On the Charts: Pink Pops Ahead to Number One

Plus: Dave Matthews and Bob Dylan have reason to grumble

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel
September 26, 2012 12:15 PM ET

WINNER OF THE WEEK: Pink, the snarling little pop-star-who-could. The singer lands her first Number One album this week with the release of The Truth About Love; she sold 280,000 copies of her R&B-inflected sixth disc, handily topping her previous chart high of a Number Six debut and 220,000 sold (for 2001's Missundaztood). It's a pretty improbable accomplishment: Pink, 33, first found candy-coiffed fame with the release of Can't Take Me Home in 2000, the same year Britney Spears was writhing in red pleather and seducing astronauts via Titanic memorabilia with Oops! . . . I Did It Again. Flash-forward 12 years, and the former teen-pop top guns Spears and Christina Aguilera are ensconced in singing competition shows, while the fiery little also-ran Pink has drastically exceeded all sales expectations. She also came in at Number Two on the iTunes charts, falling short of only Kanye West Presents G.O.O.D. Music Cruel Summer. Wow, Tyra, you weren't kidding; it really does pay to be a Cover Girl.

LOSER OF THE WEEK: Rock music fans, because being stable in buying patterns is not great for the market nowadays (and being correct in predicting them is a pyrrhic victory). Last week, we bemoaned the swift drop-offs of Number One albums; they debut like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, then get curb-stomped by Nickelback or whichever recognizable name appears the following week. Dave Matthews Band reigned supreme last time with Away From the World, selling 266,000 copies; this week, they plummet a not-so-zen 77 percent to 62,000 in sales and a Number Four ranking. Bob Dylan's Tempest also slides from Number Three to Number Eight, from 110,000 sold to 35,000. However, overall album sales were up six percent this week. We're crossing our fingers for you, Pink. May you be the one to break this fickle tailspin.

KEEP RIDING THAT PONY, PSY: Chart Watch's own prize stallion, Psy, has officially galloped to Number One. This week, the K-pop rapper's beyond-ubiquitous single "Gangnam Style" hit Number One on the iTunes songs charts, making him the first Korean artist to top the online rankings. This is quite remarkable, and not just because he screams at women's asses in a way that is endearing; it's notable because all of his sight gags (the horse-trot dance, the dizzying rainbow fashion, said derriere-howling) are, obviously, contained in the music video, yet the song itself is selling triumphantly, too. Its untranslated Korean verses parody the nouveau-riche upper class and economic disparity of his native South Korea, cycling back on Seoul's exploding coffee market as a metaphor for reckless consumption, and it's selling.

LAST WEEK: Dave Matthews Rules the 'World'

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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