit the top.
Meanwhile, David Bowie's new "The Next Day" -- his first studio album since 2003 -- should arrive in the No. 2 position with perhaps 80,000 copies.
While a No. 1 album will seemingly continue to elude Bowie (who has yet to notch a chart-topper), a No. 2 bow will give the singer his best ranking ever. Somewhat shockingly, Bowie’s highest-charting album to date is 1976's "Station to Station," which peaked at No. 3.
"The Next Day" will also likely score Bowie his best sales week for an album in the Nielsen SoundScan era (1991-present). He's never sold more than 55,000 in a week for a single album, when 2002's "Heathen" debuted at No. 14. The numbers for “The Next Day” are especially impressive, considering Bowie himself has done no press for the set. While he's released two music videos, the artist has not made a single media appearance or given an interview to promote the effort.
Elsewhere in next week's top 10, look for debuts from the "Passion: Let the Future Begin” album, Mindless Behavior, Eric Clapton and the "Sound City" soundtrack. The "Passion" album might sell around 40,000 or so, while Clapton, "Sound City" and Mindless Behavior could sell in the range of 35,000 units.
On SoundScan's Building chart (below), Bowie is No. 1 and Bon Jovi is No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking, reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.
As for the rest of the Building chart's top 10: Luke Bryan's current Billboard 200 topper, "Spring Break … Here to Party" is in the No. 3 position, while the "Sound City" soundtrack is No. 4. Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" is No. 5, Mindless Behavior's "All Around the World" is No. 6 and Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" is No. 7. Clapton's new "Old Sock" is No. 8, P!nk's "The Truth About Love" is No. 9 and Mumford & Sons' "Babel" is No. 10.
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|1||NEW||David Bowie||"The Next Day"|
|2||NEW||Bon Jovi||"What About Now"|
|3||1||Luke Bryan||"Spring Break . . . Here to Party"|
|4||NEW||Soundtrack||"Sound City: Real to Reel"|
|5||3||Bruno Mars||"Unorthodox Jukebox"|
|6||NEW||Mindless Behavior||"All Around the World"|
|7||8||Imagine Dragons||"Night Visions"|
|8||NEW||Eric Clapton||"Old Sock"|
|9||12||P!nk||"The Truth About Love"|
|10||4||Mumford & Sons||"Babel"|
|The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.|