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On the charts: 'Glee,' 'Twilight' and Ariel Pink?

June 16, 2010 | 11:49 am


Consumers, apparently, wanted another version of "Bohemian Rhapsody," this one sung by the Broadway-ready cast of the Fox hit "Glee." Timed for release with last week's season finale, the six-track EP "Journey to the Regionals," the latest in a series of cash-in "Glee" products, debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart, which is published by industry trade Billboard Magazine.

The set also contains choir-backed renditions of "Over the Rainbow" and yet another take on Journey's jukebox anthem "Don't Stop Believin'." In its first week of release, the collection sold 152,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. There's more "Glee" in the top 10, as the cross-media hit also owns the No. 7 position on the tally with "Glee: The Music, Volume 3." That album has sold more than 280,000 copies. 

The success of the "Glee" EP will no doubt be used by the media as evidence of a sort of pop-culture changing of the guard. "Glee" keeps the latest companion to vampire soap opera "Twilight," the soundtrack to this summer's "Eclipse," outside of the No. 1 position. That set, featuring the likes of Metric and L.A.'s Beck, debuts with 144,000 copies sold.

Yet bet on "Eclipse" to be a sales force throughout the summer. In its first full week of release, the soundtrack to "New Moon" sold 153,000 copies, and it moved more than 260,000 copies in 10 days (the album was released off-cycle on a Friday, and Nielsen SoundScan tracks data through the end of business on Sunday). "New Moon" has sold more than 1.1 million copies, and the soundtrack to the first installment of the undead romance saga has sold more than 2.5 million copies. 

Those, however, looking for a sagging pop brand in this depressed sales climate need look no further than the No. 3 position on this week's chart, as Disney-trained star Christina Aguilera musters sales of only 110,000 copies for her "Bionic." Billboard informs us that her previous effort, 2006's "Back to Basics," opened with 346,000 copies sold. Yet "Bionic" has yet to spawn a hit, and a mega summer Live Nation-backed tour was postponed, neither of which foretells good things for the album in the coming weeks.

Last week's No. 1, Jack Johnson's "To the Sea," dips to No. 4, selling 89,000 copies this week. In two weeks, Johnson has moved 332,000 copies. Other notable newcomers in the top 10 include Plies at No. 5 with "Goon Affiliated" (56,000 copies), Dierks Bentley at No. 9 with "Up On the Ridge" (38,000 copies) and Jewel at No. 10 with "Sweet and Wild" (31,000 copies). 

Yet even in the recession-addled music biz, there's still some sales surprises. Highland Park's pop eccentric Ariel Pink and his band the Haunted Graffiti, for instance, make an appearance in the top 200. The act's debut for 4AD, "Before Today," nestles in at No. 170, selling just over 3,000 copies. 

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times.

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