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On the Charts: Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Britney Spears Lead the Charge in Big Sales Week

December 31, 2008 11:15 AM ET

The Big News: Taylor Swift managed to keep the top spot on love lockdown for yet another week, selling 262,000 more copies of Fearless (which went double platinum). Platinum was the theme of the week as Britney Spears' Circus, Nickelback's Dark Horse, Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak and the Twilight soundtrack all crossed the million-selling plateau on their way to charting at three through six, respectively. Beyoncé's I Am... Sasha Fierce jumped from five to second place thanks to an additional 210,000 copies sold, while Kanye leapt from 11 to five thanks to that repackaged 808s with the new artwork. With four of the top six releases geared toward females, it's comforting to know women are at least still purchasing CDs.

Debuts: At 81, the self-titled album from a band called Brutha charted. That was the only debut on the entire Top 200 this week.

Last Week's Heroes: Keyshia Cole's A Different Me and Jamie Foxx's Intuition couldn't sustain their big debut weeks as Cole dropped from two to seven and Foxx followed from three to nine. Last week's anti-hero, Fall Out Boy's Folie a Deux, continued to chart with a whimper, falling from eight to 18. And Guns n' Roses' Chinese Democracy shockingly gained momentum, gaining from 33 to 25 thanks to a 9 percent sales increase. With no major releases on deck for these next four Tuesdays (yesterday included), and barring some out-of-left-field Juno-like success story, it's conceivable that Swift might own the Number One spot until Bruce Springsteen's Working on a Dream comes out on January 27th.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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