On the charts: 'Twilight' takes its rightful spot atop the tally
Anyone breathlessly watching the sales of the soundtrack to "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" as some sort of indication of the franchise's continued stability should now know that all is well with the teenage soap opera. In its first full week in stores, the soundtrack climbs to No. 1, selling 153,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
On last week's chart, the album came in at No. 2, trailing pop vocalist Michael Bublé, and shocking those who expected the power of "Twilight" to be untouchable. Yet a number of factors played into "New Moon's" No. 2 ranking. One, the soundtrack is out a month in advance of the film (Nov. 20.). Two, "Twilight" may be big, but Bublé has been endorsed by Oprah Winfrey, the ultimate pop-culture trump card. Third, the soundtrack to "New Moon" was released on a Friday, giving it only a three-day sales week.
Look for the album to pretty much maintain its residency near the top of the chart for the next few weeks. Soon, a "New Moon" mall tour will launch -- coming to Hollywood & Highland on Nov. 6 with performances from Death Cab for Cutie, Sea Wolf, Band of Skulls and more -- and the trek should give the Chop Shop/Atlantic album plenty of steam heading into the film's opening weekend.
"New Moon" holds off the latest from country vet Tim McGraw. His "Southern Voice" sold 137,000 copies in its first week, off significantly from the first week sales of his 2007 effort "Let It Go," according to the Billboard archives. The latter landed with 325,000 copies sold in its first week, riding the success of lead-off single "Last Dollar (Fly Away)."
British R&B singer Joss Stone has a top-10 debut with her "Colour Me Free!," but the numbers don't necessarily reflect the high placement. The retail exclusive route doesn't pay off for Stone. "Colour" is available only at Target and iTUnes, and the set lands at No. 10 with 27,000 copies. This paragraph should come with an asterisk, however, as the album has suffered multiple delays, and Stone has spoken openly to the U.K. media about wanting out of her record contract. The album's lead single, "Free Me," is said to be about wanting out of her record deal.
As for those watching the sales of U2's "No Line on the Horizon," believing, perhaps, the bevy of hype that surrounded the band's massively attended Rose Bowl appearance and accompanying YouTube stream would have some sort of impact on sales, the answer is a resounding "no," at least thus far (sales that occurred during and after the concert will be reflected on next week's chart). The album is at No. 130 on the pop chart this week, just under 4,000 copies, an 8% sales decline.
-- Todd Martens