Week Ending July 1, 2012. Albums: Keeping Adam Humble
Everything's going Adam Levine's way, right? He has a hit TV show, and has sung lead on three giant hits in the past year, Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" and Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts." (Combined sales: 11,812,000). Well, the Billboard charts are working to keep Levine humble. "Payphone" has so far been unable to rise above #2. And now Maroon 5's latest album Overexposed debuts at #2 behind the latest by fellow L.A. band Linkin Park. But it was close. Extremely close. If Maroon 5's album had sold just 2K more copies, it would have taken the #1 spot. This is the group's second album in a row to just miss debuting at #1. Hands All Over debuted at #2 in September 2010. If it had sold 12K more copies, it would have seized the crown from Zac Brown Band's You Get What You Give.
Levine has been on such a roll lately that he can't get too upset at just missing out on two #1 albums. Even so, most artists don't like to come in second—especially when it's this close. But it's not like Maroon 5 has never had a #1 album. Its 2007 album It Won't Be Soon Before Long debuted in the top spot with sales of 429K.
Overexposed starts with sales of 222K, which marks a healthy jump over Hands All Over, which opened with sales of 142K. Incidentally, Hands All Over has become a solid hit despite that so-so debut. It has sold 1,132,000 copies. It rebounds from #115 to #37 in its 89th week on the chart.
Overexposed is #1 on Top Digital Albums. It sold 134K digital copies, compared to 122K digital copies for Linkin Park's Living Things.
(They don't give a Grammy for Best Album Title, but if they did, Overexposed would be a leading candidate. It's a great example of self-deprecating wit. Another in this vein: Sugar Ray's 1999 album 14:59.)
Linkin Park and Maroon 5 are on very similar release schedules. Their last two albums were released one week apart. This time around, the two bands went head-to-head.
Living Things is Linkin Park's fifth #1 album. Only three other hard rock bands have landed five or more #1 albums. Led Zeppelin leads the pack with seven. Metallica and Van Halen have also had five. Linkin Park's previous #1 albums were Meteora, Collision Course (with Jay-Z), Minutes To Midnight and A Thousand Suns.
Living Things sold more copies in one week than any other rock album so far this year. Runners-up are Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball (196K), Van Halen's A Different Kind Of Truth (187K) and Jack White's Blunderbuss (138K). (The Fine Print: The Hunger Games soundtrack, which sold 175K in its first week, features a wide range of pop and rock acts.)