In a virtual dead heat, Michael Buble’s “Christmas” snuck past Nickelback’s new “Here and Now” to take No. 1 on a U.S. album chart reflecting hearty Black Friday sales.
In its fifth week on the charts, crooner Buble’s Warner Bros. collection of Yule tunes moved just over 227,000 copies (gaining 37%), according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Nov. 27. Canadian rock act Nickelback’s Roadrunner set arrived at No. 2, trailing Buble by just 419 units and denying the group its second U.S. chart-topper.
Those albums signified a big post-Thanksgiving weekend for music merchants, albeit one not as potent as last year’s. Eight of the week’s top 10 albums sold in excess of 100,000; in 2010, the first 11 entries on the post-Turkey Day chart exceeded that level, led by the 496,000-unit debut of Kanye West’s album “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
Prolific R&B/pop diva Rihanna bowed at No. 3 with “Talk That Talk” (Def Jam), which cruised in with 198,000 shifted. Last year, her collection “Loud” debuted at No. 2.
Rapper Drake’s “Take Care” (Cash Money) was hit hard by the fresh competition: Last week’s big No. 1 entry fell to No. 4, declining 73% and moving 173,000.
High-voltage R&B vocalist Mary J. Blige’s “My Life II: The Journey Continues, Act I” (Geffen) settled in at No. 5 with a 156,000-unit stanza. It bested the performance of the original “My Life,” her sophomore collection, which peaked at No. 7 in 1994. Singer’s 2009 set “Stronger With Each Tear” reached No. 2.
Week’s other top 10 debut was Daughtry’s “Break the Spell” (RCA), which entered at No. 8 with 129,000 shifted out of the box. Arrival is a far cry from “American Idol” grad Chris Daughtry’s best: His band’s two previous albums both debuted at No. 1.
Justin Bieber’s Christmas collection “Under the Mistletoe” (Island) slipped one notch to No. 6 despite a 78% increase to 150,000 units.
Another gainer, Adele’s “21” (Columbia), continued on its six-figure track with a 140,000-unit week (up 24%) but lost chart real estate, dropping four poles to No. 7. It’s the first time the smash album has appeared outside the top five since its March chart debut. Singer’s CD/DVD package “Live at the Royal Albert Hall” hit stores Tuesday and like “21” should benefit from this week’s Grammy nominations.
Other holdovers include country singer and “Idol” champ Scotty McCreery’s “Clear as Day” (Mercury Nashville), which re-enters the top 10 at No. 9 with 88,000 (up 165%), and Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto” (Capitol), which dipped one post to No. 10 with 79,000 (up 46%).
Hot Chelle Rae’s debut album is a prime contender for top-10 space on next week’s chart.