Proud papa Kanye West adds another No. 1 album to his resume with his in-your-face Yeezus, while “Blurred Lines” continues to dominate the singles chart. Here’s a look at this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales figures:
BREAKING DOWN YEEZUS: Yes, Yeezus topped the chart, but it did so with Kanye West’s weakest debut sales frame to date. In 2004, West’s The College Dropout debuted with 440,000 first-week sales – good enough for a No. 2 debut, since it came out the same week Norah Jones’ Feels Like Home, which opened with more than 1 million sales. From there, all West’s albums have debuted at No. 1: 2005’s Late Registration (860,000), 2007’s Graduation (957,000), 2008’s 808s & Heartbreak (450,000) and 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (496,000). (West’s 2011 collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, also debuted at No. 1 with 436,000 sales.) Yeezus’ 327,000 sales start may seem comparatively puny, but considering the album’s abrasive sound and non-commercial nature (where’s the single?), it’s not bad. Still, the second week sales drop could be sharp.
SUPER TUESDAY RETURNS: All that said, Kanye West won hip-hop’s Super Tuesday sweepstakes, beating out new releases from J. Cole and Mac Miller. (We hesitate to use the word “super” in the same sentence as Mac Miller, but alas.) West’s sixth album debuts at No. 1 with 327,000 first-week sales, 30,000 units ahead of J. Cole’s Born Sinner, which arrives at No. 2 with 297,000 sales. Miller’s Watching Movies With Sound, meanwhile, kicks off at No. 3 with 102,000 scans. Kelly Rowland rounds out the week’s big debuts with Talk A Good Game, which debuts at No. 4 with 68,000 sales.
THICKE PULLING AHEAD: Those “Blurred Lines” aren’t looking so blurry anymore, as Robin Thicke’s smash is starting to run away with the Song of the Summer competition. In its 13th week on the chart, “Blurred Lines” scored its biggest sales week yet, notching 424,000 sales, bringing its total 1.983 million. That’s up 14 percent from last week, and it stands as the year’s biggest sales frame to date. Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” is at No. 2 this week with 244,000 sales, bringing the year-old song’s sales total to a massive 4.5 million copies. A few spots further down the chart, Miley “bout that life” Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” jumps from No. 17 to No. 6 on sales of 161,000 units, a 74 percent leap from last week, showing there’s still plenty of twerk left in Cyrus.
TIMBERLAKE HITS DOUBLE PLATINUM: Justin Timberlake’s vision is now certified double platinum, as The 20/20 Experience crosses the 2 million sales marker this week, its 14th week on the chart. The album sold 32,000 copies this week, enough for a No. 9 finish, bringing its total sales to 2.018 million copies. On the Digital Songs chart, the ex-Mouseketeer’s “Mirrors” is at No. 15 this week (101,000 sales, for a total of 2.15 million) and “Suit and Tie” is at No. 63 (33,000, 2.54 million total), while his seasonally appropriate “Summer Love” – from 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds – comes in at No. 188 this week, with 12,000 sales. Meanwhile, Timberlake still has another album to look forward to this year; the second part of his 20/20 Experience is due out in September.
SABBATH, LONELY ISLAND DOWN: Several of last week’s debuts suffer big falls on this week’s chart. Last week’s No. 1, Black Sabbath’s 13, falls to No. 5 on a 71 percent sales decline. The Lonely Island’s Wack Album dips 70 percent, plunging from No. 10 to No. 45. Goo Goo Dolls’ Magnetic, No. 8 last week, loses 78 percent of its sales, and slides to No. 65. And Jimmy Eat World’s Damage erodes 79 percent, free-falling from No. 14 to No. 83. Speaking collectively for all them: Ouch.