Amos Lee takes pole position with only 40,000 copies sold

Singer-songwriter Amos Lee’s “Mission Bell” hits No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with a record-setting sales low last week.Lee’s Blue Note release becomes his first chart-topper, with first-week sales of 40,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Jan. 30.

The set sold 4,000 units less than the previous worst-selling No. 1 collection, Cake’s “Showroom of Compassion,” which debuted two weeks ago. This marks the third time in the young year that an album has taken the top spot on the chart with a record low total.

A couple of other new releases supply a glimmer of light in an otherwise dark chart week. “Kiss Each Other Clean” (Warner Bros.), the latest from the rootsy Iron & Wine (handle for solo front man Samuel Bean), logs on at No. 2 with 39,000 sold.

Jive-distributed “2011 Grammy Nominees” arrives at No. 4, scanning 38,000. It includes familiar hits by Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Eminem and Bruno Mars.

Reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel accounts for the only other top 10 debut, as “Los Vaqueros: El Regreso” (Machete Music) debuts at No. 89 with 31,000 shifted out of the box.

Taking up the rest of the top 10 are Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday” (No. 3, 38,000 sold, up 35%), Mars’ “Doo-Wops & Hoolidgan” (No. 5, 33,000, off 4%), Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More” (No. 6, 31,000, up 17%), Swift’s “Speak Now” (No. 7, 31,000, flat), “Kidz Bop 19″ (No. 9, 30,000, down 57%) and last week’s No. 1, the Decemberists’ “The King is Dead” (No. 10, 29,000, off 69%).

Country duo the JaneDear Girls represents the industry’s best hope for a solid debut on next week’s chart.

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