Chart Buzz: Lionel Richie, Alabama Shakes, Gotye, fun.

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Posted April 23, 2012 by J Matthew Cobb in News
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Lionel Richie proves he’s got staying power with new No. 1 album; Alabama Shakes brings their retro rock to the Top 10; Gotye and fun. reign supreme in another week of pop singles

Lionel Richie may be “dancing on the ceiling” this week after finding out that his latest album, Tuskegee, finally made its way to number one on the Billboard 200. The album debuted at number two, behind Madonna’s MDNA and eventually slipped to number four (down 52%) the following week after an abundance of new releases landed on music store shelves, which included Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. But the duet album encompassing country-fried versions of Richie’s now-classic compositions, has now topped the chart, selling 129,000 copies this week. A rise in record sales have been attributed to the CBS airing of “ACM Presents: Lionel Richie & Friends in Concert,” which earned a Nielsen rating of 7.7 million viewers, easily becoming the night’s biggest television attraction. Tuskegee becomes Richie’s third No. 1 album and his first since 1986’s Dancing on the Ceiling.

Sitting at number two this week was the album most analysts thought would eclipse Richie’s album: Adele, of course. Her LP, 21, continues to sell in leaps and bounds and this week takes the second slot on the Billboard 200, selling 92,000 copies (down 40%).

Speaking of Pretty Nicki: Her latest album, which originally stole the number one spot from Madonna’s MDNA, slips 1-3 with a devastating 68% decrease in sales (only selling 81,000).

A bad week for Rascal Flatts, whose Changed LP “changes” from 3-9 (41,000, down 68%) and for gospel singer Marvin Sapp, whose album I Win slips 9-23 (15,000, down 66%).

The highest debut this week goes to r&b singer Monica, with her latest album New Life, debuting at No. 4 with 69,000 copies sold. The album becomes her fifth album to sit in Billboard 200’s top ten.

One Direction’s Up All Night hold strong to No. 5, while the debut of Bonnie Raitt’s latest album Slipstream impresses the powers that be with a stunning appearance at No. 6 (64,000), becoming the highest charted album and sales week in two decades.

The Athens, Ala. retro rock band Alabama Shakes may be the new talk of the town. After receiving unprecedented media attention in multiple issues of Rolling Stone magazine, performances on David Letterman and appearances at some of the hottest music festivals, their debut album, Boys & Girls, made a perfect landing on the UK’s Top Albums’ survey, peaking at number 3 last week. In the US, the iTunes LP version of the album debuted at No. 16. What a difference a week makes: Boys & Girls dances its way to No. 8 (43,000, up 72%) – thanks to the arrival of the physical copy release of the album.

A SNL live performance helped boost the record sales for Gotye’s alternative/indie album Making Mirrors, which returns to the top 10, jumping 15-7 (54,000). Because of the attention surrounding the unexpected hit single, “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which also was covered a FOX Glee episode (April 10), the song jumps 2-1 on the Digital Songs’ survey – with 542,000 copies sold this week.

In the singles’ world, fun.’s spring-fling hit “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae, manages to hold it steady at number 2, sitting under Gotye’s big hit. One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” climbs 4-3, while Justin Bieber’s latest single “Boyfriend” falls 3-4. The biggest leap this week surrounds Kanye West’s “Mercy,” which ascends 15-9 (154,000).

Next week promises to bring in a hefty amount of new releases to the top 10, with new albums from Train (California 37) and Jason Mraz (Love Is A Four Letter Word) expected to lead the pack.

CHART ACTION SNEAK PEEKS

Billboard Hot 100

1. Somebody That I Used to Know | Gotye feat. Kimbra
2. We Are Young | fun. feat. Janelle Monae
3. Glad You Came | The Wanted
4. What Makes You Beautiful | One Direction
5. Boyfriend | Justin Bieber

Hot 100 Airplay

1. We Are Young | fun. feat. Janelle Monae
2. Glad You Came | The Wanted
3. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) | Kelly Clarkson
4. Part of Me | Katy Perry
5. Take Care | Drake feat. Rihanna

Rock Songs

1. We Are Young | fun. feat. Janelle Monae
2. Somebody That I Used to Know | Gotye feat. Kimbra
3. Bully | Shinedown
4. Gold on the Ceiling | The Black Keys
5. These Days | Foo Fighters


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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