The "Glee - The Music Volume 3: Showstoppers" soundtrack arrives at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart as expected, starting with 136,000 sold according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The cast of "Glee" claimed its first No. 1 recently with "The Power of Madonna," when that seven-song EP arrived at the top with 98,000. "Showstoppers" is the third proper full-length soundtrack from the Fox TV show. The first two volumes were released in quick succession last November and December. This third edition includes highlights from the second half of "Glee's" debut season. A forthcoming six-track EP titled "Journey to Regionals" is due on June 8. (Don't peek at its tracklist if you don't want upcoming episodes to be spoiled.)
The cast of "Glee" blocks the Rolling Stones from re-entering the chart at No. 1 with the reissue of its classic album "Exile on Main St." The set returns to the tally at No. 2 with 76,000 sold after Universal Republic/UMe relaunched the album last week.
"Exile" -- which spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart upon its release in 1972 -- was reissued last week in an array of configurations, including the standard remastered album, a deluxe version with 10 additional tracks and a super deluxe box set. A separate Target-exclusive set, "Exile On Main St. - Rarities Edition," which contains only the 10 bonus cuts, charts separately and debuts at No. 27 with 15,000 copies.
The "Glee" cast is also out in force on the Digital Songs chart, where their take on Aerosmith's "Dream On" (featuring Neil Patrick Harris) debuts at No. 13 with 84,000 sold. It's one of six debuts for the cast this week on the 75-position tally.
However, the highest debut on the Digital Songs chart this week comes from Miley Cyrus with her new single "Can't Be Tamed." The song struts in at No. 4 with a 191,000 bow. It's her second-best debut sales week for a download, following "Party in the U.S.A.," which entered at No. 1 on Digital Songs last August with 226,000.
"Tamed's" opener will probably lock up a top 10 debut for the single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when it's unveiled on Thursday (27) morning. If it bows as expected, it will be Cyrus' sixth top 10 hit on the sales/airplay-hybrid Billboard Hot 100 (including one credited to her TV character "Hannah Montana").
Last week's Digital Songs No. 1, Katy Perry's "California Gurls," falls to No. 3, selling 231,000 (down 22%). Usher's "OMG" (featuring will.i.am) returns to No. 1 with 236,000 (despite a decline of 2%), while B.o.B's "Airplanes" climbs one spot to No. 2 with 232,000 (up 6%).
Back on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the kids of "Glee" and the elder statesmen of the Stones lead a jammed chart as four more albums also arrive in the top 10.
After the Stones, the next highest entry is the Black Keys with "Brothers" starting at No. 3 with 73,000. It's the highest charting album and the best sales week for the duo. The pair had previously earned both its highest charting set (and sales frame) when its last album "Attack and Release" debuted and peaked at No. 14 with 29,000.
"Distant Relatives," the collaboration album from Damian Marley and Nas bows at No. 5 with 57,000. It's the second top 10 for Marley, following "Welcome to Jamrock" (No. 7 in 2005) and the tenth top 10 for Nas.
Band of Horses and LCD Soundsystem also arrive high -- entering at Nos. 7 and 10, respectively, with their latest efforts. Band of Horses' "Infinite Arms" starts with 45,000 while LCD's "This Is Happening" opens with 31,000. They are the highest charting albums -- and best sales weeks -- for both acts.
Last week's No. 1 album, Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0," falls to No. 4 with 62,000 (pushed down despite its 3% increase). Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" drops four rungs to No. 6 (46,000; down 15%), Usher's "Raymond v Raymond" is down one to No. 8 (41,000; down 6%) and AC/DC's "Iron Man 2" falls five slots to No. 9 (32,000; down 33%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 23) totaled 5.31 million units, down less than 1% compared to the sum last week (5.32 million) and down 19% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (6.57 million) -- when Eminem's "Relapse" bowed at No. 1 with 608,000. Year to date album sales stand at 120.4 million, down 10% compared to the same total at this point last year (134.4 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 21.9 million downloads, down 1% compared to last week (22.2 million) and up 1% compared to the comparable week of 2009 (21.7 million). Year to date track sales are at 466.2 million, down less than 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (467.0 million).