Week Ending April 7, 2013. Albums: Timberlake Is Livin’ La Vida Loca

Paul Grein
Chart Watch (NEW)

Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience sold 139K copies last week, bringing its three-week total to 1,426,000. It’s the first album by a male pop vocalist to get off to such a fast start since Ricky Martin’s English-language debut album, Ricky Martin, which sold 1,519,000 copies in its first three weeks in May 1999.

While Martin had been known for years in the Latin music world, the broad pop audience discovered him on the night of Feb. 24, 1999. He sang “La Copa De La Vida (The Cup Of Life)” on the Grammy telecast and literally stole the show.

His subsequent single “Livin’ La Vida Loca” raced to #1 on the Hot 100 in just four weeks, which allowed Ricky Martin to build up this impressive sales tally.

Both Timberlake and Martin started out in boy bands. Timberlake was 14 in 1995 when he co-founded *NSYNC; Martin was 13 in 1984 when he joined Menudo.

The 20/20 Experience is the first album by any artist to sell this many copies in its first three weeks since Taylor Swift’s Red, which sold 1,749,000 copies in its first three weeks last fall. It’s the first album by a male solo artist to sell this many this soon since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III, which sold 1,526,000 copies in its first three weeks in June 2008.

Timberlake’s album tops The Billboard 200 for the third straight week. It thus surpasses Timberlake’s previous album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, which spent its first two weeks at #1 in September 2006 (and then tumbled to #5 in its third week). That album’s sales total after three weeks: 1,059,000.

20/20 is the first album to spend its first three weeks at #1 since Red last fall. It’s the first album by a male solo artist to achieve the feat since Eminem’s Recovery, which spent its first five weeks at #1 in the summer of 2010. It’s the first album by a male pop vocalist to do this since Jack Johnson’s Sleep Through The Static, which scored in February 2008.

20/20 has sold more copies than the year’s next two best-selling albums combined. Those albums, and their 2013 sales to date, are Mumford & Sons’ Babel (718K) and Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox (697K).

20/20 also holds at #1 on The Official U.K. Chart for the third week. It’s the first album to rank #1 for three or more weeks in both countries since Michael Buble’s Christmas, which was #1 in the U.S. for five weeks and #1 in the U.K. for three weeks. It’s the first album by an American artist to do this since Eminem’s Recovery, which spent seven weeks at #1 in both countries.

Sudden Thought: James Taylor titled his eighth studio album JT. (The album rose to #4 in August 1977.) If Timberlake ever wants to use the title, I doubt Taylor would mind (and it would make a good Chart Watch item.) If Timberlake decides not to do it, Josh Turner, it’s all yours.

The Band Perry’s Pioneer debuts at #2. It’s the group’s second top five album. The Band Perry hit #4 in October 2010. Pioneer enters Top Country Albums at #1, dislodging Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story… It’s the group’s first album to top the country chart. The Band Perry reached #2. That album spawned “If I Die Young,” which has sold 4,542,000 copies. It’s the third best-selling country song in digital history, trailing only Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” (6,089,000) and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” (5,546,000).

Tyler, The Creator’s third solo album, Wolf, debuts at #3. It’s his second top five album as a solo artist. Goblin hit #5 in 2011. In addition, Odd Future’s The OF Tape, Vol. 2 reached #5 in March 2012. Tyler, The Creator formed that hip-hop collective with Frank Ocean, among others. (Wolf sold 57K digital copies, which allows it to enter Top Digital Albums at #1.)

New Kids On The Block’s 10 debuts at #6. It’s the group’s 10th album release in the U.S. (counting three compilations). It’s the group’s sixth album to reach the top 10. Only one boy band in history has had more top 10 albums. Backstreet Boys have had eight. The Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons) also had six. New Kids first cracked the top 10 in March 1989 with Hangin’ Tough. The group has had as many top 10 albums (three) in the last five years as it did in its late ’80s/early ’90s heyday.

New Kids has been charting longer than any other act in this week’s top 20. They first charted in August 1988. Alan Jackson is in second place. He first charted in March 1990. Two members of New Kids have charted with albums of their own. Jordan Knight has charted twice; Joey McIntyre once.

Killswitch Engage’s sixth studio album, Disarm The Descent, debuts at #7. It’s the group’s second top 10 album. Killswitch Engage hit #7 in July 2009.

Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions holds at #8 for the second week. The album debuted and peaked at #2 in September. The album enters the Official U.K. Albums chart at #2 this week.

Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” jumps to #1 on Hot Digital Songs (340K). Will it also jump to #1 on the Hot 100? Or will “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz stay on top for a seventh week? 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: Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience is #1 for the third week in its third week on the chart (139K)…The Band Perry’s Pioneer debuts at #2 (129K). It’s the group’s second top five album…Tyler, The Creator’s Wolf debuts at #3 (89K). It’s his second top 10 five album as a solo artist…Blake Shelton’s Based On A True Story… dips from #3 to #4 in its second week (82K)…Lil Wayne’s I Am Not A Human Being II drops from #2 to #5 in its second week (68K).

The Second Five: New Kids On The Block’s 10 debuts at #6 (51K). It’s the group’s sixth top 10 album…Killswitch Engage’s Disarm The Descent debuts at #7 (48K). It’s the band’s second top 10 album…Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions holds at #8 for the second week in its 31st week on the chart (37K). This is its seventh week in the top 10…P!nk’s The Truth About Love drops from #7 to #9 in its 29th week (37K). This is its 11th week in the top 10… Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox dips from #9 to #10 in its 17th week (36K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time.

Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. OneRepublic’s Native drops from #4 to #20. Alan Jackson’s Precious Memories, Vol. II drops from #5 to #15. Depeche Mode’s Delta Machine drops from #6 to #21. The Strokes’ Comedown Machine dives from #10 to #45.

Bring Me The Horizon’s fourth studio album, Sempiternal, debuts at #11. It’s the second top 20 album for the British band. The act reached #17 in 2010 with (take a breath) There Is A Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is A Heaven, Let’s Keep It A Secret.

Alkaline Trio’s ninth studio album, My Shame Is True, debuts at #24. The title is a nod to Elvis Costello’s 1977 debut album, My Aim Is True (which peaked at #32). This is Alkaline Trio’s fifth top 30 album.

Pitch Perfect drops from #25 to #30 in its 24th week. It’s the highest-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie for the 14th week. Also, the album tops the 500K mark in digital sales this week. It’s only the second soundtrack to achieve this feat, following Twilight. That 2008 smash took 45 weeks to sell 500K digital copies. Pitch Perfect has reached that level in just 28 weeks. The album has sold 636K total copies (physical and digital combined).

The Beatles’ 2003 album Let It Be…Naked re-enters the chart at #32 in the wake of the album’s belated digital release. The album debuted and peaked at #5 in November 2003. The album enters Top Catalog Albums at #1, displacing Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon. The album is a stripped-down version of the band’s 1970 album Let It Be (which was #1 for four weeks). Let It Be…Naked presents the songs without Phil Spector’s orchestral overdubs and without incidental studio chatter between tracks. The album has sold 1,211,000 copies. (I wonder how much the sexy album title has contributed to its sales. How many would it have sold if it had been titled, say, Let It Be…Unsweetened?)

Naked Bonus Item: Let It Be…Naked is the only album in chart history with the word “naked” in its title to crack the top five on The Billboard 200. Lil Kim’s The Naked Truth just missed. It peaked at #6 in 2005. Here are other albums with the word “naked” in their titles that have made the top 20: John Mellencamp’s Dance Naked (#13 in 1994), Marques Houston’s Naked (#13 in 2005), Barenaked Ladies’ Barenaked Ladies Are Me (#17 in 2006) and Talking Heads’ Naked (#19 in 1988).

The Music Is You, A Tribute To John Denver, debuts at #37. The album features such artists as My Morning Jacket, Dave Matthews, Train, Lucinda Williams and Evan Dando performing Denver songs. The album recalls If I Were A Carpenter, a 1994 tribute to Carpenters, another act that was under-rated by critics and hipsters at the time, but whose music has grown in stature with the passing years. Denver first gained fame in 1969 as the writer of Peter, Paul & Mary’s #1 hit, “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” Denver was neck-and-neck with Elton John as the hottest artist in pop music in 1974 and 1975. In that two-year period, he had three #1 albums on The Billboard 200 and four #1 singles on the Hot 100. He also had a string of hit TV specials and even a hit movie (1977’s Oh, God!). Denver’s career momentum slowed in the ’80s. He died in a small plane crash in 1997.

Iron Maiden’s Maiden England ’88 is #1 on Top Music Videos for the second week.

Evil Dead was #1 at the box-office over the weekend.

Coming Attractions: Paramore’s Paramore is expected to debut at #1 next week, with first-week sales in the 105K range. Brad Paisley’s Wheelhouse will vie with Justin Timberlake’s album for #2, with first-week sales of about 90K. Four other albums are likely to debut in the top 10: Eric Church’s Caught In The Act (#6, 55K), Tyga’s Hotel California (#7, 50K), Stone Sour’s House Of Gold & Bones Pt. 2 (#9, 35K).and Device’s Device (#10, 35K). Also due: Volbeat’s Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies (#11, 30K) and James Blake’s Overgrown (12K).