WINNER OF THE WEEK: The Great Gatsby soundtrack. Not since the swing craze of the late Nineties have so many popular artists been so obsessed with tuxedos and the Lindy Hop. The Leonardo DiCaprio movie opened last weekend with more than $51 million at the box office, and the soundtrack, including Jay-Z's "100$ Bill," Beyoncé's "Back to Black," will.i.am's "Bang Bang" and Emeli Sande's orchestral version of "Crazy in Love," hit Number Two with sales of 137,000. Number One was Lady Antebellum's Golden, with 167,000, although my preferred country debut of the week is Pistol Annies' superb Annie Up, which hit Number Five, selling 83,000 copies. Interesting side note: The "Gatsby" soundtrack was streaming in full on Spotify mid-last week, but today it blacks out the biggest hits, including "100$ Bill" and "Back to Black."
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Albums from last week. Thanks in part to Gatsby, Lady Antebellum and Pistol Annies, just about every holdover album dropped significantly. Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience went from Number Three to Number Six, selling 66,000; Kenny Chesney's Life on a Rock was one of several recent Number Ones to fall precipitously in its second week, to Number Eight, selling 48,000; and The Voice country star Blake Shelton's Based on a True Story actually increased sales by nine percent, to 38,000, but nonetheless dropped from Number Six to Number Nine. I suspect a new regime is about to take over the charts now that summer is nearly upon us.
THE RETURN OF SKIMPY LEATHER SKIRTS: It's only at Number 10 on Billboard's Digital Songs chart, selling 114,000 copies, but Mariah Carey's new "#Beautiful," otherwise known as the One with Miguel and the Motorcycle, is a strong early set-up for the pop superstar's album due this summer. Its video has almost 2.8 million Vevo/YouTube hits in six days of release, and Clear Channel's radio empire boosted it with top-of-every-hour spins throughout May 6th on 230 stations. Carey is in fine voice and, post-pregnancy, has returned to her reliable marketing strategy of over-the-top T&A. We may be heading into the Summer of Beautiful – Lana Del Rey's "Young & Beautiful" is at Number 66 on the Ultimate Chart, which measures Internet criteria and often predicts hit trends, and One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," out for many weeks, jumps four slots to Number 70 and may rise further given the boy band's U.S. tour beginning next month.
Last week: Can't Hold Macklemore and Ryan Lewis