WINNER OF THE WEEK: The Eighties. Madonna’s MDNA, which is perhaps not the world’s best dance album, is still full of banging-enough anthems to remind Lady Gaga, David Guetta and Skrillex who started today’s dance music craze in the first place. It sold 359,000 copies to notch the eighth Billboard Number One in Madonna’s career. At a distant second, meanwhile, is Lionel Richie, who takes a sharp creative turn (covering country songs) on his new Tuskegee LP while still remaining in his middle-of-the-road comfort zone. Tuskegee sold 199,000 copies to earn Richie his best chart placing since 1986. Below that, the charts return abruptly to the present, with Adele’s 21 at Number Three (selling 121,000 copies). Interestingly, Tuskegee hit Number One on iTunes while MDNA was just Number Three (Shinedown’s Amaryllis was between them, although it came in at Number Four on the Billboard chart, selling 106,000 copies).
LOSER OF THE WEEK: The Hunger Games soundtrack. The album starring Taylor Swift, the Civil Wars, Arcade Fire, Kid Cudi, the Decemberists and more hit Number One last week, but sales dropped 64 percent this week with 64,000 copies sold. In further bad news, Swift’s two singles from the album, “Eyes Open” and “Safe & Sound,” have dropped off the iTunes Top Songs chart completely. On BigChampagne’s new Ultimate Chart, which measures Internet criteria, “Eyes Open” is at Number Six and “Safe & Sound” jumped 25 places to Number 19 – leading us to believe a lot of Swift devotees are hearing those singles for free via YouTube or Spotify.
GOTYE GET YOU OUT OF MY LIFE: In order to have international success on the pop charts, it helps to have heritage from two different regions. And, of course, to make a killer single with a killer video. Gotye, the Belgian-Australian singer behind the irresistible AAA-radio fixture “Somebody That I Used to Know,” is Number Two in France, Number One in the U.K., Number Seven in Canada, Number Eight in the Netherlands, Number Two in Italy, Number Three in Switzerland, Number One in Denmark and Number Three in the U.S. (where his single sold 244,000 copies this week, up 17 percent). Interestingly, though, Gotye is nowhere to be found on the digital-singles charts in either Belgium or Australia.
LAST WEEK: Sales are in ‘The Hunger Games’ Favor