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Four weeks of ‘Christmas’ on chart

Michael Buble holiday collection stays on top

Despite overall album sales that were more ho-hum than ho-ho-ho as the Christmas sales season neared its conclusion, Michael Buble’s “Christmas” stayed put at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart this week, commanding the top of the chart for a fourth consecutive week.

Crooner’s Warner Bros. holiday set took a 7% dip but still commanded sales of 448,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Dec. 18. Yule package has tallied 1.96 million copies in eight weeks.

Buble’s album was almost the lone bright spot in a comparatively flat December album market.

While music shopping typically booms in the immediate pre-Christmas and post-Christmas weeks, the absence of truly potent new titles could erase the 3% gain in album sales that the biz witnessed through the end of October.

Just two other albums sold more than 100,000 copies last week, with no new releases making a top-10 impression.

Inching up one slot to No. 2, Adele’s “21” (Columbia) soared 48% and sold 277,000 in its 43rd chart week — likely sparked by the fresh single “Set Fire to the Rain.” Justin Bieber’s “Under the Mistletoe” (Island) climbed one pole to No. 3 with 171,000 moved (up 8%).

During the pre-Christmas stanza in 2010, seven albums, led by Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now,” sold in excess of 100,000 copies. No such rush is on view this year, though most titles on the chart witnessed percentage gains.

Previous week’s major entry, Akron duo the Black Keys’ “El Camino,” slips two positions to No. 4, selling 85,000 (down 59%). Top five is completed by Lady Antebellum’s “Own the Night,” which rose 10 slots and 60% to No. 5 with an 81,000-copy week, climbing behind a couple of high-profile TV appearances.

Rounding out the top 10 are Nickelback’s “Here and Now” (No. 6, 80,000 sold, up 22%), Drake’s “Take Care” (No. 7, 77,000, up 5%), Andrea Bocelli’s “Concerto: Live in Central Park” (No. 8, 76,000 sold, off 3%), Scotty McCreery’s “Clear as Day” (No. 9, 67,000, up 29%) and Amy Winehouse’s “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” (No. 10, 65,000, off 43%).

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