Aerosmith's Music From Another Dimension!, the band's first album of new material in more than 11 years (and thus its first since Steven Tyler's two-year gig on American Idol broadened his fame), enters The Billboard 200 at a disappointing #5. The ho-hum sales (63K) hardly merit the exclamation point in the album title. The band's last three albums of new material, 1993's Get A Grip, 1997's Nine Lives and 2001's Just Push Play, all debuted at #1 or #2. (They posted first week sales of 171K, 140K and 240K, respectively.)
The new album debuts in the same position as Honkin' On Bobo, Aerosmith's 2004 album of blues and soul covers. That album was viewed by many fans as an interim project between full-fledged studio albums. (Even so, it outsold the new release. It sold 161K copies in its first week.)
Music From Another Dimension! sold fewer copies in its first week than the debut albums by Idol's Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina. McCreery's Clear As Day debuted at #1 with sales of 197K. Alaina's Wildflower debuted at #5 with sales of 69K. I expect the debut album by Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips to also sell far more than Aerosmith's. That album, The World From The Side Of The Moon, is due for release on Nov. 19. (Tyler, of course, judged all these rookies.)
Bottom line: TV can give you household name status, but that doesn't necessarily transfer to album sales.
On the bright side, the band has now made the top five in five decades: the 1970s (Rocks), the 1980s (Pump), the 1990s (Get A Grip, Nine Lives), the 2000s (Just Push Play, O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits, Honkin' On Bobo) and now the 2010s. That counts for something.
Taylor Swift's Red logs its third week at #1. It's the first country crossover album to spend its first three weeks at #1 since Rascal Flatts' Me And My Gang in April 2006. Since then, five country crossover albums have spent their first two weeks on top: Dixie Chicks' Taking The Long Way, Lady Antebellum's Need You Now, Swift's previous album, Speak Now, Lionel Richie's Tuskegee and Carrie Underwood's Blown Away.
Red sold 44K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums for the third straight week. It's also #1 on Top Country Albums for the third straight week.
Now 44 debuts at #2. It's the 28th regular Now volume to debut at #1 or #2. (Fifteen of these albums debuted at #1. Thirteen debuted at #2.) Another Now album, Now Disney, debuts at #34.
Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby holds at #3 for the second week. It's the best-selling Christmas album for the second week in a row. And it's not for lack of competition: a whopping 41 Christmas albums are listed on the Billboard 200 this week. Merry Christmas Baby will probably wind up as the year's best-selling Christmas album. If so, this will be the fourth year in a row that an artist from outside the U.S. has had the year's top-selling Christmas album. Italy's Andrea Bocelli was on top for 2009 with My Christmas. Scotland's Susan Boyle was #1 for 2010 with The Gift. Canada's Michael Buble triumphed last year with Christmas. What's more, Stewart, 67, would be the oldest artist to have the year's best-selling Christmas album in the Nielsen SoundScan era. That title is currently held by Bocelli, who was 51 when My Christmas scored in 2009.
Ne-Yo's R.E.D debuts at #4. This is Ne-Yo's fourth top five album, following In My Own Words (#1 in 2006), Because Of You (#1 in 2007) and Year Of The Gentleman (#2 in 2008). It improves on the showing of his 2010 album Libra Scale, which peaked at #9. "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)" is Ne-Yo's 12th top 10 single on the Hot 100.
PSY's "Gangnam Style" is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the fifth week; the fourth in a row. Will this finally be the week it unseats Maroon 5's "One More Night" from the top spot on the Hot 100? You'll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here's the low-down on this week's top 10 albums.
The Top Five: Taylor Swift's Red holds at #1 for the third week (196K)…Now 44 debuts at #2 (99K)… Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby holds at #3 in its second week (74K)… Ne-Yo's R.E.D debuts at #4 (66K). This is his fifth top 10 album…Aerosmith's Music From Another Dimension! debuts at #5 (63K). This is the band's ninth top 10 album.
The Second Five: Jason Aldean's Night Train drops from #4 to #6 in its fourth week (48K)… Mumford & Sons' Babel holds at #7 for the second week in its seventh week (41K)… Meek Mill's Dreams And Nightmares drops from #2 to #8 in its second week (41K)…Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d. city drops from #5 to #9 in its third week (40K)…Third Day's Miracle debuts at #10 (29K). This is the group's fourth top 10 album.
Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Toby Keith's Hope On The Rocks drops from #6 to #20. Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Psychedelic Pill drops from #8 to #33. Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night) EP drops from #9 to #27. Little Big Town's Tornado drops from #10 to #12.
All That Remains' A War You Can Not Win debuts at #13. This is the band's third consecutive top 20 album…Punk Goes Pop Vol. 5 debuts at #16. It's the second volume in this series to reach the top 20. Punk Goes Pop Volume Two hit #15 in 2009.
Michael Buble's Christmas vaults from #54 to #18 in its third week back on the chart. It's #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the second straight week. The album topped The Billboard 200 for five weeks late last year and wound up as the #2 best-selling album of 2011.
Glee: The Music Presents Glease debuts at #28. It debuts at #1 on Top Soundtracks. The 1978 movie soundtrack sold 2K copies this week, its best weekly showing since February (but too few to make The Billboard 200). The movie soundtrack will top the 6 million mark in Nielsen SoundScan era sales next week.
Grease debuted on Broadway on February 14, 1972. The show, which starred Barry Bostwick and Adrienne Barbeau, among others, received seven Tony nominations, including Best Musical. The original cast album, surprisingly, failed to chart. The movie, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, opened on June 16, 1978. The soundtrack logged 12 weeks at #1. This marks the second time that Glee has taken on a prized musical. Glee: The Rocky Horror Glee Show reached #6 in October 2010.
The Pitch Perfect soundtrack drops from #50 to #53 in its seventh week. It's the #1 soundtrack to a theatrically-released film for the sixth time in the past seven weeks. The movie rebounded from #11 to #8 at the box-office in its seventh weekend.
The soundtrack to Skyfall enters The Billboard 200 at #100. It's already the highest-charting soundtrack to a James Bond movie since A View To A Kill reached #38 in 1985. The album includes Thomas Newman's score, but not Adele's hit title song. (What's up with that?)
Skyfall is the 11th soundtrack from an official Bond movie to crack the top 100. (This doesn't count 1967's Casino Royale, which wasn't produced by Eon Productions and thus isn't generally counted as an official Bond movie.) Two Bond soundtracks have made the top 10: Goldfinger (three weeks at #1 in March and April 1965) and Thunderball (one week at #10 in March 1966). As you surely know by now, Skyfall was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.
One Direction's Up All Night—The Live Tour makes boy band history this week. The DVD logs its 21st week at #1 on Top Music Videos. That's the longest run at #1 by a boy band video since this chart originated (as Top Music Videocassettes) in March 1985. It surpasses New Kids On The Block's Hangin' Tough (1989-90) and Backstreet Boys' Homecoming—Live In Orlando (1999), both of which logged 20 weeks at #1.
Coming Attractions: One Direction's Take Me Home is a cinch to debut at #1 next week, with sales in the 535K range. Six more albums are likely to debut in the top 10: The Weeknd's Trilogy (#3, 90K), Soundgarden's King Animal (#4, 80K), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (#6, 80K), Christina Aguilera's Lotus (#7, 75K), Lana Del Rey's Paradise EP (#8, 70K) and the Deftones' Koi No Yokan (#10, 60K) Below the top 10, look for Green Day's DOS! (#11, 60K) , Susan Boyle's Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage (#14, 35K) and Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You: The Best Of Whitney Houston (#15, 35K).