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Groban’s ‘Noel’ keeps No. 1 position

Sales dip nearly 17% from last year

Josh Groban’s “Noel” held onto the No. 1 slot, the Eagles prospered from a “60 Minutes” segment and the top debut came in at No. 50 as the week’s music sales dipped nearly 17% from last year.

CDs are being sold to celebrate the days leading up to Christmas rather than land under the tree nicely wrapped. Groban’s “Noel” was the leader among the 26 holiday-themed albums in the top 200, selling 539,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Its second week at No. 1, the 143/Reprise experienced a 33% increase in sales. Cume is now over 1.5 million and if it continues on this streak, it may well be among the year’s top 10-selling albums.

The Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden,” sold exclusively through Wal-Mart, sold 313,000 copies, a 70% spike, and rise three slots to No. 2. “Long Road” has now sold 1.8 million copies.

“Noel” and “Long Road” were two of the 17 carryover albums in the top 100 that saw bumps from the previous week; Justin Timberlake’s “Futuresex/Love Sounds” was only non-holiday album on that list.

“The Boatlift” (TVT) from reggaeton rapper Pitbull sold 22,000 to open at No. 50, the week’s top debut. Just behind him was Mudvayne’s career overview disc “By the People for the People” (Epic) selling 500 fewer copies to open at No. 51.

Only the top five discs posted sales above 100,000. Alicia Keys’ “As I Am” sold 257,000; “Now 26” moved 127,000; and Garth Brooks’ “The Ultimate Hits” pumped out 112,000.

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