'Take Me Home' gives Brit boy band second No. 1 this year
Straight out of the box, U.S. consumers took home boy band sensation One Direction in major numbers, and the U.K. quintet’s sophomore album became its second No. 1 release of the year.Leading seven new titles onto the top 10, “Take Me Home” (Syco/Columbia) captured the top with first-week sales of 540,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Nov. 18. That’s the third-largest opening-week sales total to date this year, trailing only Taylor Swift’s “Red” (1.2 million) and Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” (600,000). Owing to a lag in the Stateside release of its 2011 debut set, the Brit “X Factor” grads notched another chart-topping album earlier this year: “Up All Night” vaulted to the top in March with a 176,000-copy tally. Group’s bow has sold a total of 1.37 million. A short list of performers has topped the one million mark with 2012 releases: One Direction, Swift, Mumford and Lionel Richie (with “Tuskegee”). “Take Me Home” dislodged Swift’s “Red” (Big Machine) after the country-pop star’s three-week sojourn at No. 1. The album dipped to No. 2 with 145,000 sold (down 26%). Sales to date total just shy of 1.9 million, easily the bestselling album of 2012. Twihards pushed Atlantic’s soundtrack for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2″ to a No. 3 arrival with 93,000 sold. Though each of the accompanying soundtracks for the boffo vampire romance series has sold less than its predecessor, all five have placed in the U.S. top five, with “Twilight” and “New Moon” capturing No. 1. Canadian hip-hopper the Weeknd (né Abel Tesfaye) rode in at No. 4 with his first full-length album, “Trilogy” (Republic), which scanned 86,000. As its title suggests, set compiles tracks from three previously released mixtapes. Regrouped Seattle grunge institution Soundgarden, absent from the studio for 16 years, materialized at No. 5 with “King Animal” (Republic), which scored an 83,000-unit debut. Vets picked up close to where they left off: Act’s last album “Down on the Upside” peaked at No. 2. While no match for Michael Buble’s 2011 Yule smash “Christmas,” Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” (Verve) continued to show long holiday legs in its third stanza, slipping to No. 6 with an 8% lift in sales to 80,000 copies. Despite high visibility as a judge on “The Voice,” Christina Aguilera made a soft arrival with “Lotus” (RCA), which entered at No. 7 with 73,000. Singer’s last three studio albums bowed in the top five. Second installment of Green Day’s album trilogy, “Dos!” (Warner Bros.), moved in at No. 9 with 69,000. “Uno!” reached No. 2 in October. Bay Area punk trio’s 2012 tour plans were sidetracked by a rehab stay for lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong. Siren Lana Del Rey’s mini-album “Paradise” (Interscope) checked in at No. 10, scoring 67,000. The vocalist made her first chart mark with “Born to Die,” which debuted at No. 2 in February behind Del Rey’s attention-grabbing “Video Games” clip. Top 10′s other holdover was the “Now 44″ compilation; the Capitol-distributed collection dropped six rungs to No. 8, shifting 70,000 (off 29%). Next week’s chart will reflect Black Friday sales and feature debut numbers for hot new titles by Rihanna, Kid Rock, and “American Idol” champ Phillip Phillips.