After Nearly Three Decades, Manilow Tops Album Chart
For the first time in nearly 29 years, Barry Manilow tops The Billboard 200. "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties" bows at No. 1 with sales of 156,000 copies in the United States, giving the artist hisFor the first time in nearly 29 years, Barry Manilow tops The Billboard 200. "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties" bows at No. 1 with sales of 156,000 copies in the United States, giving the artist his best sales week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.
The Arista album features Manilow revisiting such evergreens as "Unchained Melody" and "Love is a Many Splendored Thing." The artist's lone prior chart-topper came in July 1977 with his double concert LP "Live." His last album, "Scores: Songs From Copacabana and Harmony" (Concord), peaked at No. 47.
Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" enjoys a 24% sales increase to 123,000 copies, prompting a 4-2 move. The Matriarch/Geffen release, which peaked at No. 1 in its debut week, has for weeks been dueling with Jamie Foxx's "Unpredictable" (J), which slides 3-4 this week with a 4% decrease in sales to 95,000 units.
Earning his highest Billboard 200 chart position ever, Andrea Bocelli takes the No. 3 slot with "Amore." With sales of 113,000 copies, the Sugar/Decca/Universal release also opens at No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Crossover chart. The album features duets with Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera.
Heather Headley's "In My Mind" (RCA) debuts at No. 5 to become the Tony Award-winning performer's first top 10 album on The Billboard 200. The album sold a couple hundred fewer copies than Foxx's "Unpredictable" at 95,000, but unseats that set from the No. 1 slot on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart due to stronger sales in the stores that make up that chart's contributing panel. Headley's previous release, "This Is Who I Am," peaked at No. 38 on The Billboard 200 in 2002.
"Ancora" (Syco/Columbia), from the Simon Cowell-constructed quartet Il Divo, falls 1-6 this week on a 40% slip to sales of 93,000 copies. The Eminem retrospective "Curtain Call: The Hits" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) steps up 8-7 with 78,000 copies (+6%), switching places with Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" (Arista), which falls 7-8 with 74,000.
James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" (Custard) rebounds 11-9 to its previous peak position in its 18th week on the chart. A 47% surge to sales 71,000 copies follows an increase in spins for the single "You're Beautiful" on adult contemporary radio.
Train's "For Me, It's You" rounds out the top tier on The Billboard 200, bowing at No. 10 with sales of 62,000 copies. The Columbia set opens slightly lower than its predecessor, "My Private Nation," which peaked at No. 6 in 2003.
The Razor & Tie compilation "Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition" debuts this week at No. 18 with sales of 44,000 copies, followed closely by the Verity collection "WOW Gospel 2006" at No. 20 (43,000). Other major debuts this week include She Want's Revenge's self-titled album (PerfectKiss/Flawless, No. 38), the Temptations' "Reflections" (Mercury/New Door, No. 80) and Jamey Johnson's "The Dollar" (BNA, No. 87).
Sales were up by 11% over the previous week at 9.5 million but down 4% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 1% compared to 2005 at 51.2 million units.