America's teens and tweens have spoken. One Direction's Midnight Memories enters The Billboard 200 at #1, enabling the English/Irish quintet to become the first boy band in chart history to land three #1 albums. Four earlier boy bands—New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC and Jonas Brothers—each had two #1 albums.
Midnight Memories sold 546K copies in its first week. That's a tad more than the group's last album, Take Me Home, which sold 540K in its first week in November 2012. One Direction is the first boy band to top 500K in first-week sales with back-to-back studio albums since Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC accomplished the feat more than a decade ago.
The album was boosted by Black Friday promotions and shopping frenzy. The holiday lifted seven other albums to sales in excess of 100K this week.
Midnight Memories posted the fourth biggest one-week sales tally of the year, behind albums by boy-band alum Justin Timberlake (968K), Eminem (792K) and Drake (658K). It's the year's biggest one-week sales tally for an album by a group or duo. That title had been held by Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (339K).
Midnight Memories is the sixth album to sell 500K copies in its first week so far this year. This is the first year in which six albums have sold 500K in their first weeks since 2008, when seven albums achieved the feat.
Billboard's Keith Caulfield notes that One Direction is the first group to reach #1 with its first three albums since The Monkees scored in 1966-1967 with their first four albums. Both groups are TV creations. One Direction was formed during the 2010 edition of the U.K. talent show The X Factor. The Monkees were assembled to star in the NBC sitcom that debuted in September 1966.
One Direction this week becomes the third act (and the first group) to sell 500K copies each of two different albums in 2013. (Take Me Home also tops the 500K mark in 2013 sales.) The first two were Luke Bryan and Justin Timberlake.
Midnight Memories is 1D's first album to spawn two top 10 (or even top 30) hits on the Hot 100. "Best Song Ever" reached #2. The mom-friendly "Story Of My Life" has climbed as high as #6.
The album sold 275K digital copies, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums. Take Me Home sold 242K digital copies in its first week.
Midnight Memories also enters The Official U.K. album chart at #1. It's the group's second album to top the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K. Take Me Home also achieved the feat. (The group's first album, Up All Night, reached #1 in the U.S. but peaked at #2 in the U.K.) One Direction is the first boy band to land two transatlantic #1 albums.
Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 dips from #1 to #2. It has sold 1,323,000 copies, which enables it to jump from #6 to #3 on Nielsen SoundScan's running list of the year's best-selling albums. It pulls ahead of Drake's Nothing Was The Same to become the year's best-selling hip-hop album. In the coming week, it will pull ahead of Bruno Mars' #2-ranking Unorthodox Jukebox (1,329,000). With four chart weeks to go in 2013, can it possibly topple Justin Timberlake's #1-ranking The 20/20 Experience (2,373,000)? Stay tuned.
Garth Brooks' Blame it All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences debuts at #3. The massive, eight-disk set, a Walmart exclusive, consists of six CDs and two DVDs. It's the most sprawling album ever to crack the top 10, surpassing Brooks' 1998 album The Limited Series (a repackage which consisted of his first six CDs) and Bruce Springsteen's 1986 album Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live/1975-85 (a live album which consisted of five disks). Brooks' collection contains 77 songs, 33 music videos and a 68-page photo booklet. It weighs two pounds. (Brooks likes to do things big.)
This is Brooks' first album since 2007's The Ultimate Hits, which likewise debuted (and peaked) at #3. It's 15th top 10 album. Only two other country artists have had as many. George Strait leads with 18. Tim McGraw has also had 15.
Brooks' album enters Top Country Albums at #1, displacing The Robertsons' Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. It's Brooks' 13th #1 album on the country chart.
Duck The Halls holds at #4 for the third week. It's #1 on Top Christmas Albums for the fourth week. The number of Christmas albums on The Billboard 200 creeps up from 46 to 48 this week. Can that number possibly go higher? Stay tuned.
"Timber" by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha rises to #1 on Hot Digital Songs (237K), displacing another male/female collabo, "The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna (231K). Lorde's "Royals" is down to #5 (144K). One of these songs will almost certainly be #1 on the Hot 100, but which one? You'll find out later today when we post my Songs blog.
The Top Five: One Direction's Midnight Memories debuts at #1 (546K). It's the boy band's third #1 album…Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 dips from #1 to #2 in its fourth week (199K). It has been in the top two the entire time… Garth Brooks' Blame it All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences debuts at #3 (164K). It's his 15th top 10 album… The Robertsons' Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas holds at #4 for the third week in its fifth week (136K). It has been in the top five the entire time… Katy Perry's Prism rebounds from #11 to #5 in its sixth week (136K). This is its fifth week in the top 10.
The Second Five: Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped In Red rebounds from #9 to #6 in its fifth week (131K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Lady Gaga's ARTPOP inches back up from #8 to #7 in its third week (116K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Luke Bryan's Crash My Party rebounds from #15 to #8 in its 16th week (109K). This is its 11th week in the top 10… Miley Cyrus' Bangerz rebounds from #16 to #9 in its eighth week (79K). This is its fifth week in the top 10…NOW 48 drops from #3 to #10 in its third week (77K).
The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire soundtrack drops from #5 to #31. That's a disappointment and a surprise: The movie was #1 at the box-office for the second straight weekend.
Four other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Five Finger Death Punch's Wrong Side Of Heaven & The Righteous Side Of Hell, Vol. 2 drops from #2 to #34. Daughtry's Baptized drops from #6 to #22. Yo Gotti's I Am drops from #7 to #45. Cities 97 Sampler, Vol. 25 plunges from #10 completely off the chart. It sold out its limited, 40K pressing in its first week.
Florida Georgia Line's Here's To The Good Times rebounds from #18 to #13, thanks to the release of a deluxe version. This is the album's 52nd week on the chart. It has ranked in the top 30 for all but one of those weeks (when it slipped to #31). The album has sold 1,337,000 copies. That's the most by any album by a country duo since Sugarland's Love On The Inside, which has sold 2,308,000 copies since its release in 2008.
Michael Buble's Christmas rebounds from #19 to #16 in its 25th chart week. The album is #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 12th week. That's the longest run at #1 on the catalog chart for a Christmas album since Now That's What I Call Christmas! led the catalog chart for 14 weeks from 2002 to 2005. What's more, Buble's album this week becomes the first Christmas album to top the 500K mark in digital sales. Christmas albums appeal to traditionalists, so CDs still rule in this market. But Buble's reach into young demos has enabled him to do well in the digital realm. That said, the album has sold far more copies on CD (2,669,000) than it has digitally (514K)
The Frozen soundtrack debuts at #18. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks, dethroning the aforementioned The Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire. On the box-office chart, Frozen vaulted from #22 to #2 in its second weekend.
Danielle Bradbery's eponymous debut album opens at #19. Bradbery was the Season 4 winner of The Voice. This is her second album to crack the top 20. The Complete Season 4 Collection also reached #19. Cassadee Pope's Frame By Frame remains the highest-charting album by a contestant on The Voice. It debuted and peaked at #9 in October. (Question: The Voice has surpassed American Idol in TV ratings, Emmy recognition and overall buzz-worthiness. So why haven't its winners yet emerged as really big record sellers?)
Speaking of The Voice, Blake Shelton's Based On A True Story…, which rebounds from #32 to #20 in its 36th week, tops the 1 million mark in sales this week. It's the 10th album to hit this milestone in 2013. Three of the 10 are country, three are hip-hop, two are pop and two are rock. Shelton's album reached 1M much faster than his only previous million-seller, Red River Blue, which took two years to reach the milestone.
Songs For The Philippines debuts at #28. The 39-song collection features such stars as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eminem, Beyonce and Katy Perry. It's designed to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The artists, record companies and music publishers are donating their proceeds from the album to the Philippine Red Cross. A similar collection, Songs For Japan, spent its first four weeks in the top 10 in the spring of 2011. It peaked at #5 and has sold 366K copies.
Pentatonix's PTXmas re-enters the chart at #29. That's a new peak for the EP, which debuted and initially peaked at #45 in November 2012. You may remember that the vocal ensemble's second album, PTX: Vol. II, debuted in the top 10 a few weeks ago.
Billie Joe + Norah's foreverly debuts at a disappointing #40. (That's Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones, if you're not on a first-name basis with them—and judging from this debut, not everyone is.) The album consists of the 12 songs that appeared on the Everly Brothers' 1958 album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. That album didn't crack The Billboard 200, which was dominated at that time by movie soundtracks and Broadway cast albums. Foreverly is one of the most intriguing cross-genre collabos since Robert Plant/Alison Krauss' Raising Sand, which debuted and peaked at #2 in 2007. That album went on to win a Grammy for Album of the Year.
Beyonce's Life Is But A Dream enters Top Music Videos at #1, just ahead of two other new arrivals. Black Sabbath's Live…Gathered In Their Masses opens at #2. Barbra Streisand's Back To Brooklyn bows at #4. Life Is But A Dream, which Beyonce directed, aired on HBO in February. This is Beyonce's fourth #1 on this chart, following Live At Wembley (five weeks on top in 2004), I Am…Yours: An Intimate Performance At Wynn Las Vegas (eight weeks in 2009-2010) and I Am…World Tour (nine weeks in 2010-2011). In addition, she had a #1 video with Destiny's Child's Live In Atlanta (two weeks in 2006).
Coming Attractions: Look for Britney Spears's Britney Jean to be next week's top new entry, with sales in the 115K range. Also due: Jake Owen's Days Of Gold (40K), The Sound Of Music TV soundtrack with Carrie Underwood (30K) and Jenni Rivera's 1969--Siempre En Vivo Desde Monterrey, Parte 1 (20K).