This week on the Billboard 200 albums chart, Jay Z held at No. 1 for a second week as "Magna Carta… Holy Grail" sold another 129,000 copies (down 76%). He easily barred the arriving Sara Bareilles from a second No. 1 album as her "The Blessed Unrest" started at No. 2 with 68,000.
Outside the top 10 on the Billboard 200 there were a number of movers and shakers, as usual. Let's take a look at some of them…
-- Pet Shop Boys, "Electric" (No. 26): The veteran pop/dance duo returns with its 17th charting set, "Electric," debuting at No. 26. It's their highest-ranking effort in nearly 20 years. The pair went higher with 1993's "Very," which debuted and peaked at No. 20 on the Oct. 23, 1993, chart. Only three Pet Shop Boys albums have charted higher than "Electric": "Very," 1987's "Actually" (No. 25) and 1986's "Please" (No. 7).
In other good news, "Electric's" debut sales week (11,000) surpasses the first-week bow of its last release, 2012's "Elysium" (7,000).
"Electric" is the act's first independently released album and was issued through its own x2 label via Kobalt Label Services. In the United States, Pet Shop Boys had previously released albums through an array of different labels, including EMI, Atlantic, Parlophone/London-Sire, Sanctuary, Rhino and Astralwerks.
“Electric” was produced by Stuart Price and has also spun off the hit single "Vocal." The track rises 31-25 on the Dance/Club Play Songs chart this week and is Pet Shop Boys' 37th Dance hit.
-- P!nk, "The Truth About Love" (No. 24): As the album spends its 44th (consecutive!) week in the top 40 on the Billboard 200, it ties 2008’s "Funhouse" for P!nk's second-longest run in the top 40. Only her second album, "M!ssundaztood," spent a longer time in the region: 64 weeks in 2001-03.
This week, "The Truth About Love" is pushed back 22-24 with 12,000 sold -- despite a 12% sales gain.
-- Court Yard Hounds, "Amelita" (No. 70): The second album by the duo -- Dixie Chicks' Martie Maguire and Emily Robison -- starts with far less (5,000) than its first release: the duo’s self-titled 2010 debut launched at No. 7 with 61,000. All three Chicks have charted this year, following singer Natalie Maines' arrival with her solo debut Mother (No. 17, May 25).
-- Jason Isbell, "Southeastern" (No. 80): After an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air" (July 17), the album jets back onto the list at No. 80 with a 126% gain. The profile was repeated as part of the "Fresh Air Weekend" program on July 20.
-- Various Artists, "Melo O Hawaii: Songs of Hawaii" (No. 84): Starbucks' restocking of this 2011 compilation prompts its best sales week (4,000, up from essentially no units the previous week) since the week ending April 3, 2011. Perhaps unsurprisingly, more total copies of the album have been sold in Honolulu (7,000) than in any other U.S. city.
-- Phil Collins, "Hits" (No. 146): The singer's only greatest hits album (barring a ballads collection) was released in 1998 and has proven to be a remarkably consistent seller. Of its 772 weeks on sale, it has fallen below 1,000 in weekly sales only 28 times. Of its 3.5 million total sales, 60,000 have been logged this year.
This week, "Hits" rises from No. 181 to No. 146, marking its 111th week on the chart.