Not to be confused with J. Crew, rapper J. Cole has gotten an awfully good start on building a catalog of his own.
The Jay-Z protégé’s freshman effort, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” sold 218,000 copies and became the first debut album to enter at No. 1 on the Billboard chart in 2011. The last newcomer to so boldly bow on top was Nicki Minaj, last November, so Cole has some colorful chart footsteps in which to follow.
Pop-punk fans didn’t blink and miss the return of Blink-182, whose first new album since 2003, “Neighborhoods,” bowed at No. 2 on sales of 151,000, according to SoundScan. That’s less than half the 313,000 copies their previous studio album debuted with, but a lot can change in eight years of absentia, so the trio may take comfort in knowing they’re still at least in the neighborhood of a hit.
Wilco’s first self-released album, “The Whole Love,” came in at No. 5 with 82,000 sold, not too terrible a comedown from the 99,000 their last effort debuted with two years ago.
Three decidedly less hip rock bands bowed on the bottom three rungs of the top 10. Switchfoot came in at No. 8 with 45,000; Chickenfoot (a supergroup featuring Sammy Hagar and Joe Satriani) entered at No. 9 with 42,000 sold; and Mastodon were close behind at No. 10 with 39,000, despite not having “-foot” anywhere in their name.
Some less impressive bows: Machine Head at No. 22, Gloria Estefan at No. 28, Jason Derulo at No. 29, and LeAnn Rimes – lately, much more of a tabloid than chart fixture -- at a lean No. 32.
On the holdover front, last week’s topper, Tony Bennett’s “Duets II,” had a very acceptable 49 percent dip, falling to No. 4 with another 91,000 sold. Demi Lovato’s “Unbroken” took a more severe tumble, declining 76 percent in its second week and selling 23,000 to land at No. 14.
It’s been a good news/bad news week for Adele. She just canceled the remaining dates on her fall tour to recover from a vocal-cord hemorrhage. But her sales aren’t about to take a breather. On the album chart, “21” – the year’s bestselling album -- maintained its steady-as-she-goes pace at No. 3 with 118,000.
And over on the digital songs chart, Adele's lovelorn ballad “Someone Like You” enjoyed another sales bump and moved back up to No. 1 with 222,000 downloads for the week.
The top debuting digital single was presidential serenader B.o.B.’s “Strange Clouds,” which benefitted from a guest rap by Lil Wayne and came in at No. 3 with 197,000 downloads.
Chart watchers are curious to see next week’s results and find out if Scotty McCreery, whose first album came out Tuesday, can break the recent curse of underperforming Idols and unseat fellow frosh J. Cole.