SoundScanner: Drake’s Got His Eyes On #1

Hold on, we’re going home – and for Drake, that home is atop this week’s album charts. The Toronto star nabs the year’s second strongest debut, and he leads a week that is dominated by new releases. Meanwhile over on the singles chart, Lorde is still in control with “Royals,” and #SoundScanner is here with all the week’s sales news. Let’s dive in, shall we?

SAME ’OLD’ STORY, DRAKE’S ON TOP: So much for Nothing Was the Same – just like his previous two albums, Drake’s third album debuts atop Nielsen SoundScan Top Current Albums chart. NWTS sold a healthy 658,000 copies this week, giving the Toronto rapper the year’s second biggest debut, behind Justin Timberlake’s 968,000 bow with his first 20/20 Experience offering. It’s also Drake’s biggest debut to date; his 2011 album Take Care arrived with 631,000 sales, and 2010’s Thank Me Later started with 447,000. Drake also splashes this week’s Digital Songs chart, landing 13 songs in the top 200, with the Big Sean and 2 Chainz featuring “All Me” arriving the highest at the No. 9 spot.

KINGS OF LEON, CHER START HIGH: Drake’s Nothing Was the Same leads a week where 10 albums debut in the top 13 chart spots. Kings of Leon’s Mechanical Bull arrives in the runner-up position with 110,000 sales, down from the 184,000 albums the group’s last album, 2010’s Come Around Sundown sold its first week in 2010. Next up is Cher’s Closer to the Truth, which sold 63,000 copies this week, and Elton John’s Diving Board, which springs in at the No. 4 spot with 47,000 sales. Other arrivals: the latest from Dream Theater (No. 7, 34,000), Krewella’s Get Wet (No. 8, 27,000), Metallica’s Through the Never soundtrack (No. 9, 25,000), Alan Jackson’s Bluegrass Album (No. 11, 22,000), ChvrchesBones of What You Believe (No. 12, 21,000) and Sting’s Last Ship (No. 13, 21,000).

JAY Z HITS PLATINUM: A lot was made about how to count sales of Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail when it was released back in July, since it was first made available through a Samsung app. Should those downloads have been counted toward its sales? Ultimately they weren’t, but this week the album officially crosses the platinum sales marker. In its 12th week on the chart, Magna Carta (No. 27) sold 14,000 copies, pushing its total sales to 1.004 million. It’s not quite “a million sold before the album dropped,” as he brags on “Somewhere in America,” but it’ll do.

’ROYALS’ EXTENDS CHART’S DOMINANCE: VH1 You Oughta Know artist Lorde’s “Royals” enjoys another week atop the Digital Songs chart, selling 294,000 copies and distancing itself from Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” (last week, the three songs clawed it out at the top of the chart, with just 7,000 sales separating the three singles). “Roar” holds at No. 2, with a 21 percent sales dip to 239,000 downloads (it has sold 2.6 million files to date), while “Wrecking Ball” – which will likely be performed on “SNL” this weekend when Cyrus acts as host and musical guest – falls 27 percent to 221,000 to hold at No. 3. To date, “Wrecking Ball” has sold 1.4 million downloads.

ROBIN THICKE SEES GOLD: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has cooled off since enjoying Song of the Summer status, giving way to the Katy-Miley-Lorde trinity that’s currently ruling the singles chart. But Thicke’s Blurred Lines album, which debuted at No. 1 back in July, hits gold status this week, with its nine week total adding up to 505,000 sales. (Blurred Lines is at No. 17 this week, with 16,000 sales.) And don’t go feeling sorry for the “Blurred Lines” single: It added another 89,000 sales to its till this week, and with 5.9 million sales to date, it will cross the 6-million sales marker before you’ve picked out your Halloween costume.