Eminem makes it a third week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with "Recovery" while Drake's "Thank Me Later" hangs out at No. 2 for a third frame . . . The chart's highest debut is the first solo effort by OutKast's Big Boi, "Sir Lucious Left Foot . . . The Son of Chico Dusty," at No. 3 . . . Also starting high are new albums from Enrique Iglesias, Bret Michaels and Kylie Minogue.


FLASH POINTS

• Eminem's "Recovery" is the first album to notch three consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in four months as it holds atop the tally with 229,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The last set to string three weeks in a row at No. 1 was Sade's "Soldier of Love" back in March.

• With "Recovery's" third-week total, it's also the first album to sell at least 200,000 in each of its first three weeks since Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" in January and February.

• Drake's "Thank Me Later" spends a third week at No. 2, selling 74,000 (down 30%). The chart's top debut comes from OutKast's Big Boi with his debut solo album, "Sir Lucious Left Foot . . . The Son of Chico Dusty," starting at No. 3 with 62,000.

• Enrique Iglesias' "Euphoria" is the tally's second-highest new entry, bowing at No. 10 with 27,000. His last studio set, 2007's "Insomniac," debuted and peaked on the Billboard 200 at No. 17 with 45,000 sold in its first week. Iglesias' new album was preceded by the single "I Like It," featuring Pitbull, which last week became Iglesias' first top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in eight years. Previous to "Like," he last visited the top 20 with 2002's "Escape." The song also makes a big move on the Digital Songs chart this week, where it climbs from No. 12 to No. 5 with 171,000 (up 101%). Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" holds at No. 1 on Digital Songs with 314,000 (up 12%).

• As for the rest of the Billboard 200 album chart's top 10's holdovers from last week, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" soundtrack slips one spot to No. 4 (45,000; down 30%) while Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" climbs one to No. 5 (43,000; up 4%). The "Now 34" compilation falls a rung to No. 6 (33,000; down 26%), Jack Johnson's "To the Sea" rises one to No. 7 (30,000; down 13%), and Lady Gaga's "The Fame" flies five positions to No. 8 (29,000; up 18%). Gaga's gain is likely owed to buzz generated from her performance last week on NBC's "Today" show. Finally, Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" rises one slot to No. 9 (28,000; down 8%).

• Outside the top 10 this week, Bret Michaels' third solo full-length studio album, "Custom Built," becomes his highest-charting solo effort on the Billboard 200, entering at No. 14 with 22,000. The beleaguered Poison frontman's only previous solo set to chart was 2008's "Rock My World," which hit No. 40. As for Poison, the rock group has notched 11 albums on the Billboard 200 in its career, stretching back to 1986 when "Look What the Cat Dragged In" debuted. Michaels' new set actually surpasses the peaks of Poison's last eight entries. You have to scroll back to 1990's No. 2 hit "Flesh and Blood" to find a higher-charting set.

• The final new arrival in the top 20 is Kylie Minogue's "Aphrodite," starting at No. 19 with 18,000. That sales figure triples what her last studio album, "X," started with when it debuted and peaked at No. 139 in 2008 with 6,000. "Aphrodite" is also the pop diva's second-highest-charting album—only 2002's "Fever" was bigger, as it bowed and peaked at No. 3. Its fortunes were bolstered by its lead single: the No. 7 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Can't Get You out of My Head" . . . On the Billboard 200, she's also charted with "Body Language" (No. 42 in 2004) and "Kylie" (No. 53 in 1989).

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending July 11) totaled 5.2 million units, down 5% compared with the sum last week (5.5 million) and down 28% compared with the comparable sales week of 2009 (7.3 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 159.2 million, down 12% compared with the same total at this point last year (180.2 million).

• Digital track sales this past week totaled 21.1 million downloads, down 2% compared with last week (21.5 million) and down 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2009 (22.3 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 618.5 million, down less than 1% compared with the same total at this point last year (621.2 million).





MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 5.2 million units
• Down 5% from last week's charts: 5.5 million units
• Down 28% from the comparable week in 2009: 7.3 million units
• This week: Only the No. 1 album sells more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the album charts: Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" remained the top-selling set in the United States with 349,000 (up 3%) while Maxwell's "BLACKsummers'night" bowed as the second-biggest of the week with 316,000. Jackson claimed six out of the top 10 sellers that week, with "Thriller" (No. 3; 264,000), "The Essential Michael Jackson" (No. 4; 148,000), "Off the Wall" (No. 6; 107,000), "Bad" (No. 8; 97,000) and "Dangerous" (No. 9; 67,000).


A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the albums released this week, due on next week's charts: Korn's "Korn III—Remember Who You Are," M.I.A.'s "Maya," Newsboys' "Born Again," Hellyeah's "Stampede," the Maine's "Black and White," Sting's "Symphonicities," Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse's "Dark Night of the Soul," Jerrod Niemann's "Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury" and Crowded House's "Intriguer."

• Next week's album charts compete with the same week in 2009 when: Daughtry was the week's top seller, as the band's "Leave This Town" bowed with 269,000 copies. Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" slid to No. 2 with 192,000 (down 45%). Jackson still owned six out of the top 10 best-selling albums for a second week, with additional titles at Nos. 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10.