Week Ending March 3, 2013. Albums: Bargain Gives Bruno A Boost
Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox took an “unorthodox” path to #1 on The Billboard 200. The album has been in the top 10 since it debuted in December, but a one-day sale at Amazon’s MP3 store on Feb. 26 gave it the boost it need to go all the way. Unorthodox Jukebox was one of 20 digital albums that were on sale that day for just $1.99. We’ve seen one-day 99-cent sales boost the fortunes of older compilations by Frank Sinatra, Bee Gees and Phil Collins, among others, but it’s rare to see such a steep discount on a superstar album that’s just three months old.
The Amazon sale also boosted, among others, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ The Heist, which rebounds from #16 to #4 in its 21st week; the hit-studded 2006 compilation Joel Whitburn Presents: Billboard #1s: The '70s, which finally enters the chart at #11; Muse’s The 2nd Law, which jumps from #55 to #12 in its 22nd week; and Tegan & Sara’s Heartthrob, which jumps from #75 to #20 in its fifth week.
Unorthodox Jukebox is in its 12th week on The Billboard 200. It took longer to make its first appearance in the #1 spot than any album since Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company finally moved up to #1 in its 25th week in February 2005 (after it swept the Grammys).
Unorthodox Jukebox this week equals the 12-week tenure in the top 10 of Mars’ debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. But the albums racked up those 12 weeks very differently. As noted, Unorthodox Jukebox has been in the top 10 since it debuted. Doo-Wops debuted at #3 in October 2010, dropped as low as #50 the following month and returned to the top 10 in January 2011, on the strength of the album’s second #1 single, “Grenade.”
Unorthodox Jukebox sold 64K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on Top Digital Albums for the second time.
Atoms for Peace’ Amok enters The Billboard 200 at #2. The quintet features Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, and Flea, bassist for Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s the seventh top 10 album for both of these artists. Yorke has scored with five Radiohead albums and his 2006 solo album, The Eraser. Flea has scored with six Chili Peppers albums.
Atoms For Peace takes its name from a song by that title on The Eraser. Incidentally, this is the second band with an atom-themed name to chart. Atomic Rooster made the top 100 in 1971.