The Christmas-shopping season – better known as the fourth-quarter period when the labels release their blockbusters and make their profits – has unofficially begun. Drake's Nothing Was the Same kicked off the race, along with three more Top Five album debuts, including those by Kings of Leon, Cher and Elton John. Which of these is most likely to stick around at the top of the charts? See below.
O CANADA: In a year where every star short of Justin Timberlake and Jay Z struggles to sell even a couple of hundred thousand copies, Drake managed 658,000. That's an easy Number One – well above Kings of Leon's Mechanical Bull, which sold just 110,000. (Don't count on the Kings staying that high, either. It's been a rough year in terms of chart longevity for rock acts like Paramore and Fall Out Boy.) Other Top Five debuts that might not last long on the charts: Cher's Closer to the Truth (Number Three, 63,000 sales) and Elton John's The Diving Board (Number Four, 47,000).
THAT EXTRA MRS. FIELD'S MEANS TWO LESS RECORDS SOLD: New, unscientific theory based on chart-watching: Many music fans have just enough money to buy one thing, for about $10 or $12, every week. (Not counting unique weeks like Christmas, post-Christmas or Valentine's Day.) That one thing can be a full album or a bunch of hot singles. This week, the thing is Drake's new Nothing Was the Same. Accordingly, all the hits on the Digital Songs chart have dropped in sales: Lorde's "Royals" is still Number One, but its sales went down four percent, to 294,000; Katy Perry's Number Two "Roar" dropped 21 percent, to 239,000; Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" decreased 27 percent, to 221,000; and almost every other song on the chart, including Avicii's hot "Wake Me Up!," which rose from Number Five to Number Four, endured a decrease.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE: Remember the good old days of pop music, when all you needed was Britney Spears and a bunch of skimpy outfits to sell five or six million copies of an album? Life is far more complicated in the early 2010s: Britney's new aerobics-class-friendly video "Work Bitch" made its debut last night, and it's only up to 2.2 million Vevo/YouTube views. That's not bad, but it's pretty slow compared to Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," which scored 19.3 million views in one day after MTV's Video Music Awards a few weeks ago.