Music fans scrambled for a whole lotta Led Zeppelin this week, sending a three-disc live box from the 1970s supergroup and a double-DVD live set straight to the top of their respective charts, with combined sales of close to 275,000 units.
Retailers unloaded more than 154,000 CD sets of “How the West Was Won” (Atlantic) in its debut session — capitalizing on pent-up demand for new material from the band. Zeppelin’s last studio album was “In Through the Out Door,” released almost 25 years ago.
Perf was all the more impressive given the set’s retail price of $27.99 — though many retailers offered steep discounts to entice fans. “West” was priced at $22.99 at Best Buy, $21.49 on Amazon.com and at just $19.99 at Tower. Discs feature unreleased live performances from California.
The box set was released simultaneously with a much anticipated DVD set, which features different live performances from Earl’s Court, Knebworth and the Royal Albert Hall in Britain. Sales of the two-disc set sold a staggering 120,000 units.
That figure sets the all-time record for a musicvideo release in its first week out — doubling the previous mark, set by Paul McCartney’s “Back in the U.S. Live” DVD earlier this year.
Down one spot from Zeppelin was gangsta-rap phenom 50 Cent, who rebounded three places from fifth with his Interscope/Shady Records smash “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.” Sales moved up 7% to just under 109,000 copies; disc has scanned nearly 5 million units.
Last week’s two top performers saw drastic declines in sales in their second frames. Former No. 1 “14 Shades of Grey” (Elektra) from Staind sank to seventh on a 64% sales downturn, while second-place finishers the Deftones slipped to 11th with their self-titled Warner Bros. disc as sales slumped by more than 66%.
The only other debut to crack the top 50 was the soundtrack to Universal Pictures car pic “2 Fast 2 Furious” (Island Def Jam), which made a strong bow in eighth. Disc features tracks from Dead Prez, Trick Daddy and the film’s co-star Ludacris, among others.
Several artists made solid gains in chart positioning this week. “Chocolate Factory” (Jive), from R&B crooner R. Kelly, gained eight places to No. 15 with a sales gain of 10%. Ginuwine moved from 52 to 25 and boosted sales of “Senior” (Epic) by 44%. Good Charlotte’s “The Young and the Hopeless” (Epic) gained 17 places to 31 on a 20% increase in sales.
Next week’s ante was upped by Elektra Records, which shifted the release of Metallica’s new record, “St. Anger,” to Thursday in an effort to thwart digital pirates. Also on deck is new material from rockers Sugar Ray and Train as well as singer-songwriter Jewel.