Who's Number One? 'Christmas' won an incredibly tight Black Friday sales race as Michael Bublé's seasonal disc barely edged the week's biggest debut, Nickelback's 'Here and Now'. In the days leading up to the Black Friday surge, the Canadian rockers were the favorites to take the top spot ahead of Rihanna's 'Talk That Talk', thanks in part to their Thanksgiving performance at the Detroit Lions game. However, when midnight struck on Friday, the holiday shoppers instead went stampeding toward Bublé and 'Christmas', which finally grabbed Number One after finishing second last week. But it wasn't easy for Bublé…
According to Nielsen SoundScan totals, 'Christmas' sold just over 227,000 copies last week. 'Here and Now' sold just under 227,000 copies, a difference of a mere 0.2%. Billboard says that a Number One battle hasn't been that heated since Bruce Springsteen's 'Magic' topped the charts by selling 0.3% more copies than 'Rock N Roll Jesus' in November 2007. However, those two albums only sold 77,000 apiece, which makes Buble's slim defeat over Nickelback even more eye-popping. It was Florida in the 2000 Presidential election close, and in the end, the Nickelback haters barely won.
Who's Bummed? Poor Rihanna. Every year, the singer releases a brand new studio album packed with Hot 100 smashes, and every year she sees her LPs fail to top the charts. 2007's 'Good Girl Gone Bad' peaked at Number Two, 2009's 'Rated R' only reached Number Four, and last year's 'Loud' maxed out at Number Three, which is where her new disc 'Talk That Talk' debuted. 'TTT' sold 197,000 copies, a slight decline from the 207,000 'Louds' that were purchased during last year's Black Friday week.
RiRi needs to face facts: She's an incredible singles artist, perhaps the best of her generation, but for whatever reason, the masses are just not interested in buying her albums. Rihanna is setting Hot 100 records at a faster pace than Gaga and Beyoncé, but her fans are still reluctant to pay anything more than $1.99 (the iTunes price for singles) for her music. Which works out in the end, because Rihanna releases so many hit singles, those constant $1.99 purchases add up to be more than price of 'Talk That Talk' anyway.
Debuts: Two more debuts managed to break into the Billboard 200's Top 10: Mary J. Blige's 'My Life II: The Journey Continues, Act I' -- even musicians are participating in this nonsense habit of dividing sequels in half, like 'Harry Potter' and 'Twilight' -- at Number Five and Daughtry's 'Break the Spell' at Number Eight. In fact, all eight albums at the top of the Billboard 200 managed to register six digits, the first time that's happened since January.
Where's Adele? The year's top seller, Adele's '21', may have been pushed out of the Top Five for the first time since the album arrived in January, but it didn't go quietly. '21' sold another 140,000 copies this week, a 24% increase over last week, but the debut releases, Drake and last week's Number One 'Take Care', and a pair of Xmas albums ('Christmas', Justin Bieber's ''Under the Mistletoe') pushed Adele down to Number Seven, her lowest position of the '21' era. With no major releases due out this week, however, Adele should be back in the Top Five as soon as next week.