On the charts: The hunt for some non-'Glee' good news
In another slow week on the U.S. pop chart, no album tops the six-figure mark in sales, and reworked versions of pop hits continue to dominate the tally. Just a few weeks removed from when Justin Bieber led the Billboard charts with only 60,000 in sales, the latest soundtrack to Fox series "Glee" logs a second week at No. 1, racking up about 63,000 in sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"Glee -- The Music Volume 3: Showstoppers" has roped in 199,000 in sales in its two weeks of release, and keeps a comeback album from the Stone Temple Pilots to the No. 2 position. STP's self-titled effort, coming nearly a decade after the band's last, sold just under 62,000 copies. As far as '90s artists on the comeback trail go, STP logged a stronger first week than Courtney Love's recent "Nobody's Daughter," which bowed last month with about 22,000 copies sold and has since disappeared from the the top 200.
The only other newcomer in the top 10 belongs to the Nas & Damian Marley collaboration "Distant Relatives," which settles in at No. 10 after selling about 25,000 copies. Things are expected to get shaken up next week, when easy-going beach crooner Jack Johnson will enter the chart with his "To the Sea." Billboard is already predicting that Johnson will sell in the 250,000 range, but reports that sales are still trending down about 13% when compared with 2009.
With few major releases, things certainly seem bleak. But there's a success story or two in the making. Brooklyn noise-duo the Sleigh Bells are nesting at No. 165, but the act's "Treats" has sold 21,000 copies in three weeks of release. That number is digital-only, as the album was not made available to physical retailers until Tuesday.
While the requisite superstars are still performing well, minimalist English trio the XX have steadily posted consistent sales figures, even as the act is hovering around No. 150. The act's self-titled debut posted a moderate 13% sales gain this week, more than 20 weeks after its release, and is now approaching 150,000 in sales.
Local metal outfit Five Finger Death Punch almost breached the top 100 again this week, earning a 33% sales burst to jump up from No. 148 to No. 106. In 22 weeks on the chart, the act has posted total sales of 240,000.
Elsewhere, making her first appearance on Billboard's charts since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991 is soul veteran Bettye LaVette. Her third album for Silver Lake's Epitaph imprint Anti-, "Interpretations: The British Songbook," enters at No. 56, having sold more than 7,000 copies. Her previous two efforts for the label reached Billboard's blues albums tally.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: The Sleigh Bells at Coachella. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
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