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On the Charts: Britney Spears' Comeback Complete As "Circus" Reigns

December 10, 2008 11:24 AM ET

The Big News: The Britney Spears comeback is complete as Circus exceeded even the most optimistic sales predictions, selling 505,000 copies to trapeze past the competition and claim the #1. Taylor Swift and Fearless hung strong to claim #2 for a second consecutive week, followed in 3-4-5 order by Beyonce's I Am... Sasha Fierce, last week champ Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak and Nickelback's Dark Horse. For Brit, her Circus attracted almost twice as many first week buyers as last year's Blackout and marks the first time she's topped the album's chart since 2003's In The Zone.

Debuts: Outside of Circus, the first post-Black Friday week left us with a smaller slate of new releases, with only Akon's Freedom at #7 joining Spears in the Top 10. Freedom sold 110,000 copies. Other notable debuts include Scarface's Emeritus at 24, Neil Young's Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968 at 40 and John Tesh's seasonal Grand Piano Christmas at 127.

Last Week's Heroes: Alas, Chinese Democracy's reign in the top 10 lasted only one week, as Axl Rose's long-awaited opus plummeted from three to 18 after only one week thanks to a massive 78% sales decrease. Ludacris' Theatre of the Mind and the Killers' Day & Age had similar falls, with the pair dropping from 5 to 15 and 6 to 16 respectively. With only Common's Universal Mind Control to challenge her this week, we'll find out if Spears' Circus can stay the queen two weeks in a row.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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