Alabama Shakes, Rihanna jump back into Top 10 during slow sales week
While there was a lot of excitement on last week's Billboard 200 chart thanks to impact from the Grammy Awards, things get back to a (dreary) normal on this week's tally.
Mumford & Sons' "Babel" remains at No. 1 for a fifth non-consecutive week, but sells just 63,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's down 66% compared to last week, when it jumped back to the top of the list with 185,000.
"Babel's" sum this week is the lowest sales week for a No. 1 album since Zac Brown Band's "Uncaged" moved a light 48,000 on the list dated Aug. 11, 2012.
On the bright side, "Babel" marks the longest run at No. 1 for an album by a duo or group since 2004. That year, OutKast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" wrapped a seven-week non-consecutive rule at No. 1 on the chart dated Feb. 7.
The last group to reign for more than five weeks at No. 1 was Creed, with "Weathered" in late 2001 and early 2002. The album tallied eight consecutive frames at No. 1 between Dec. 8, 2001 and Jan. 26, 2002.
The rest of this week's top 10 is pretty ho-hum, without a single debut in the region (the highest debut is down at No. 20, where Buckcherry's "Confessions" starts with 18,000.)
Though the top 10 is pretty sleepy, there are a few bright spots:
Rock band Alabama Shakes returns to the top 10 for the first time in almost a year, as "Boys & Girls" jumps 20-6 with 33,000 (up 10%). It's the set's second-largest sales week yet, and comes in the wake of the act's performance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on Feb. 16 (the show was given an encore airing, although in an edited form, a week later on Feb. 23.)
The band last sold more in a week way back on the April 28, 2012 chart, when the album vaulted 16-8 with 43,000 in its second week. It debuted at No. 16 an a digital-exclusive title, before then jumping to No. 8 with both digital and physical sales.
One more album returns to the top 10 this week, as Rihanna's "Unapologetic" zips 15-9 with 29,000 (though it's down 29% in sales). The effort was last in the top 10 on the Jan. 12-dated chart.
As for the rest of the top 10: Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" returns to its No. 2 peak by climbing one spot with 48,000 (down 44%). Josh Groban's "All That Echoes" rises 5-3 (41,000; down 43%) and the "Now 45" album jumps 8-4 (38,000; down 41%). The Lumineers' self-titled album is up one rung to No. 5 (35,000; down 47%), the "2013 Grammy Nominees" album falls 2-7 (30,000; down 66%) and fun.'s "Some Nights" slips 7-8 (just under 30,000; down 55%). Taylor Swift's "Red" closes out the top 10, down six slots to No. 10 (28,000; down 61%).
Over on the Digital Songs chart, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz) is No. 1 for a seventh straight week (363,000; down 12%). It is the longest run at No. 1 since July 21, 2012, when Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" wrapped its seventh (and final) week at No. 1. Also, "Thrift Shop" is now one of only two songs to sell in excess of 300,000 downloads for seven weeks. (fun.'s "We Are Young" is the other.)
Baauer's "Harlem Shake" rises 3-2 on the Digital Songs chart this week, selling 297,000 downloads (up 13%).
Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" moves up 4-3 (229,000; up 6%), while Rihanna's "Stay" (featuring Mikky Ekko), slips 2-4 (213,000; down 31%) after its big jump last week thanks to its Grammy Awards performance.
Drake's "Started From the Bottom" is up 8-5 with 152,000 (though down 10%), while will.i.am & Britney Spears' "Scream & Shout" moves back up 10-6 with 140,000 (but down 12%).
Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" (featuring Jay Z), is down two slots to No. 7 with 135,000 (down 33%). One Direction's charity single "One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks)" flies 16-8 after its first full charting week (135,000; up 26%). It debuted a week ago from only one full day's worth of sales, on Sunday, Feb. 17.
The song is mostly a cover of Blondie's "One Way Or Another," mixed in with a bit of the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks." Proceeds from the One Direction single benefit the British charity Comic Relief.
Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" climbs 11-9 (133,000; down 11%) and Alicia Keys' "Girl On Fire" rises 14-10 (109,000; down 19%).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Feb. 24) totaled 5.46 million units, down 20% compared with the sum last week (6.81 million) and down 13% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (6.31 million). Year to date album sales stand at 44.58 million, down 7% compared to the same total at this point last year (48.01 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 26.86 million downloads, down 9% compared with last week (29.43 million) and down 5% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (28.13 million). Year to date track sales are at 227.26 million, down 2% compared to the same total at this point last year (230.92 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Adele's "21" was No. 1 for a 23rd non-consecutive week (247,000; down 17%). The highest debut was WZRD's self-titled album, starting at No. 3 with 66,000.
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