Bob Dylan Bows Atop Billboard 200

Bob Dylan Marks Second Week As U.K. No. 1

Bob Dylan Marks Second Week As U.K. No. 1

Bob Dylan, whose Billboard 200 chart career began in 1963, lands his fifth No. 1 album this week as "Together Through Life" (Columbia) opens atop the list with 125,000. It gives the icon back-to-back No. 1s with studio albums, as 2006's "Modern Times" also started in the penthouse. However, the latter set bowed with a much stronger number -- 192,000. "Modern" was ushered in with an Apple iTunes/iPod TV spot, which starred Dylan himself singing that album's song "Someday Baby." The new album did not have such a splashy marketing tie-in.

"Together's" first week is more in line with what Dylan saw with 2001's "Love and Theft" (134,000 for a No. 5 debut) and 1997's "Time Out of Mind" (102,000 for a No. 10 debut).

Last week's No. 1 album, Rick Ross' "Deeper Than Rap" (Maybach/Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam), takes a not-unexpected 67.5% second-week decline, falling to No. 4 with 51,000 after his debut with 158,000 last week. It's not unusual for hip-hop albums to take a nose-dive in their second week, as the chart has proven in the past. Earlier this year, Jadakiss' "The Last Kiss" (Ruff Ryders/D-Block/Def Jam) fell 66.7% in its sophomore frame (going from 135,000 to 45,000), UGK's "UGK 4 Life" (Trill/UGK/Jive) slipped 65.6% in its second week (76,000 vs. 26,000) and Jim Jones' "Pray IV Reign" (E1/Columbia) fell 68% in week number two (43,000 vs. 14,000).

The Billboard 200's second-highest debut this week comes from rock super group Heaven & Hell with "The Devil You Know." The Rhino effort, which boasts four current and former members of Black Sabbath, starts at No. 8 with 30,000. The world music-flavored compilation "Playing for Change" (StarCon/Hear Music) starts at No. 10 with 26,000, powered by strong sales from Internet retailers and Starbucks stores.

Elsewhere in the top 10 this week ... the "Hannah Montana: the Movie" soundtrack (Walt Disney) holds at No. 2 with 86,000 (down 18%), Rascal Flatts' "Unstoppable" (Lyric Street) climbs one rung to No. 3 with 53,000 (down 22%), Lady GaGa's "The Fame" (Streamline/KonLive/Cherrytree/Interscope) rises two slots to No. 5 with 40,000 (up 0.6%), the soundtrack to "Twilight" (Summit/Chop Shop/Atlantic) stays steady at No. 6 with 35,000 (down 14%), the "Now 30" compilation (UMe) moves up two rungs to No. 7 with 33,000 (down 10%) and Taylor Swift's "Fearless" (Big Machine) returns to the top 10 at No. 9 -- moving up two slots -- with 29,000 (up 1%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 3) totaled 6.172 million units, down 0.6% compared to the sum last week (6.176 million) and down 18.3% compared to the same sales week of 2008 (7.557 million). Year to date album sales stand at 124.0 million, down 12.5% compared to the same total at this point last year (141.8 million).