After seven weeks on the chart, the soundtrack to “High School Musical” rises to the top on The Billboard 200, up from last week’s previous high of No. 6. The Walt Disney set sold 101,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, an increase of 4%, and is the only title in the top 20 that saw a sales gain.
Tracks from the collection have been making news recently as well. In early February, “Breaking Free” by Andrew Seeley, Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens jumped 86-4 on the Billboard Hot 100, the biggest one-week increase in the history of the chart. That same week there were no less than nine cuts from the soundtrack on the Hot 100, five of which ranked in the top 40.
“High School Musical” is the first television show soundtrack to helm The Billboard 200 since “Miami Vice” spent 11 weeks there in late 1985/early 1986. The last time a soundtrack sat atop the chart was just three weeks ago, when Jack Johnson’s “Curious George” companion set bowed at No. 1. The Brushfire release falls 2-3 this week on sales of 89,000 copies, a dip of 24%.
In between is another youth-oriented title, Razor & Tie’s ninth installment of the “Kidz Bop” series. The disc debuts at No. 2 on sales of 98,000 copies. Featuring covers of Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together,” Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” and Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” the set managed the best-selling week for the kid-friendly, sing-along releases and its highest chart post. The previous best was set by “Kidz Bop 8,” which last year earned the No. 6 spot.
Mary J. Blige’s “The Breakthrough” (Matriarch/Geffen) sits tight at No. 4, selling 76,000 units (-31%). With the popularity of the single “You’re Beautiful” rising, James Blunt’s “Back to Bedlam” climbs to a new high with an 8-5 move on sales of 72,000 copies (-18%). Barry Manilow’s “The Greatest Songs of the Fifties” (Arista) slips 3-6 with 66,000 units, a 43% fall.
Andrea Bocelli’s “Amore” (Sugar/Decca/Universal) dips 5-7 with 65,000 copies, a 41% decrease. The Eminem retrospective “Curtain Call: The Hits”(Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) rises 10-8 on sales of 73,000 copies (-12%) while Carrie Underwood’s “Some Hearts” (Arista) falls 7-9 with 61,000 (-30%).
Although it remains on top of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Jaheim’s “Ghetto Classics” tumbles from 1-10 in its second week on The Billboard 200. The Divine Mill/Warner Bros. release sold 59,000 copies, a whopping 61% decrease, after debuting at the top last week.
Arctic Monkeys’ debut album “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” (Domino) is one of just two debuts in the top 50, arriving at No. 24. The album made waves in the band’s native Britain by becoming the fastest-selling debut in U.K. chart history with 360,000 copies, but managed to sell only 34,000 copies in the United States.
Another soundtrack, with “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion” (Motown), bows at No. 26 on sales of 33,000 copies. The film was No. 1 at the U.S. box office over the weekend, grossing $30 million.
At 11 million units, overall CD sales were down by 10% from the previous week and down 1% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 2% compared to 2005 at 86.8 million units.