Lady Antebellum is definitely experiencing pride of ownership, as the country-pop trio’s third album, “Own the Night,” sold 347,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard/SoundScan album rankings.
That’s the best bow for a country release since Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” moved a little over a million units last November. It’s a comedown for Lady A, though, compared to the blockbuster bow for their previous release, “Need You Now,” which debuted with 481,000 copies a year and a half ago, when that album's once-in-a-lifetime title-track smash was peaking across mutliple formats.
Country-inclined shoppers weren’t checking out with just Lady Antebellum in their baskets. The week’s second-best entry belonged to newcomer Brantley Gilbert, in at No. 4 on sales of 51,000 for his “Halfway to Heaven” album (boosted by a hit single, “Country Must Be Country Wide”). Technically, it’s a re-entry: Gilbert’s album was previously issued on an indie label before being taken out of print in anticipation of this successful relaunch by Swift’s label home.
Staind made a stand at No. 5, though the 47,000-copy bow for the fading hard rock band’s eponymous effort only represented half the 92,000 units their previous album debuted with three years ago.
Other top-ranked rock entries included bows from Dream Theater at No. 8 (36,000 copies) and the Devil Wears Prada at No. 10 (32,000).
Two reunited rock outfits associated with the ‘90s made comebacks after long layoffs, to very modest returns. Primus’ first album in eight years entered the chart at No. 15 (selling 24,000 units), while a seemingly whacked Bush only made it only to No. 18 with their first album in a decade (20,000).
Among hit holdovers on the album chart, Lil Wayne slipped to third place, falling behind the goddess to whom even Weezy must eventually bow, Adele. Her long-running “21” sold another 119,000, while “Tha Carter IV” was close behind with 117,000 in its third week.
On the digital songs chart, the first three spots remained frozen, with Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” Adele’s “Someone Like You” and Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” all maintaining position.
The sole new top-10 song entry, at No. 6, was Coldplay’s “Paradise,” which the band apparently wanted fans to get used to before the rockers' “Saturday Night Live” season-premiere gig this weekend.
Next week, Tony Bennett’s “Duets II” is expected to debut as the No. 1 album – or was, anyway. Whether Bennett’s controversial statements about the 9/11 attacks on Howard Stern’s show blow up enough to put a dent in the size of his debut remains to be seen.