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T.I. Gets Highest Debut On Billboard 200, Taylor Swift Still On Top

December 27, 2012 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Taylor Swift’s Red is once again #1 on the Billboard 200, the sixth non-consecutive week. It sold 276,000 copies, an increase of 32%. Most albums had bigger weeks since the tracking week ended on December 23, so the albums were likely last-minute Christmas gifts.

The album sales are actually less than last year, but that’s because last year’s shopping week ended on Christmas Day, which means that the shopping was more spread out this year.

T.I. gets the highest debut of the week as Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head comes in at #2 with 179,000 sold. This is higher than the 160,000 for the debut of 2010’s No Mercy, which came in at #4 in December of that year.

Less than 2,000 copies separate the titles between 2-4 this week. Coming in at #3 is Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox, which sold 178,000. It is the only title in the top 30 to have a decline in sales, as this is its second week on sale. The other new top 20 arrivals last week have fallen out of the top thirty: Game’s Jesus Piece (6-37, 35,000, down 59%), Green Day’s Tre (13-57, 24,000, down 60%), the Nashville TV soundtrack (14-34, 42,000, down 26%) and Glee, the Music: The Christmas Album Volume 3 (20-54, 25,000, down 43%).

Meanwhile, Michael Buble’s Christmas falls 3-5 with 148,000. This makes the album pass three million in sales (3.03 million), the second Buble album to get that after It’s Time in 2005 (3.7 million). Another Christmas album, Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas, Baby, drops to #6 with 113,000 sold. This brings its total sales up to 823,000, the highest-selling album of Stewart’s since 2005’s Thanks for the Memory…The Great American Songbook Vol. IV, which sold 1.15 million. Between the two sets, Stewart released three albums and two greatest hits compilations.

Phillip Phillips’ The World From The Side of the Moon has 98,000 this week, making its total 475,000. It is the fastest selling album from an American Idol finalist since 2008, when David Cook’s self-titled album sold over 478,000 by its third week.

The only other debut in the top ten this week is 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief, which comes in at #9 with 82,000. This is less than the projection of 125,000 to 150,000 on last Wednesday, and even less than projections on Friday of 100,000 to 130,000. Even with 60,000 pre-orders in the iTunes store, it is a disappointing debut.

1. Taylor Swift – Red (276,000)
2. T.I. – Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head (179,000)
3. Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox (178,000)
4. One Direction – Take Me Home (177,000)
5. Michael Buble – Christmas (148,000)
6. Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas, Baby (113,000)
7. Phillip Phillips – The World From The Side Of The Moon (98,000)
8. Mumford & Sons – Babel
9. 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief (82,000)
10. Now 44 (80,000)

Album sales this week totaled 12.79 million, up 31% compared to last week (9.71 million) and down 16% compared to last year (15.11 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 306.19 million, down 5% compared with the same total at this point last year (322.86 million).

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Joseph Lee
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