In a week that saw other worldwide rulers being run out of their palaces, it was pretty clear that Jay-Z and Kanye West would be keeping their jointly held throne. And, sure enough, the rappers’ collaborative album dominated the Billboard/SoundScan album chart for a second week, even with a 59 percent decline in sales.
“Watch the Throne” sold 177,000 units in its second week, after moving 436,000 the week before. The album probably would have sold even more the first week – and fewer the second week – if not for an odd release pattern that had the long-awaited set available only at iTunes for the first four days of its release.
The latest numbers reflect the first full seven-day frame where “Throne” could be found in retail stores as well as online.
Jay-Z and West certainly weren’t facing any opposition from well-armed rebel forces. It could hardly have been a slower week for new album releases, with the only top 10 entries being a No. 6 bow for country’s Eli Young Band, whose “Life at Best” entered with a career-best 35,000 copies, and a No. 8 debut for Blue October, which represented 27,000 in sales for the independent art-rockers' “Any Man in America."
Even less threateningly, a greatest-hits set from the band Breaking Benjamin came in at No. 22 with 14,000 units. Oscar winner Jeff Bridges’ first post-“Crazy Heart” musical effort, produced by T Bone Burnett, came out of the box with a mountain of media attention but just 13,000 in sales to debut at No. 25.
Legions of Adele supporters should relish the news that her “21” album crossed the 3 million mark this week, one of the few times in recent memory that’s been achieved by someone not named Taylor Swift. The disc registered yet another uptick in sales for the week, increasing 10 percent to move another 80,000 units and nudge the album back up two spots to No. 2.
For any serious debut action, you had to look over to the digital songs chart, where Lil Wayne had an instant No. 1 with “She Will,” which sold 255,000 singles, knocking Maroon 5 to second place.
It didn't exactly own the chart, but the only other song to debut in the digital top 30 was Lady Antebellum's “We Owned the Night." The second single the country trio has released to tease their upcoming album came in at No. 22 on sales of 59,000.
Next week’s album chart should be a little more interesting, with Twitter wiseguy The Game squaring off against Barbra Streisand, who has not been igniting any emergency-line flash mobs to publicize her new album, but taking the QVC route instead.