Neil Diamond leads album chart

Neil Diamond — our next American Idol? Not quite, though the veteran singer-songwriter did manage to parlay a guest-mentoring spot on the TV singing contest into the very first No. 1 album in his four-decade-plus career. Home After Dark bowed on top of the Billboard/Soundscan album rankings with 146,000 units sold, surpassing his previous chart peak, which came all the way back in 1973 when his soundtrack for the film Jonathan Livingston Seagull hit No. 2. Home After Dark is the second primarily acoustic album in a row he’s made with producer Rick Rubin; their previous collaboration, 12 Songs, debuted with 93,000 copies in 2005 and made it to No. 4.

This sales frame included Mother’s Day, and perhaps it was moms wanting a copy of the song “She’s a Hottie,” the one new track on Toby Keith’s two-disc set 35 Biggest Hits, that helped him bow at No. 2 with 103,000 units. Keith wasn’t the only country star debuting in the top 10 with a best-of. Dierks Bentley packed his Greatest Hits: Every Mile a Memory set with plenty of new live and studio tracks and sold 42,000 to enter at No. 9.

And what’s the latest on that whole sales rivalry between Madonna and Mariah — or their most fanatical followers, at least? Find out after the jump.

The Mother’s Day trade no doubt helped account for Clay Aiken’s On My Way Here
doing as well as it did, debuting at No. 4 with 94,000 sold. (Aiken’s
fortunes would seem to be on the decline, though; his first album
entered the chart in 2003 with a monstrous 615,000, and even his last
release debuted with 211,000 just a year and a half ago.) Meanwhile,
Gavin DeGraw’s self-titled sophomore album bowed with 66,000 copies at
No. 6, a big improvement on the peak position for his major-label
debut, which topped out at No. 103, even though it eventually went
platinum. Other debuts of note this week included Josh Groban’s live
CD/DVD package at No. 8 (with 58,000), Luis Miguel’s Complices at No. 10 (29,000 units), and Tye Tribbett’s Stand Out at No. 16 (26,000).

Among holdovers, Madonna’s Hard Candy fell from No. 1 to No. 3, declining 66 percent to 94,000 units. Mariah Carey slipped from No. 3 to No. 5, selling 87,000, a 9 percent decline. (At least a couple of prominent gossip columnists with no particular love for Madonna misreported that Mariah beat Madge this week. Based on the current trajectories, though, we expect Mariah to be the reigning diva when the next set of results comes in.)

Over on the digital songs chart, Rihanna had a really big bow with “Take a Bow,” which entered at No. 1 with 267,000 singles sold. That pushed Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” to No. 2, which bumped Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop” to No. 3. Coldplay had the second-biggest debut on the digital songs chart with “Viva La Vida,” the title track from their upcoming album, which entered at No. 6 with 101,000. Coldplay had another new tune on the chart, too: “Violet Hill” debuted at No. 18 with 44,000, even though the band had already given away hundreds of thousands of copies of the song for free on their website during a limited promotional window. The biggest jump on this chart belonged to the Ting Tings, whose “Shut Up and Let Me Go” moved from No. 42 to No. 17, increasing 87 percent to sell 45,000 for the week, thanks largely to exposure in an iTunes ad.

Next week, look for Death Cab for Cutie to debut at No. 1 on the album chart, with overseas sensation Duffy expected to enjoy a surprisingly robust bow in the top 10 as well.

The Mother’s Day trade no doubt helped account for Clay Aiken’s On My Way Heredoing as well as it did, debuting at No. 4 with 94,000 sold. (Aiken’sfortunes would seem to be on the decline, though; his first albumentered the chart in 2003 with a monstrous 615,000, and even his lastrelease debuted with 211,000 just a year and a half ago.) Meanwhile,Gavin DeGraw’s self-titled sophomore album bowed with 66,000 copies atNo. 6, a big improvement on the peak position for his major-labeldebut, which topped out at No. 103, even though it eventually wentplatinum. Other debuts of note this week included Josh Groban’s liveCD/DVD package at No. 8 (with 58,000), Luis Miguel’s Complices at No. 10 (29,000 units), and Tye Tribbett’s Stand Out at No. 16 (26,000).

Among holdovers, Madonna’s Hard Candy fell from No. 1 to No. 3, declining 66 percent to 94,000 units. Mariah Carey slipped from No. 3 to No. 5, selling 87,000, a 9 percent decline. (At least a couple of prominent gossip columnists with no particular love for Madonna misreported that Mariah beat Madge this week. Based on the current trajectories, though, we expect Mariah to be the reigning diva when the next set of results comes in.)

Over on the digital songs chart, Rihanna had a really big bow with "Take a Bow," which entered at No. 1 with 267,000 singles sold. That pushed Leona Lewis’ "Bleeding Love" to No. 2, which bumped Lil Wayne’s "Lollipop" to No. 3. Coldplay had the second-biggest debut on the digital songs chart with "Viva La Vida," the title track from their upcoming album, which entered at No. 6 with 101,000. Coldplay had another new tune on the chart, too: "Violet Hill" debuted at No. 18 with 44,000, even though the band had already given away hundreds of thousands of copies of the song for free on their website during a limited promotional window. The biggest jump on this chart belonged to the Ting Tings, whose "Shut Up and Let Me Go" moved from No. 42 to No. 17, increasing 87 percent to sell 45,000 for the week, thanks largely to exposure in an iTunes ad.

Next week, look for Death Cab for Cutie to debut at No. 1 on the album chart, with overseas sensation Duffy expected to enjoy a surprisingly robust bow in the top 10 as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Oh boy have I been reading some crazy speculation about Neil Diamond in the Christian community. Everything to whether he’s a Christian or somehow linked to biblical prophecy and the Second Coming. Search Google for “Is Neil Diamond a Christian” and check it out.

  • andie

    Um…Neil is Jewish! I have loved him and yes, I’m older than dirt, ha ha! Not really but he is a legend in my family and my parents have all of his recordings. Good for him!
    As for Clay Aiken and his declining sales, that IS the current trend in the music business and means very little except that people are not buying full CDs and oh yeah, we are in a recession too. Clay is extremely successful and just finished making mucho dinero for Mike Nichols in Spamalot on Broadway. Wish people who write this stuff would do their homework. Clay said he hasn’t had much time yet to promo this CD. He finished Spam on 5/4 and the CD came out on 5/6. I think he is doing just fine with his diverse career and can now add successful actor to his resume. His Spamalot reviews, by real, professional Broadway critics were all excellent.

  • Allan Clare

    Being Jewish doesn’t mean you can’t be a Christian! When will people realise this>!>!>???? (does being an atheist stop you being Jewish>>>?)

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