Justin Bieber brings some much needed starpower back to the charts, and Mumford & Sons are leading the Grammy pack when it comes tos ales. Here’s a look at this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales figures:
Believe in Bieber: Justin Bieber’s Believe Acoustic, featuring stripped-down versions of songs from last year’s Believe set, debuts at No. 1 on this week’s chart with 211,000 first-week sales. That makes it the year’s best-selling debut, not that previous chart champs Chris Tomlin and Gary Allan offered much competition. Believe debuted at No. 1 in June 2012 with 374,000 first-week sales, and Believe Acoustic held on to 56 percent of that audience. The Biebs’ previous acoustic set, My Worlds Acoustic, started at No. 7 with 115,000 sales, though that album was a Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club exclusive. Bieber is set to host and perform on this weekend’s SNL, and if he whips out an acoustic guitar during one of those musical performances, Believe Acoustic could get another boost on next week’s chart.
2013 Grammys Preview: Heading into Sunday’s Grammy Awards, Mumford & Sons’ Babel (No. 7 this week) has a clear folkin’ sales edge over its fellow Album of the Year competitors. The set has sold 1.683 million copies to date and is the only nominee currently in the Top 20. Sales-wise, the Black Keys come closest; El Camino (No. 40 this week) has sold 1.131 million copies since its December 2011 release. (The period of eligibility for this year’s Grammys was Oct. 1, 2011-Sept. 30, 2012.) fun.’s Some Nights, No. 25 this week, has sold 993,000 copies, and will cross the 1 million sales marker sometime before Sunday’s broadcast. Meanwhile, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange (No. 78, 480,000) and Jack White’s Blunderbuss (No. 126, 466,000) could both use a Grammy boost to hit the gold sales marker.
The Beyoncé Effect: Rumor has it that Beyoncé sang a few songs at some sporting event last weekend, which SoundScanner missed because we were watching Broken City at our local multiplex. (That Russell Crowe sure is something else!) Anyway, several of Beyonce’s songs experienced big sales boosts after the performance, with sales of “Halo” (No. 105 on the Digital Songs chart) experiencing a 338 percent boost from the week prior, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” (No. 163) jumping 140 percent and “Crazy In Love” (No. 179) lifting 225 percent. Meanwhile, Beyonce’s 2011 album 4 leapt 97 spots to No. 93, while Destiny’s Child’s Love Songs compilation arrived at No. 69 with 5,600 first-week sales. Beyonce should perform at sporting events more often!
Lotus wilting: Christina Aguilera’s Lotus set, released in November, continues its slow slide on this week’s chart, falling four spots to No. 120. After 12 weeks the album has sold 217,000 copies, less than what her first three albums sold their first week (Aguilera’s self-titled 1999 debut opened with 252,000 sales, while 2002’s Stripped debuted with 330,000 and 2006’s Back to Basics began with 346,000). Aguilera has opted out of the upcoming season of The Voice, perhaps to work Lotus, but no tour dates have been announced in support of the record. Aguilera hasn’t hit the road since her Back to Basics tour in 2006-2007.
Skipping the Saturdays: Girl-group reality show “stars” The Saturdays flatline with their EP Chasing the Saturdays —it shares a title with their E! reality series —which debuts at No. 175 after selling 3,000 copies its first week. (Honest question: Did you know Chasing the Saturdays —either the TV show or the EP— existed?) A solo album from the lowest link on the Kardashian chain would probably sell better, though we don’t want Rob Kardashian getting any ideas. Given its debut, the title EP’s lead single What About Us seems particularly appropriate. Sorry gals, not everyone can be the Spice Girls. Just ask All Saints.