'George' companion moves 163K in first week.
Jack Johnson and Friends' companion album to the film "Curious George," released via Johnson's own Brushfire label, bows at the top of The Billboard 200 this week. "Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George" sold 163,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and takes over the No. 1 spot on the recently inaugurated Billboard Rock Albums chart from Train's "For Me, It's You."
Featuring duets with Ben Harper, G. Love and Matt Costa, "Curious George" is Johnson's first No. 1 on the big chart, after his 2003 set, "In Between Dreams," came close with a No. 2 debut on first-week sales of 229,000 copies. "Sing-A-Longs" is also the first soundtrack to helm the chart since "Bad Boys II" achieved the same feat in August 2003.
With a 24% increase in sales, Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" makes a charge for the top but remains at No. 2. The Matriarch/Geffen release, which has spent two non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, moved 152,000 copies in its eighth week on the chart. "The Breakthrough" also reclaims the top of the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart from Heather Headley's "In My Mind" (RCA).
After a chart-topping debut last week, Barry Manilow's "The Greatest Songs of the Fifties" (Arista) falls to No. 3 with a 9% decrease in sales to 142,000 copies. Andrea Bocelli's "Amore" (Sugar/Decca/Universal), also in its second week on its chart, falls 3-4 with 117,000 copies despite a 3% increase in sales.
Dem Franchize Boyz' sophomore set, "On Top of Our Game" (So So Def), bows at No. 5 with 106,000 units. Their 2004 self-titled debut reached No. 1 on the Heatseekers chart but only got as high as No. 106 on The Billboard 200. Il Divo's "Ancora" (Syco/Columbia) holds tight at No. 6 with 96,000 copies and a 3% rise in sales.
Mariah Carey's "The Emancipation of Mimi" sprints 14-7 with 90,000 copies. With a little help from the three awards she earned on Grammy night, the album enjoyed 70% sales increase this week. Kelly Clarkson, who won Grammys for best female vocal performance and best pop vocal album, sees her RCA set "Breakaway" re-emerge in the top tier, rocketing 24-8 with 83,000 copies and a 109% sales increase.
The Grammys also smiled on U2, whose five wins led the field. Accordingly, the group's 2004 Interscope album, "How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," re-enters The Billboard 200 at No. 49 with a 512% jump in sales. Meanwhile, best new artist winner John Legend's G.O.O.D. Music/Columbia debut, "Get Lifted," zooms 187-18 with a massive 780% sales increase to 52,000 copies.
Rounding out the album chart's top 10, the Eminem retrospective "Curtain Call: The Hits"(Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) falls 7-9 with 82,000 copies (+6%) while Jamie Foxx's "Unpredictable" (J) plummets 4-10 with 81,000 units (-15%).
Comedian Ron White scores his biggest charting week at No. 14 on The Billboard 200 and No. 2 on Top Country Albums with the Image Entertainment release "You Can't Fix Stupid," which shifted 64,000 copies. The BMG Heritage compilation "Totally Country 5" bows at No. 17 with 57,000 copies, while the solo debut from Terror Squad's Remy Ma, "There's Something About Remy" (Universal), lands at No. 33 with 40,000.
Other major debuts include KT Tunstall's "Eye to the Telescope" (Virgin, No. 47), The compilation "One Tree Hill Volume 2: Friends with Benefit" (Maverick, No. 54), In Flames' "Come Clarity" (Ferret, No. 58) and Belle & Sebastian's "The Life Pursuit" (Matador, No. 65).
Sales were up by 10% over the previous week at 12 million but down 7% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 2% compared to 2005 at 63.3 million units.