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’s Bon Jovi—Breakout (26 weeks in 1987) and Jose Carreras/Placido Domingo/Luciano Pavarotti’s Carreras 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.