The Billboard 200:
This past week on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the big news was Usher’s arrival at No. 1 with Looking 4 Myself. The set garnered the star his fourth chart-topping effort, following Confessions, Here I Stand and Raymond v Raymond. Also debuting high were albums from Rush, Josh Turner and Ed Sheeran.
Now, let’s look at some of the movers and shakers farther down this week’s list:
— Jimmy Fallon: The comedian and host of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” returns to the Billboard 200 after nearly 10 years with the arrival of Blow Your Pants Off at No. 25 with 15,000 sold (according to Nielsen SoundScan). He last charted with 2002’s The Bathroom Wall (No. 47). The new set also starts at No. 1 on Comedy Albums.
Blow Your Pants Off mostly consists of skits and songs recorded during his talk show, including viral hits like “History of Rap” (with Justin Timberlake) and “Scrambled Eggs” (featuring Paul McCartney).
On the 25-position Comedy Digital Songs chart, seven of the album’s songs dot the tally, led by “History of Rap” at No. 1. The medley of hip-hop hits, sung by Fallon and Timberlake, sold 7,000 downloads last week.
— Hot Chip: The electronic act nets its best sales week yet and loftiest rank on the Billboard 200, as its In Our Heads debuts at No. 62 with 8,000 sold. Hot Chip also earns its first No. 1 on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart, after scoring two earlier top five entries.
— Bobby Womack: The R&B veteran debuts at No. 181 with The Bravest Man in the Universe — his first appearance on the Billboard 200 since 1985’s So Many Rivers hit No. 66. Bravest, released on XL Recordings, also takes a bow at No. 6 on Dance/Electronic Albums — which may seem odd, considering Womack’s history as an R&B hitmaker. However, the new album includes electronic elements and was co-written and produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell (the owner of XL).
— Prince & the Revolution’s Purple Rain Soundtrack: Credit most of the odd re-entries on the lower half of the Billboard 200 chart this week to sale pricing at Amazon MP3 (as usual!). $2.99 sale tags lift all sorts of random catalog titles back onto the list, including Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds (No. 112) and Prince & the Revolutions’ Purple Rain soundtrack (No. 118).
For the latter, it is the mega-selling album’s first appearance on the chart since 1985. And, with nearly 5,000 copies sold this past week (a gain of 422% compared to the previous frame), it earned its largest sales week since Christmas of 2008 (when it sold a handful more copies).
— Far*East Movement: The “Like a G6” act’s second album, Dirty Bass, arrives with a low-key 3,000 sold at No. 190. Its first set, Free Wired, debuted and peaked at No. 24 off a 17,000 start. It has moved 175,000 to date.
— Diplo: The in-demand producer and DJ nets his first appearance as an artist the Billboard 200, as his EP Express Yourself arrives at No. 197 (3,000 sold). It also enters at No. 3 on Heatseekers Albums (our new artist chart). While this is his first taste of the big chart, he briefly appeared on the Dance/Electronic Albums tally in 2009 with Blow Your Head.