As Mayer has a throat condition called granuloma, he's unable to sing and was prevented from doing a lot of traditional promotional activities to support the new album. However, during release week, he visited "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" on May 22, sitting in with house band the Roots and chatting with Fallon. He also played guitar with the band on "Late Show With David Letterman" (May 17) and was interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered" (May 18).
Mayer wrote to his fans on his official Tumblr on Friday (May 25) about how the album was projected to debut at No. 1. He said it was "incredible on all your parts because there has been very little I've been able to do to promote it."
Meanwhile, last week's No. 1 album, Adam Lambert's "Trespassing," falls straight out of the top 10. It drops from No. 1 to No. 12 with 22,000 (down 71%). It's the first No. 1-debuting title to fall out of the top 10 in its second week since the Dec. 3, 2011, chart, when Mac Miller's "Blue Slide Park" collapsed 1-24.
Back up the chart at Nos. 2 and 3, Adele's "21" and Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away" hold their positions. They sell 56,000 (down 11%) and 45,000 (down 17%), respectively.
Slash's new "Apocalyptic Love" (featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators) debuts at No. 4 with 38,000. Slash's last studio album, his self-titled 2010 release, debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 60,000 sold in its first week. That effort was a star-studded affair, with guests ranging from Fergie to Chris Cornell providing vocals. On "Apocalyptic Love," Kennedy -- who also appeared on "Slash" -- sings on all of the tracks.
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One Direction's "Up All Night" jumps five spots to No. 5 (37,000; up 8%) while Lionel Richie's "Tuskegee" rises three to No. 6 (33,000; down 15%).
MercyMe bows at No. 7 with "The Hurt & the Healer," shifting nearly 33,000 copies. It's the band's second top 10 album and follows 2010's "The Generous Mr. Lovewell," which debuted and peaked at No. 3 with an 88,000 launch.
Sara Bareilles' five-song EP "Once Upon Another Time" starts at No. 8 with 31,000, giving the singer her third top 10 effort. She hit the top 10 previously with "Kaleidoscope Heart" (No. 1 in 2010) and "Little Voice" (No. 7 in 2008).
The "Now 42" compilation falls three rungs to No. 9 with nearly 31,000 (down 27%) and Norah Jones' "Little Broken Hearts" tumbles five to No. 10 with 28,000 (down 38%).
Just outside the top 10, "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips' "Journey to the Finale" album debuts at No. 11 with 24,000. The set is exclusively sold via the iTunes Store.
Phillips isn't the only "Idol" making waves on the Billboard 200 chart this week though, as 2011 contestant Haley Reinhart's debut album "Listen Up!" starts at No. 17 with 20,000. At No. 21, the "American Idol Season 11 - Top 2 Season Finale" EP bows with 18,000. Further down the list, 2009 winner Kris Allen sees his sophomore set, "Thank You Camellia," debut at No. 26 with 17,000. Allen's self-titled debut started at No. 11 with 80,000 in 2009. This year's runner-up, Jessica Sanchez, enters at No. 126 with her own "Journey to the Finale" album with 4,000.
News about the new Digital Songs chart, and where Phillips' "Home" will debut, is due later today (May 30).
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending May 27) totaled 5.24 million units, up 3% compared to the sum last week (5.09 million) and down 22% compared to the comparable sales week of 2011 (6.67 million). Year to date album sales stand at 122.63 million, down 3% compared to the same total at this point last year (125.86 million).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2011 when: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" held at No. 1 for a second week, selling 174,000 (down 84%). Death Cab for Cutie's "Codes and Keys" was the highest debut, starting at No. 3 with 102,000.