The Big News: Despite an unorthodox release date that saw 21st Century Breakdown hit stores on Friday instead of the conventional Tuesday, Rolling Stone cover stars Green Day’s newest rock opera cruised to the top of the charts. The album sold more than 214,000 copies in its short week, giving the band their second consecutive Number One debut after 2004’s American Idiot. Hannah Montana: The Movie soundtrack stuck around at Two yet again with 68,000 sales, Cam’Ron’s Crime Pays, the only other Top 10 debut, entered at Three and Lady Gaga’s The Fame and Rascal Flatts’ Unstoppable claimed Four and Five respectively.
Debuts: With record labels likely reluctant to face off against Green Day, only Paul Wall’s Fast Life and Steve Earle’s Townes managed to crack the Top 20, landing at 15 and 19. Further down, Crystal Method’s Divided By Night came in at 50, ’90s alt-rockers Better Than Ezra’s Paper Empire made us nostalgic at 62 and Phoenix’s awesome new Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix rose again at 76.
Last Week’s Heroes: After setting the record last week for the Lowest Selling Number One Debut in Soundscan history, the charts were in desperate need of a Green Day. The aforementioned record holder, Chrisette Michele’s Epiphany, fell from Number One to Eight after seven days, while Ciara took a Fantasy Ride downward as her new album sank from Three to 10. All in all, total sales were up this week compared to the abysmal last week, and things are only going to get better from here: Eminem’s Relapse is expected to sell more than 500,000 copies in its first week, making it the biggest debut of 2009.