43rd edition of hits series claims sluggish week

The 43rd edition of the hits compilation “Now That’s What I Call Music!” handily topped the U.S. album chart last week, easily staving off mild challenges in another sleepy mid-summer frame.

The Capitol-distributed comp was the lone title to top six figures in sales, racking up 111,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ended Aug. 12. Package contains chart entries by Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, One Direction and Demi Lovato, among others.

Out-of-the-box sales for “Now” were more than adequate to push down previous week’s No. 1 debut, Rick Ross’ “God Forgives, I Don’t” (Def Jam), which slid to No. 2 with a 73% drop, moving 60,000.

A decent indicator of the current sales slumber was the No. 3 rebound of the Frank Sinatra hits package “Nothing but the Best” (Rhino), which burst into the top five with a 40,000-unit week. Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 2008 compilation was the latest catalog title to benefit from a one-day 99¢ sale by Amazon MP3.

Two developing acts bowed in the top five with unexciting tallies. R&B/pop singer-songwriter Elle Varner’s “Perfectly Imperfect” (RCA) arrived at No. 4 with 33,000 shifted, while pro golfer-turned-country singer Colt Ford’s “Declaration of Independence” (Average Joe’s) moved in at No. 5 with a 31,000-copy frame.

Remainder of the top 10 held over from previous sesh with sales declines: the Zac Brown Band’s “Uncaged” (No. 6, 31,000 sold, off 21%), Bieber’s “Believe” (No. 7, 29,000, down 16%), One Direction’s “Up All Night” (No. 8, 29,000, down 14%), Adele’s “21” (No. 9, 26,000, off 9%) and “Kidz Bop 22″ (No. 10, 23,000, down 28%).

Rapper 2 Chainz’s “Based on a T.R.U. Story” should sign in with the top debut the coming week. However, in the middle of a summer in which few titles have shown legs, retailers are probably already cheering Monday’s announcement that Taylor Swift’s next album “Red” is due Oct. 22.

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