The Big News: As expected, the Hope For Haiti Now compilation, featuring covers by Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake and the new Jay-Z/U2/Rihanna collaboration “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour),” cruised to the top of the Billboard Top 200, with the collection netting 171,000 downloads since the January 22nd telethon. Hope For Haiti also aided what would have been a disastrous sales week, as Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream remained at Number Two with another 86,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, while Lady Gaga’s The Fame grabbed Number Three.
Two debuts rounded out the Top Five: Spoon’s Transference entered the charts at Number Four and 53,000 copies sold, easily giving the Austin indie rockers the best debut of their 17-year career. The band’s previous album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga debuted at Number 10 and 47,000 copies in 2007. Coming in at Number Five was the 2010 Grammy Nominations comp, selling 49,000 copies before music’s biggest night on January 31st.
Debuts: Outside of Spoon and the Grammys, only two more new releases were able to crack the Top 50: Motion City Soundtrack’s My Dinosaur Life at Number 15 and 27,000 copies and the Golden Globe-winning Crazy Heart soundtrack at 37 and 11,000 copies. Other notable debuts charting were comedian Aziz Ansari’s Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening at 86, Justin Timberlake’s “Hope for Haiti” duet partner Matt Morris’ When Everything Breaks Open at 95 and Surfer Blood’s Astro Coast at 116.
Last Week’s Heroes: Vampire Weekend stunned pretty much everyone when Contra debuted atop the charts last week, and the LP settled in at Number Six in its second week. Ke$ha’s Animal also stumbled out of the Top Five, going from Three last week to Eight this week. Adam Lambert enjoyed a minor sales renaissances as sales of For Your Entertainment were up 60 percent over the previous week, pushing the Wild Idol’s album from 34 to 21. Finally, Jason Aldean’s Wide Open joined the platinum club in its 42nd week on the charts.