On the charts: Michael Jackson leads 12 newcomers onto the top of the tally
Foretold to land atop the chart from the moment it was announced, the two-disc souvenir to the behind-the-scenes concert film "Michael Jackson's This Is It" has bowed at No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart. The hits collection can still be had for less than $10 at some major retailers, and fans were quick to pick it up, this despite the fact that Jackson's "Number Ones" has been a mega-seller since Jackson's death in late June.
All told, "Michael Jackson's This Is It" sold 373,000 copies for Sony Music, according to Nielsen SoundScan, leading a charge of 12 new albums on the U.S. pop 200. As of Monday, our sister blog Company Town reported that the film "This Is It" has grossed $34.4 million in the U.S. and $103 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, Jackson's "Number Ones" sold an additional 32,000 copies this week. After Jackson's death, "Number Ones" surged to the top of the charts. It sold more than 440,000 copies in the 10 days after his death, and may well end up as 2009's top-selling album.
The 373,000 copies sold by "This Is It" made it one of the year's top debuts. Albums with better openings include U2's Interscope effort "No Line on the Horizon" (484,000 copies), Dave Matthews Band's RCA release "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King" (424,000 copies), Eminem's Aftermath/Interscope release "Relapse" (608,000 copies) and Jay-Z's Roc Nation/Atlantic offering "The Blueprint 3" (476,000 copies).
Billboard reports that this is Jackson's sixth No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart. It's also, reports Billboard, the artist's best sales week since "HIStory" debuted with 391,000 copies to lead the chart in 1995.
"Full Circle," the return of '90s hard rockers Creed, fares well. The Wind-Up Records album debuts at No. 2 after selling 110,000 copies. Yet that six-figure tally is long removed from the arena-sized tallies Creed put up with 2001's "Weathered." The latter opened at No. 1 after selling 887,000 copies and held at No. 1 for its first eight weeks in stores.
Apparently there are still people in this world who do not own Taylor Swift's Big Machine effort "Fearless." Either that or fans weren't offended by the re-release of her 2008 CD as a "platinum" edition, now with bonus tracks and a DVD. The album sold close to 110,000 copies this week -- just a few hundred fewer than Creed's -- and to date the various configurations have sold about 4.1 million copies. The high sales move Swift up to the No. 3 position on the chart from No. 7.
Also new in the top five is Rod Stewart's "Soulbook" (J Records), which lands at No. 4 with 84,000 copies. Theatrical rock group -- and holiday season fave -- Trans-Siberian Orchestra enters at No. 5 with "Night Castle." The double-disc rock opera sold 83,000 copies in its debut week.
Other notable newcomers in the top 20 are:
-- Sting's holiday effort "If on a Winter's Night" (Deutsche Grammophon) bows at No. 6 after selling close to 80,000 copies. It didn't receive the kind of fanfare that Bob Dylan's "Christmas in the Heart" did, but is off to a better start. In three weeks on the tally Dylan's Columbia effort has moved 73,000 copies.
-- Jack Johnson's live effort "En Concert" (Brushfire) enters at No. 11 with 39,000 copies sold.
-- Rapper Tech N9ne muscles his way to No. 14 with his "K.O.D." (Strange Music). The album sold just under 30,000 copies.
-- Oscar favorite Swell Season -- the duo from the movie "Once" -- enters at No. 15 with its Anti- Records debut "Strict Joy." The album sold 28,000 copies.
-- Australian hard rock band Wolfmother lands at No. 16 with "Cosmic Egg" (DGC Interscope), an album that finished just shy of 28,000.
-- Bay Area-bred adult pop band Train motors into No. 17 with its "Save Me, San Francisco." The act's first album in three years, released on Columbia, sold 27,000 copies.
-- Former indie metal rock group Atreyu enters at No. 18 with "Congregation of the Damned" (Hollywood). It's the act's fifth studio album, and one that opened with about 25,000 copies sold.
-- Rounding out the top 20 is R&B singer Brian McKnight, whose "Evolution of a Man" (E1) enters with 24,000 copies sold.
-- Todd Martens
On the charts: 'Twilight' takes its rightful spot atop the tally
Big crowds expected at Staples Center and L.A. Live tonight