On the Charts: Justin Bieber Thrives, Fiona Apple Falls Short

Plus: The Smashing Pumpkins storm back

June 27, 2012 2:00 PM ET
fiona apple
Fiona Apple performs at the Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall's Island in New York.
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

WINNER OF THE WEEK: Justin Bieber. To all you Biebs-haters who hoped he'd be a temporary tween phenomenon, blowing away when the winds of pop music changed: ha, ha! Not only did his new album, Believe, arrive at Number One – selling the most copies in a debut week this year, with 374,000 – but the 18-year-old has become a talent scout of sorts, helping to break what might become the year's biggest single, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." As for his own singles, Bieber is in pretty good shape. "Boyfriend" is at Number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number Seven on BigChampagne's Ultimate Chart (which measures Internet criteria), and its video has more than 88.5 million YouTube views.

LOSER OF THE WEEK: Fiona Apple. We're sad to report this, because her new album The Idler Wheel... has the old Fiona Apple touch: a little Broadway drama, a little rock & roll energy, a little clear-eyed soul and a lot of well-written, pissed-off lyrics. But in its first week on sale, it sold just 72,000 copies. No matter how you spin that number – and it did hit Number Three on the album chart, which is impressive, relatively speaking – it's low. And we guarantee it will drop like, well, an idler wheel, next week.

PUMPKINS SMASH? We can't figure out whether to label the Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania a success or a failure. It made its debut at Number Four, selling 54,000 copies. That's a pretty low number by Justin Bieber standards, but the Pumpkins are both further removed from their hit-making heyday and blessed with low expectations. None of the original members other than Billy Corgan remain in the band, and Corgan hasn't been the world's biggest rock star in recent years. So is this album a Fiona Apple-style bust, or a pleasant Top 10 surprise? We'll go with the latter, because we really like that Apple album and are annoyed more people didn't buy it.

LAST WEEK: Usher's View From the Top

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »