Week Ending Dec. 16, 2012. Albums: One Direction’s Singular Achievement

One Direction’s

Take Me Home tops the 1 million mark in U.S. sales this week. It’s the boy band’s second album to sell 1 million copies this year. Up All Night is up to 1,505,000. One Direction is the first act to sell 1 million copies of two different albums in a calendar year since 2009, when Michael Jackson (who died that year) did it with four albums and Miley Cyrus (then at the peak of her career) did it with two. One Direction is the first group or duo to achieve this feat since Rascal Flatts in 2007.

Take Me Home reached the 1M threshold in just five weeks, compared to 19 weeks for Up All Night. Just nine albums that have sold 1 million copies so far in 2012, which makes One Direction’s achievement all the more impressive. Take Me Home holds at #4 for the third week on The Billboard 200.

In addition, Up All Night—The Live Tour logs its 26th week at #1 on Top Music Videos. It’s one of just four titles to log 26 weeks at #1 since this chart originated (as Top Music Videocassettes) in March 1985. The others: Ray Stevens’Comedy Video Classics (29 weeks in 1993-1994), Bon Jovi’sBon Jovi—Breakout (26 weeks in 1987) and Jose Carreras/Placido Domingo/Luciano Pavarotti’sCarreras Domingo Pavarotti In Concert (26 weeks in 1991-1992). (That may be the oddest grouping of artists I’ve ever encountered.)

Up All Night—The Live Tour has been #1 for all but three of the last 29 weeks. It yielded for one week each to videos by three iconic acts, Michael Jackson, the Beatles and The Doors.

Taylor Swift’s

Red logs its fifth week at #1 on The Billboard 200. It’s her third studio album in a row to log five or more weeks at #1. Fearless spent 11 weeks on top. Speak Now had six weeks in the lead. Red sold 208K copies this week, which brings Swift’s career album sales tally to 20,737,000. That puts her in third place among female country artists since 1991. She trails Shania Twain (34,250,000) and Reba McEntire (30,118,000). Swift just this week pulls ahead of LeAnn Rimes (20,500,000). Both Swift and Rimes started out as teen stars. Swift was 16 in July 2006 when she first hit the country chart with “Tim McGraw.” Rimes was just 13 in May 1996 when she first charted with “Blue.”

Bruno Mars’

sophomore album, Unorthodox Jukebox. debuts at #2. The album sold 192K copies in its first week, which is more than three times as many as Mars’ debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which sold 56K in its first week in October 2010. Though that album started with a modest tally, it has sold steadily over time and now boasts an impressive sales tally of 1,799,000.

The tally for Unorthodox Jukebox includes 59K digital copies, which puts the album at #1 on Top Digital Albums.

Doo-Wops (which received a Grammy nomination as Album of the Year) spawned two #1 hits, “Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade.” Unorthodox Jukebox has already yielded one, “Locked Out Of Heaven.” The new debuts at #1 on this week’s Official U.K. chart. Doo-Wops also reached #1 in the U.K.

Michael Buble’s

2011 album Christmas jumps from #5 to #3 in the wake of two airings of his NBC holiday special. The album pulls ahead of this year’s best-selling holiday album, Rod Stewart’sMerry Christmas, Baby, which drops from #3 to #5. Stewart was the special guest star on Buble’s special. Buble’s album is the highest-ranking of 69 Christmas albums on this week’s Billboard 200.

This marks only the second time in the Nielsen SoundScan era that a Christmas album that was first released in a previous holiday season has climbed as high as #3 in a subsequent holiday season. Kenny G’s 1994 release Miracles—The Holiday Album was the third best-selling album in the U.S. for two weeks in 1995. (Catalog albums didn’t appear on The Billboard 200 until December 2009. But Nielsen SoundScan compiled a “Comprehensive Albums” chart that combined current and catalog albums, just as The Billboard 200 now does, so we can compare then and now.)

Buble’s album is #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the seventh week. Next week, it will become the first Christmas album to top 3 million in U.S. sales since Josh Groban’sNoel five years ago. It will become just the 12th album in the Nielsen SoundScan era to sell 3 million copies.

Shameless Plug: We posted a Chart Watch Extra on Monday in which I look at the most popular Christmas albums overall and in various genres. It runs from Bing Crosby’s 1945 album Merry Christmas (later re-titled White Christmas) to Buble’s album. The top holiday seller of all time, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America? Elvis Presley’s Elvis’ Christmas Album, which has sold 10 million copies since its release in 1957.

The Game’s

Jesus Piece debuts at #6. This is The Game’s first album not to reach #1 or #2. The Game has put the “The” back in his name. He was just Game on his last album, 2011’s The R.E.D. Album. Other artists have done idiosyncratic things like this over the years. Dionne Warwick went by Warwicke on four albums from 1971-1973, on the advice of her numerologist.

Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” tops Hot Digital Songs for the second week in a row. Will it also remain #1 on the Hot 100? You’ll find out later today when we post Chart Watch Songs.

Shameless Plug: Today we’ll also post my look at the year’s top songs. There are still two weeks left in the 2012 chart year. I’ll update all the tallies in this report after Nielsen SoundScan posts the final charts of 2012 on Thursday, Jan. 3.

Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.

The Top Five: Taylor Swift’s Red holds at #1 for the fifth week in its eighth week (208K). It has ranked in the top two the entire time...Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox debuts at #2 (192K).This is Mars’ second top five album…Michael Buble’s Christmas rebounds from #5 to #3 in its 18th week on the chart (138K). This is its 12th week in the top 10…One Direction’s Take Me Home holds at #4 for the third week in its fifth week (127K). This is its fifth week in the top five…Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas, Baby drops from #3 to #5 in its seventh week (108K). This is its seventh week in the top 10.

The Second Five: The Game’s Jesus Piece debuts at #6 (86K). This is his fifth top 10 album… Phillip Phillips’ The World From The Side Of The Moon rebounds from #9 to #7 in its fourth week (68K). This is its fourth week in the top 10…Blake Shelton’s Cheers, It’s Christmas holds at #8 for the second week in its 11th week (68K). This is its third week in the top 10…Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire drops from #7 to #9 in its third week (61K). This is its third week in the top 10…Lady Antebellum’s On This Winter’s Night rebounds from #11 to #10 in its eighth week (60K). This is its fourth week in the top 10.

Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Wiz Khalifa’s O.N.I.F.C. dives from #2 to #26. …Ke$ha’s Warrior drops from #6 to #35…Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s To The Good Times drops from #10 to #27.

Green Day’s

Tre! debuts at #13. It’s the band’s first studio album to fall short of the top 10 since Kerplunk! in 1992. Uno!, Dos! and Tre! haven’t sold as well as hoped. The three albums have sold 256K, 117K and 59K copies respectively, for a combined total of 432K copies. 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day’s last album before this flurry of releases, sold more than that (459K) in its first three weeks in May 2009. If I were advising acts, I’d say make one great album and forget about stunts.

The Music Of Nashville debuts at #14. It’s #1 on Top Soundtracks. The Music Of Smash debuted and peaked at #9 in May. It has sold 131K copies to date. Another TV soundtrack, Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, Vol. 3, debuts at #20. The first Glee Christmas album reached #3 in 2010. The second reached #6 in 2011.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

soundtrack debuts at #30. It’s the week’s #1 soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie. Howard Shore composed and conducted the score. The movie was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.

Big Boi’s Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors debuts at #34. It’s Big Boi’s first studio album to fall short of the top five since 1994, when OutKast’s debut, Southernplayalisticadillacmusik, reached #20. Big Boi’s 2010 solo album, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty, reached #3.

Jenni Rivera’s La Misma Gran Senora debuts at #38. Rivera died in a plane crash in Mexico on Dec. 9. She was 43. This 13-song compilation was announced in October. Rivera released two previous albums with similar titles: La Gran Senora in 2009 and La Gran Senora En Vivo in 2010.

Led Zeppelin

this week becomes just the third hard rock/heavy metal band to reach the 25 million mark in U.S. album sales since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard. The band follows Metallica (53,618,000) and AC/DC (31,901,000). All three of these bands pre-date the Nielsen SoundScan era. Metallica first charted in 1984; AC/DC in 1977 and Led Zeppelin way back in 1969. But here’s the big difference: Led Zeppelin released its last studio album in 1979. Metallica and AC/DC both released their most recent studio albums in 2008.

Shameless Plug: The Kennedy Center Honors, at which Led Zeppelin was the first hard rock/heavy metal band to be honored, airs a week from today (Dec. 26). I’ll have a Chart Watch Extra in which I look at milestone dates in the band’s career. Will this 25M achievement be one of them? Count on it. Look for it soon.

Coming Attractions: T.I.’sTrouble Man: Heavy Is The Head is expected to be next week's top debut, with sales in the 150K range. It will probably rank #2 or #3. 12-12-12: The Concert For Sandy Relief will debut with a tally around 125K. Also due: Chief Keef’s Finally Rich (50K), Blink-182's Dog Easting Dogs EP (50K), the Les Miserables soundtrack, The-Dream’sTerius Nash: 1977 and a reissue of Rush’s 1976 album 2112.