Overall music sales down 33% from last year

The holiday rush finally arrived for the music biz as 17 titles topped sales of 100,000, led by the 330,000 copies of Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” sold the week before Christmas.

Yet even with the strong showing in the top 50, overall music sales were down 33% from the same week a year ago.

Swift’s album barely edged out Keyshia Cole’s “A Different Me” (Geffen), which moved 322,000 copies in its opening stanza, according to Nielsen Soundscan data. It was a career best for the R&B singer whose last album, “Just Like You,” sold 281,000 copies in its first week.

In third was Jamie Foxx’s “Intuition” (J), which moved 265,000 units in its first week. Foxx has been making December releases a habit in his short recording career: “Unpredictable” was released the same week two years ago and sold nearly 600,000 copies off the bat.

“Folie a Deux,” the new Island release from rock act Fall Out Boy, sold 150,000 to come in at No. 8. Soul singer Anthony Hamilton weighed in at No. 12 with “Point of It All” (So So Def) moving 133,000 copies in its first week.

Two other debuts topped 100K: Rapper Plies’ “Da Realist” (Atlantic) sold 114,000 to hit No. 14 and All-American Rejects’ “When the World Comes Down” (Geffen) moved 112,000 to land at No. 15.

Rapper Soulja Boy’s “ISouljaBoyTellEm” (Interscope) moved 46,000 to open at No. 43.

Only eight returning titles in the top 100 failed to improve on the previous week’s sales figures and most of those were either minimal — Britney Spears’ “Circus” dipped 2% — or the standard second-week drop-off.

Besides Swift’s 33% sales spike, AC/DC’s “Black Ice” was up 30% (143,000 sold, No. 9), Enya’s “And Winter Came” rose 38% (111,000, No. 6) and the release of a deluxe edition of the “Mamma Mia!” soundtrack pushed it up 123% (94,000, No. 18). A year after Josh Groban’s “Noel” stormed the holiday season, it appears Enya will be the season’s winner, with her disc likely sledding in at just over a half-million sold.

Polls and year-end “best-of” lists had a significant effect in the lower reaches of the top 200. Albums that were popular with critics that saw sales bumps were: Jamey Johnson’s “That Lonesome Song” sold 24,000 (No. 71); Kings of Leon’s “Only the Night” crowned 22,000 (No. 75); Fleet Foxes’ self-titled release sold 14,000 (No. 118); MGMT’s “Oracular Spectacular” did 11,000 (No. 145); TV on the Radio’s “Dear Science” tuned in 9,000 (No. 175); Bob Dylan’s “Tell Tale Signs” wandered off with 9,000 (No. 177); Vampire Weekend flew off with 8,000 (No. 180); Bon Iver’s “For Emma, Forever Ago” creaked out 7,000 (No. 196); and Lucinda Williams’ “Little Honey” flowed with 7,000 (No. 198).

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