The Big News: Carrie Underwood’s Play On gave the former American Idol champ her second consecutive Number One album atop the Billboard Top 200, selling 318,000 in its debut week according to Nielsen SoundScan. Though Play On didn’t come close to matching the 527,000 copies her previous album Carnival Ride sold in its debut week in 2007, it still sold more than enough to unseat last week’s champ, Michael Jackson’s This Is It soundtrack, which dropped to Number Two after pushing another 196,000 copies.
It was a debut-heavy week as four of the Top Five best sellers were new releases, with all five surpassing 100K in sales. Finishing in third place was Andrea Bocelli’s My Christmas with 149,000 soon-to-be-gift-wrapped copies, followed by the Glee: The Music, Vol. 1 soundtrack, which 113,000 Gleeks purchased in its first week. Rounding out the Top Five was the 32nd installment in the Now series with 102,000 copies sold.
Debuts: Sales of Weezer’s Raditude weren’t all that rad as Rivers Cuomo and gang bowed at Number Seven with 66,000 copies, barely more than half the 127,000 copies the band’s Weezer (Red Album) sold in its Number Four debut in June 2008. Dave Grohl hit the charts with two different bands as Foo Fighters’ Greatest Hits compilation debuted at 11 while Nirvana’s Live at Reading placed at Number 37 (over on the Catalog Chart, Nirvana’s Bleach reissue pushed the album to Number Seven). Other notable debuts include Slayer’s World Painted Blood at 12, Say Anything’s self-titled LP at 25 and Julian Casablancas’ Phrazes for the Young at 35.
Last Week’s Heroes: Like This Is It‘s box office receipts, the soundtrack to the Michael Jackson concert rehearsal film saw its first week sales drop by 48 percent, but the King of Pop still remains on pace to once again hit platinum by Christmas. The week’s biggest fall was reserved for the reunited Creed, as Full Circle plummeted from Number Two to 11 due to 65 percent decrease in sales. And after nine weeks in the Top 10 — and despite having the theme song of the World Series champions — Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 fell out of the top tier for the first time since its release, settling at Number 15.