Week Ending Oct. 14, 2012. Albums: “Unknowns” Beat Kiss, Streisand
A hip-hop duo that many of you have probably never heard of has this week's top new entry on The Billboard 200. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis debuts at #2 with The Heist. The album debuts higher than new albums by such household names as Kiss (which was hoping to finally land its first #1 album) and Barbra Streisand (who was hoping to extend her streak of a #1 album in each decade).
Macklemore (real name: Ben Haggerty) and Ryan Lewis first teamed for an EP in 2009. Two of their songs entered the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart last week: "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz) and "Same Love" (featuring Mary Lambert). (The latter song expresses support for the legalization of gay marriage.)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis seemingly came out of nowhere. As late as Wednesday morning, Wikipedia.com, which has an entry for just about everything, had a notice threatening to take down the entry for The Heist on the grounds of "notability." Here's what it said: "The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's notability guide for music. Please help to establish notability by adding reliable, secondary sources about the topic. If notability cannot be established, the article is likely to be merged, redirected or deleted."
I assume entering The Billboard 200 at #2 (ahead of Kiss and Streisand) constitutes "notability."
The Heist sold 96K in its first week, which is more than six times as many copies as Macklemore's previous full-length album, 2005's The Language Of My World, has sold in its entire run (15K). The Heist sold 65K digital copies this week, which enabled it to displace Mumford & Sons' Babel from the #1 spot on Top Digital Albums.
Mumford & Sons' Babel tops The Billboard 200 for the third straight week. It's the first album to spend its first three weeks at #1 since Eminem's Recovery was #1 for its first five weeks in 2010; the first rock album to do so since Metallica's Death Magnetic in 2008.
Babel has sold 865K copies in its first three weeks. It's already #5 on the year-to-date chart. It's on target to become the first rock album to rank among the year's top five best-sellers since 2008, when Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus and AC/DC's Black Ice ranked #2, #4 and #5 for the year, respectively.