'Night Train' notches year's second-best debut week

Jason Aldean’s “Night Train” hit the tracks at a fast clip last week, taking No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with the year’s second-best debut-week numbers.

However, the country singer will have to step aside in the coming week, as country-pop queen Taylor Swift’s “Red,” which went on sale Monday, is anticipated to bow at the pinnacle with a million-selling tally.

“Night Train” sold 409,000 copies out of the box, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Oct. 21. That total is second only to Mumford & Sons’ 600,000-unit score last month with their sophomore release “Babel” (Glassnote); the U.K. folk-rock act’s set drops to No. 2 last week with 74,000 sold (down 23%) and has moved 938,000 copies sold to date.

Aldean is riding the success of his fourth studio album, 2010’s “My Kinda Party,” which has sold nearly 2.8 million to date. It debuted at No. 2, blocked at the top by Swift’s last release, “Speak Now.”

Three other new releases crowded into the national top five. Brandy’s “Two Eleven” (RCA) arrived at No. 3, reaping sales of 65,000 and matching the chart peak of her 2004 release “Afrodisiac.” The singer-actress’s first album in four years has been boosted by her top-five R&B duet with Chris Brown, “Put It Down.”

The first yuletide release to debut near the top this year is teen country singer Scotty McCreery’s “Christmas With Scotty McCreery” (Mercury Nashville/Interscope), which took No. 4 with 41,000 sold. The 2011 “American Idol” champ collected a No. 1 album last year with his debut “Clear as Day.”

A very different country performer, neo-honky tonker Jamey Johnson, settled in at No. 5 with “Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran” (Mercury Nashville), which toted up 32,000. Johnson’s salute to the late, titular Nashville cleffer features such guests as Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Emmylou Harris and George Strait.

The week’s other major debut is Dethklok’s “Metalocalypse: Dethalbum III” (William Street), which scored No. 10 with 20,000 sold. The album is the third spinoff of the animated Adult Swim metal satire.

Top-10 holdovers this week were Pink’s “The Truth About Love” (No. 6, 31,000, off 15%), Miguel’s “Kaleidoscope Dream” (No. 7, 22,000, down 28%) and Little Big Town’s “Tornado” (No. 8, 22,000, off 6%).

The 2011-12 sales champ, Adele’s “21” (Columbia), bounced back into the top 10 at No. 9 with a 21,000-copy frame and 9.9 million shifted to date. The English vocalist, whose sales have been reignited by “Skyfall,” her theme for the new James Bond thriller, gave birth to a boy last week.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more