WINNER OF THE WEEK: Justin Bieber. His Christmas album Under the Mistletoe sold an astounding 210,000 copies its first week on shelves, debuting at Number One. According to Billboard, it’s the first time in the history of the charts that a Christmas album by a male artist debuted in the top spot. Last year, Susan Boyle became the first person to have a Christmas album debut at Number One with her LP The Gift.
The people behind Bieber know exactly what they’re doing. Teen idols always have a gargantuan few years before they get replaced by the new kid in town. Bieber dethroned the Jonas Brothers, and one day he too will go the way of Tiffany, David Cassidy and Leif Garrett. The smart move is make every nickel you can while your photo is still plastered on the wall of every tween girl in America. That’s why he released a 3D movie, a remix album and now this Christmas album. Look out for his Presidents Day album of patriotic tunes to hit stores in February. I know you Beliebers don’t want to hear this, but one day you will move on. I promise you.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Lou Reed and Metallica’s Lulu. Remember that scene in Some Kind of Monster where Dave Mustaine vents his anger about being fired from Metallica? “Everything you do and touch turns to gold,” Mustaine says to Lars Ulrich. “Everything I do fucking backfires…Am I happy being number two? No.” The Megadeth frontman has reason to be smiling today. Metallica and Lou Reed’s collaborative album Lulu sold an anemic 13,000 copies its first week out, debuting at Number 36. By comparison, Metallica’s last album Death Magnetic moved 490,000 copies its first week out. If that weren’t enough to make Mustaine smile, Megadeth’s new LP Th1RT3En sold about 43,000 copies in its first week – enough to land at Number 11. This isn’t to suggest that Metallica have lost their golden touch, just that this project was unlikely to appeal to many fans of either Lou Reed or Metallica.
SECOND WINNER OF THE WEEK: New albums. We’re officially in the holiday season now, which means that record labels are flooding the market with new material. Six of of the top 10 albums are debuts. Wale sold 164,000 copies of his second album Ambition, while Miranda Lambert’s Four The Record moved 133,000 units. For both artists, it’s their best ever sales week. Florence and the Machine sold 105,000 copies of their new LP Ceremonials, and Tyrese sold 76,000 coops of his new album Open Invitation. Expect upcoming albums by Rihanna, Nickelback, Gym Class Heroes, Drake and R.E.M. to also do very well this month.
LAST WEEK: Coldplay Takes Rock to the Top