WINNER OF THE WEEK: We thought absurd celebrity comebacks died when The Hangover II bumped Mel Gibson from his cameo appearance, but it seems the Lonely Island is making a strong play to revitalize Michael Bolton’s long-dormant career. Actually, the butcher of Sixties soul music makes a funny appearance on the Pirates of the Caribbean-mocking “Jack Sparrow,” singing a nonsensical hook he humorously claims to have made up. Turns out Saturday Night Live exposure mixed with star power helps albums climb the charts, as the Lonely Island (comics Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone) sells 68,000 copies of Turtleneck & Chain and hits Number Three. Other helpful cameos: Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Akon, Beck and Santigold.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Jennifer Lopez, Beastie Boys and Fleet Foxes all dropped a few slots, as predicted, and the Cars’ reunion album Move Like This makes its debut at Number Seven, selling 36,000 copies, a skeleton of the band’s super-smash Eighties heyday. But we can’t bring ourselves to rip on the Cars, who are back with original singer Ric Ocasek for the first time on record since 1987. So we’ll pick on Matthew Morrison, the wavy-haired hunk from Glee, whose self-titled debut sold just 16,000 copies (that’s roughly .002 percent of the 8.8 million viewers who watched the most recent episode of his TV show). Morrison also canceled most of the dates on his solo tour and decided instead to open for New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys.
HAPPY GAGA EVE!: Adele, the dominant record-seller of 2011, adds another 156,000 copies of 21 and an eighth straight week at Number One. But her days at the top are numbered, because Lady Gaga’s sure-thing Born This Way comes out Monday. Madame Meat Dress has been brilliantly firing singles up the digital-songs charts all year – most recently this week, as “The Edge of Glory” hits Number Two, with 266,000 sold. Barring bizarre upsets, Adele’s run at Number One is certain to stall in its ninth week.
LAST WEEK: Beastie Boys Can’t Stop the Adele Juggernaut