One Direction’s ‘Midnight Memories’ Tops U.S. Album Charts

Brit boy band One Direction made its anticipated conquest of the U.S. album chart last week, collecting its third consecutive stateside No. 1 album in just two years.

The week also witnessed huge bumps for old releases, thanks to the traditional Black Friday rush.

One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” (Columbia) launched with 546,000 units sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending Dec. 1. That was on par with the act’s sophomore set, “Take Me Home,” which reaped 540,000 in its November 2012 debut stanza. Act’s first set “Up All Night” bowed at the top with 176,000 sold in March of last year. Group is the first to score a No. 1 hat trick here since another teen-friendly TV-generated sensation, the Monkees, managed the feat in 1966-67.

Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” (Interscope), which returned to No. 1 last week, was shoved down to No. 2, though its 199,000 units – a gain of 65% — would be more than adequate to top the chart in an ordinary sales frame.

Garth Brooks’ “Blame It All On My Roots” arrived at No. 3, tracking 164,000. It is the country superstar’s first release since 2007’s “The Ultimate Hits,” which reached the same slot. The current package is a six-CD/two-DVD package of Brooks’ versions of songs that influenced him, from Merle Haggard and George Jones to the Doobie Brothers and Simon & Garfunkel. It was sold exclusively at Walmart stores, sale-priced at $24.96.

The remainder of the week’s top 10 comprised previously released titles, all but one of which witnessed triple-digit boosts during the post-Thanksgiving shopping rampage. Most of the sets were stoked by deep retail discounting.

They included the Robertsons’ “Duck the Hall” (No. 4, 137,000 sold, up 127%), Katy Perry’s “Prism” (No. 5, 136,000, up 252%), Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red” (No. 6, 131,000, up 195%), Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” (No. 7, 116,000, up 154%), Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” (No. 8, 109,000, up 318%), Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” (No. 9, 79,000, up 228%) and the “Now 48” compilation (No. 10, 77,000, up 22%).

The latest from Britney Spears and the soundtrack for Carrie Underwood’s new TV version of “The Sound of Music” are top contenders for next week’s chart.

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