Week Ending May 27, 2012. Albums: Idols’ Ups & Downs

Paul Grein
Chart Watch (NEW)

Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, who were the winner and runner-up, respectively, on American Idol three years ago, both take some lumps on this week's Billboard 200 album chart. Allen's sophomore album Thank You Camellia debuts at #26, with sales of just 16K copies. Allen is only the second Idol winner to fall short of the top 20 with his or her sophomore album. Taylor Hicks' The Distance stalled at #58 in 2009. (Note: the 2010 and 2011 winners, Lee DeWyze and Scotty McCreery, have yet to release their sophomore albums.) Allen's debut, Kris Allen, reached #11 in 2009.

Lambert's sophomore album Trespassing drops from #1 to #12 in its second week (22K). It's the first #1 album to drop out of the top 10 after spending just one week in the top 10 since Mac Miller's Blue Slide Park in November. The difference, of course, is that Lambert is a household name, while Miller isn't all that well-known outside of the hip-hop world. Lambert's drop wasn't unexpected: His 2009 debut album, For Your Entertainment, also spent just one week in the top 10.

Pop Quiz: Only one sophomore album by an Idol winner has reached #1. Name that album. Answer below.

Albums by three other artists who rose to fame on Idol are listed in this week's top 30. An instant album by this year's winner, Phillip Phillips, debuts at #11, one notch higher than last year's winner, Scotty McCreery, debuted with American Idol Season 10 Highlights: Scotty McCreery in May 2011. (That album went on to peak at #10).

Carrie Underwood's Blown Away holds at #3 for the second week. The album holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for the fourth week. This is Underwood's longest run at #1 on the country chart since her debut, Some Hearts, logged 27 weeks on top in from November 2005 to May 2007. Underwood was Idol's Season 4 winner.

Haley Reinhart's Listen Up! debuts at #17. Reinhart finished third on Season 10. The top two Idols from that season both cracked the top five with their first albums. Scotty McCreery's Clear As Day hit #1. Lauren Alaina's Wildflower hit #5.

Quiz Answer: The only sophomore album by an Idol winner to reach #1 is Underwood's Carnival Ride, which debuted in the top spot in October 2007. (Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway, which is the best-selling sophomore album by an Idol winner, peaked at #3.)

John Mayer's Born And Raised debuts at #1. It's Mayer's third #1 album out of his last four studio releases. It follows 2003's Heavier Things and 2009's Battle Studies. Mayer's only album in this stretch to fall short of #1 was 2006's Continuum, which debuted and peaked at #2 behind Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds. (In the nearly six years since those two superstar releases collided, Mayer has written and recorded two #1 albums and Timberlake has done just about everything in show business except make another record.)

Born And Raised enters The Official U.K. chart at #4. It's Mayer's first top 10 album in the U.K. His previous best mark there was #35 for Battle Studies.

Born And Raised sold 147K digital copies (out of its 219K total). This is Mayer's highest weekly digital sales tally to date. His previous best tally came when Battle Studies sold 129K digital copies in its first week.

Mayer received a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist of 2002. He has now amassed as many #1 albums as the artist who won that award, Norah Jones. Two of the three other Best New Artist finalists that year, Ashanti and Avril Lavigne, have each had two #1 albums. (The fifth nominee, Michelle Branch, has climbed as high as #2.) That was a good year for new artists.

Apocalyptic Love by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators debuts at #4. This is Slash's second top 10 album as a solo artist. Slash reached #3 in 2010. It's the ninth top 10 album of Slash's career, with these two solo albums preceded by six albums with Guns N' Roses and one with Velvet Revolver. This is the second career top 10 album for Myles Kennedy. He's the lead singer of the rock band Alter Bridge, which reached #5 in 2004 with One Day Remains.

Useless Information: Apocalyptic Love is the second top 10 album that features the word "apocalypse," or a variation of it, in its title. It follows Public Enemy's 1991 album Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black, which also reached #4.

Sara Bareilles' five-song EP Once Upon Another Time debuts at #8. This is Bareilles' third album or EP to make the top 10. Little Voice hit #7 in March 2008. Kaleidoscope Heart hit #1 in September 2010.

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" holds at #1 on Hot Digital Songs for the second straight week. Will it jump up to #1 on the Hot 100? 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: John Mayer's Born And Raised debuts at #1 (219K). This is Mayer's third #1 album; his sixth to reach the top 10….Adele's 21 holds at #2 for the third straight week in its 66th week on the chart (56K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time… Carrie Underwood's Blown Away holds at #3 for the second week in its fourth week on the chart (45K). The album holds at #1 on Top Country Albums for the fourth week… Apocalyptic Love by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators debuts at #4 (38K). This is Slash's ninth career top 10 album; Kennedy's second… One Direction's Up All Night rebounds from #10 to #5 in its 11th week (37K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time.

The Second Five: Lionel Richie's Tuskegee rebounds from #9 to #6 in its ninth week (33K). The former #1 album has been in the top 10 the entire time… MercyMe's The Hurt & The Healer debuts at #7 (33K). This is the Contemporary Christian group's second top five album. The Generous Mr. Lovewell reached #3 in 2010… Sara Bareilles' EP Once Upon Another Time debuts at #8 (31K). This is Bareilles' third top 10 album or EP….Now 42 drops from #6 to #9 in its fourth week (31K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Norah Jones' …Little Broken Hearts drops from #5 to #10 in its fourth week (28K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time.

Glee: The Music: The Graduation Album drops from #8 to #18 in its second week. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks for the second week. Three other albums drop out of the top 10 this week. I've already told you about Adam Lambert's Trespassing, which drops from #1 to #12. Tenacious D's Rize Of The Fenix drops from #4 to #30. Beach House's Bloom drops from #7 to #33.

Kimbra's Vows debuts at #14. Kimbra's featured credit on Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" helped make that song a worldwide #1 hit…Joe Bonamassa's Driving Towards The Daylight debuts at #23. The album opens at #2 in the U.K. this week.

Paul and Linda McCartney's Ram re-enters the chart at #24. The album nearly became McCartney's second #1 in a row (following 1970's McCartney), but it stalled at #2 (behind Carole King's monster hit Tapestry) in August 1971.The album is #1 on Top Catalog Albums this week, dethroning Adele's 2008 album 19. This is McCartney's second album to reach #1 on the catalog chart. His 1973 album with Wings, Band On The Run, topped that chart in March 1999.

Ram spawned the smash single "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," which topped the Hot 100 in September 1971. It was the second song by a former Beatle to reach #1 (following George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"). It made McCartney the first former Beatle to win a Grammy for a post-Beatles project. (He won for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)). Harrison and Ringo Starr won their first post-Beatles Grammys for The Concert For Bangla Desh, which was voted Album of the Year for 1972. John Lennon won his first for Double Fantasy, which won as Album of the Year for 1981.

Tedeschi Trucks Band's Everybody's Talkin' bows at #25. This is a disappointing debut. The act's previous album, Revelator, debuted and peaked at #12 in June…Pink Floyd's 1979 album The Wall vaults from #121 to #29 in its 142nd week on the chart. It's #2 on Top Catalog Albums. The album topped the catalog chart in April 1994…The Cult's Choice Of Weapon debuts at #36. The English hard rock band first charted in 1985.

Two Bee Gees compilations re-enter the chart in the wake of Robin Gibb's death last week. The Ultimate Bee Gees re-enters at #49. Number Ones re-enters at #70. The Bee Gees-dominated Saturday Night Fever soundtrack re-enters at #168…The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond drops from #32 to #68 in its 10th week.  It's the top-ranking soundtrack to a theatrically-released film for the seventh week.

The Broadway cast album from the latest revival of The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess enters the chart at #144. This landmark musical first opened on Broadway on Oct. 10, 1935. The current revival, which stars Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis, opened on Jan. 12. It is nominated for a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical, where it is competing with revivals of three 1970s shows: Follies, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.

The music from Porgy & Bess has cracked the top 10 on Billboard's pop album chart twice. Charlie Spivak plays selections from Gershwin's Folk-Opera Porgy And Bess reached #3 in 1945 (the year the chart was introduced). The soundtrack to the movie version (which starred Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge) reached #8 in 1959. That same year, a version of the score by Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte reached #13. A version by Ray Charles and Cleo Laine hit #138 in 1976.

George Gershwin composed the music for the show. His brother Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward wrote the lyrics. George Gershwin died of a brain tumor on July 11, 1937, less than two years after the show opened.

Sade's Bring Me Home Live 2011 enters Top Music Videos at #1. This is only the second time in the past six months that Adele's Live At The Royal Albert Hall hasn't been #1 on this chart. George Harrison: Living In The Material World hit #1 three weeks ago. Look for One Direction's Up All Night Live Tour to debut at #1 next week.

Men In Black 3 was #1 at the box-office over the weekend. All three MIB movies opened in the top spot. The original spent its first three weekends at #1 in July 1997. The sequel spent its first two weekends on top in July 2002.

Coming Attractions: Regina Spektor's What We Saw From The Cheap Seats is expected to be next week's top new entry, right around #4. Two other albums are eyeing top 10 debuts: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' Here (in the #6 range) and Sigur Ros' Valtari (right around #9). Also due:  Travis Porter's From Day 1, Melody Gardot's The Absence, Scissor Sisters' Magic Hour and Juanes' MTV Unplugged.

Looking Ahead: Here are some of the key releases due in the next month: Usher's Looking 4 Myself (June 12), Justin Bieber's Believe (June 19), Linkin Park's Living Things and Maroon 5's Overexposed (June 26), Chris Brown's Fortune (July 3) and Zac Brown Band's Uncaged (July 10).