Zac Brown Band's Uncaged returns to #1 in its third week on The Billboard 200, displacing Nas' Life Is Good, which debuted on top last week. Uncaged sold just 48K copies, the fourth lowest total in Nielsen SoundScan history for an album at #1. And it's the lowest total outside of winter when it's cold and people don't want to go out (a reason that had more validity before the Internet came along and allowed fans to download or have a CD shipped to their door.)
The only albums to rank #1 with slimmer sales tallies were Amos Lee's Mission Bell, which debuted at #1 in January 2011 with 40K, Cake's Showroom Of Compassion, which debuted at #1 that same month with 44K, and Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday, which climbed to #1 in February 2011 with 45K.
The previous low outside of January or February came in May 2010 when Justin Bieber's eight-week old My World 2.0 returned to #1 with sales of 60K.
Here's some perspective: This week's best-selling individual song, Flo Rida's "Whistle," sold nearly five times as many copies (237K) as this week's best-selling album.
Uncaged is the Brown Band's first album to snag a second week at #1. You Get What You Give spent a single week on top in September 2010. Uncaged is the third country album to spend two weeks in the lead so far this year. It follows Lionel Richie's Tuskegee and Carrie Underwood's Blown Away.
You may recall that Phil Collins' 1998 compilation …Hits sold nearly 40K copies last week after Amazon MP3 featured it for 99 cents. So, with the sale over, what did it sell this week? Sales plummeted by 96% to less than 2K. The album tumbled from #1 to #134 on Top Catalog Albums and from #6 completely off the chart on The Billboard 200.
The soft sales climate enables two up-and-coming bands to crack the top five on The Billboard 200 for the first time. The Gaslight Anthem's Handwritten is the week's top new entry at #3. Passion Pit's Gossamer opens at #4.
The Gaslight Anthem's last studio set, American Slang, debuted and peaked at #16. Handwritten debuts at #2 in the U.K. this week. The Gaslight Anthem is a rock band from New Jersey.
Gossamer is Passion Pit's second full-length album. The Massachusetts techno-pop duo's 2009 debut Manners debuted and peaked at #51. Gossamer sold 27K digital copies (out of 37K total). That puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums.
Flo Rida's "Whistle" is #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the second week. Will it end Carly Rae Jepsen's seven-week stranglehold on the #1 spot on the Hot 100 with "Call Me Maybe"? Or will Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" or Maroon 5's "Payphone" do the honors? 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: Zac Brown Band's Uncaged jumps from #2 to #1 in its third week (48K). This is its second week on top. The album is #1 on Top Country Albums for the third week…Nas' Life Is Good dips from #1 to #2 in its second week (45K)…. The Gaslight Anthem's Handwritten debuts at #3 (40K). It's the band's first top 10 album…Passion Pit's Gossamer debuts at #4 (37K). It's the band's first top 10 album…Kidz Bop Kidz' Kidz Bop 22 drops from #3 to #5 in its second week (35K).
The Second Five: Justin Bieber's Believe dips from #5 to #6 in its sixth week (35K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… One Direction's Up All Night holds at #7 for the third week in its 20th week (33K). This is its 19th week in the top 10... Frank Ocean's Channel Orange drops from #4 to #8 its third week (33K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Adele's 21 holds at #9 for the second week in its 75th week (30K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Maroon 5's Overexposed holds at #10 for the second week in its fifth week (23K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time.
Two albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Phil Collins' no-longer-discounted …Hits plummets from #6 off the chart… The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack drops from #8 to #17. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks for the second week. The movie was #1 at the box-office for the second straight weekend.
Slipknot's Antennas To Hell debuts at #18. This compilation is the duo's fifth album to crack the top 30. Its last three studio albums have reached the top three.
Jennifer Lopez's Dance Again…The Hits debuts at #20. The title song, featuring Pitbull, has sold 954,000 copies in 17 weeks. It was a hit, but not nearly as big as the same team's 2011 smash "On The Floor." How much bigger would this album have been if it had accompanied a legitimate smash like "On The Floor" (15 weeks in the top 10 on Hot 100) rather than come months behind this moderate hit (which stalled at #17)?
Love and Theft's sophomore album Love And Theft debuts at #21. Bob Dylan had a top five album titled Love And Theft in 2001.
The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows debuts at #24. This 14-song collection is an iTunes exclusive. The title song first appeared on 1966's Revolver. You probably know that the Beatles are the second best-selling album act of the Nielsen SoundScan era, just behind Garth Brooks. But the Beatles are quickly closing the gap. Ten years ago this week, Brooks' lead over the Beatles was 21,443,000 albums. Five years ago, it was 11,209,000. One year ago, it was 5,843,000. Now it's 4,842,000. (Let me put it another way: the Beatles have sold 1,054,000 albums in the past year. Brooks has sold 53K.) Brooks was a phenomenon, no two ways about it, but the Beatles are perennials.
Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 re-enters the chart at #28, its highest ranking since February 2010. The album surged because of a sale in the Amazon MP3 store. The album is #1 on Top Catalog Albums. It's the second rap album to top the catalog chart this year. It follows Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill, which returned to #1 in May following the death of founding member Adam "MCA" Yauch. It's the first rap album to reach #1 on the catalog chart for the first time since 50 Cent's Get Rich Or Die Tryin' in March 2005 (the resurgence in that case was due to the release of his then-new The Massacre).
The Blueprint 3 has sold 1,933,000 copies since its release in 2009. All three of albums in this series have been big hits. The Blueprint has sold 2,730,000 copies since its release in 2001. The Blueprint 2: The Gift And The Curse has sold 2,122,000 copies since its release in 2002.
Three other catalog albums make potent re-entries on this week's Billboard 200. ZZ Top's 2004 compilation The Very Best Of ZZ Top: Rancho Texicano re-enters the chart at #30. That's a big improvement over its original peak at #77. Led Zeppelin's 1975 album Physical Graffiti re-enters at #43. Metallica's 1991 blockbuster Metallica re-enters at #51.
The soundtrack to Step Up Revolution debuts at #59. The soundtracks to all four Step Up movies have charted. The original Step Up hit #6 in 2006. Step Up 2: The Streets hit #5 in 2008. Step Up 3D hit #29 in 2011.
The ad for Step Up Revolution trumpets a quote from CBS reviewer Mark S. Allen, who calls it "The Best Dance Movie Yet." Take that, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Step aside, Gene Kelly. Move over, John Travolta. Mark S. Allen, I think you mean "…Of The Past Five Years." Or maybe just "…That I Could Think Of Off The Top Of My Head."
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1993 compilation Greatest Hits tops the 8 million mark this week. It's the fifth best-selling greatest hits album or compilation since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales for Billboard in 1991. It follows the Beatles' 1 (12,077,000), Bob Marley & the Wailers' Legend (11,074,000), Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band's Greatest Hits (9,199,000) and Journey's Greatest Hits (8,145,000).
One Direction's DVD Up All Night: The Live Tour is #1 for the ninth week on Top Music Videos. It sold 12K copies this week, bringing its nine-week total to 235K.
Rick Ross' God Forgives, I Don't will debut at #1 next week, with sales in the 210K range. Joss Stone's The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2, with projected sales of 22K, will probably bow at #9. Gloriana's A Thousand Miles Left Behind will probably open at #11. Also due:Testament's Dark Roots Of Earth and the Sparkle soundtrack (featuring Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston).