Week Ending June 17, 2012. Albums: Looking 4 Usher Fans
Usher's Looking 4 Myself debuts at #1, but with sales of just 128K. That's a sharp drop from Usher's last full-length studio album, Raymond V. Raymond, which opened with sales of 329K in April 2010. This is the lowest first-week tally for a regular Usher studio album since My Way started with sales of 67K in September 1997.
Everybody knows that sales aren't what they were in 2004, when Usher's Confessions sold 1,096,000 copies in its first week. But even compared to 2012 albums, this is a disappointing debut. Twelve albums have enjoyed greater first-week sales so far this year. And Justin Bieber's newly-released Believe is expected to sell in the 410K to 440K range this week. (It will debut at #1 next week.)
So, what's the problem? Looking 4 Myself has yet to produce a top 10 hit on the Hot 100. That may be about to change. The current pop-dance track "Scream" jumps from #14 to #11 in its eighth week. The previous, more R&B-oriented "Climax" peaked at #17. ("Climax" is in its 10th week at #1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.) Another track, "Lemme See" (featuring Rick Ross), jumps from #80 to #61 in its fourth week.
Despite the lackluster sales tally, this is Usher's fourth album to reach #1. Usher is only the fourth male R&B artist to amass four or more #1 albums. He follows Michael Jackson and R. Kelly, who lead with six each, and Prince, who has also had four.
Rush's Clockwork Angels debuts at #2. It's the Canadian band's 12th top 10 album. But here's the rub: Rush has never had a #1 album. In fact, this album puts the band in a tie with 1960s instrumentalist Ray Conniff ("Somewhere, My Love") for the most top 10 albums without a #1. But there's a key difference: Conniff amassed all 12 of his top 10 albums in the space of eight years, from 1958 to 1966. Rush's top 10 albums span 32 years. The band first cracked the top 10 in February 1980 with Permanent Waves.
(In case you're wondering, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and James Taylor are in second place. They have each amassed 11 top 10 albums without a #1.)