The Big News: It took 23 years for a Bon Jovi album to debut atop the Billboard Top 200, a feat the group finally accomplished with 2007's Lost Highway, but it only took two years to do it a second time — the Jersey band's return to rock The Circle debuted at Number One on this week's charts. According to Nielsen SoundScan, The Circle sold 163,000 copies in its first week, 27,000 copies more than the week's Number Two album, Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas, but well below the 292,000 copies Lost Highway moved in its first week in 2007. Last week's champ, Carrie Underwood's Play On, fell to Three with another 128,000 copies sold while Michael Jackson's This Is It placed fourth and sold 117,000 more copies in its third week.
The CMA Awards had a clear impact on this week's Billboard Top 200 as Taylor Swift, on the heels of three awards including Entertainer of the Year, saw Fearless' sales jump 30 percent, good enough for another 91,000 copies and Number Five. Other albums that benefited from the CMAs with double-digit sales increases include Lady Antebellum's self-titled LP, Zac Brown Band's Foundation, Miranda Lambert's Revolution and Darius Rucker's Learn to Live, which jumped from 44 to 27 in its 61st week on the chart after the former Hootie & the Blowfish singer became the first black artist to win the CMAs Best New Artist award.
Debuts: Flyleaf's second album Memento Mori was the only other debut album to finish inside the Top 10, placing at Eight with 56,000 copies. Further down, Switchfoot's Hello Hurricane entered the charts at 13, Dashboard Confessional's Alter the Ending slotted at 19 and Wale's debut album Attention Deficit scored 21. A pair of "best of" compilations also made a small dent on the charts as Britney Spears' The Singles Collection came in at 22 — with a very un-Spears-like 26,000 copies sold — and the Foo Fighters' Greatest Hits at 28.
Last Week's Heroes: Serving as guest host of the CMAs didn't help Carrie Underwood all that much as sales of Play On still dropped 60 percent from its chart-topping debut week. The Glee: The Music, Vol. 1 soundtrack slid from Four to Nine in its second week, but the harshest fall goes to Weezer. Rivers Cuomo and gang's Raditude had an unspectacular first week, mustering only a Number Seven debut, and things didn't get much better in its second week as sales dropped 73 percent as Raditude slipped to Number 32.
Next week, it's a four-artist battle royale for the Number One as Them Crooked Vultures, John Mayer, Leona Lewis and Norah Jones all duke it out.