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On the Charts: Taylor Swift Reigns As 2009 Begins With Slow Sales

January 7, 2009 1:05 PM ET

The Big News: 2009 began as 2008 ended — With Taylor Swift atop the charts. The teen country sensation's Fearless sold another 89,000 copies to remain Number One in a slow sales week. How slow was it? This week marked the first time since February 3, 2008 that the week's top album failed to sell 100,000 copies. Beyoncé's I Am Sasha Fierce sold an additional 76,000 copies to maintain Number Two. Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak was the big mover, jumping from five to three despite a 57 percent sales decrease. The usual suspects rounded out the top six: the Twilight soundtrack, Nickelback's Dark Horse and Britney Spears' Circus.

Debuts: Nothing really noteworthy as we're in the dog days of new releases, so let's examine this week's surprise Number 10 album: Target's holiday-themed exclusive All Wrapped Up. Unlike most holiday releases, which usually take sales nosedives after the New Year,  Wrapped somehow bucked the trend by selling 112 percent more copies than it did the week before, jumping from 88 to 10. Perhaps it helped that the album, which features Christmas songs from the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, was significantly discounted after the holidays were over.

Last Week's Heroes:Swift continued to be the big winner in a losing week, as sales were down 55 percent from the previous week and 14 percent below the numbers from the same week last year. This month promises to bring icy sales until January 27th, when Bruce Springsteen's Working on a Dream and Franz Ferdinand's Tonight: Franz Ferdinand hopefully thaw the sales slump.

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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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