Prince drew his first chart-topper in 17 years as “3121” (Universal) sold 183,000 copies in its opening stanza, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It’s his first record to debut at No. 1.
Prince has hit the top slot on the nation’s album sales chart only three times before — with “Purple Rain” in 1984, “Around the World in a Day” in 1985 and “Batman” in 1989. His last disc, “Musicology,” which Columbia distributed, reached No. 3.
His latest disc was one of four new releases opening in the top 10.
B.G., a New Orleans rapper who made his first album at the age of 11, sold 72,000 copies of “Heart of Tha Streetz Vol. 2” (Koch), his 10th album. Bowing at No. 6, disc is his first to crack the top 10 since 1999, when “Chopper City in the Ghetto” hit No. 9.
Ben Harper’s “Both Sides of the Gun” (Virgin) delivered the best sales week of the singer-songwriter’s career. Two-CD set sold 59,000 copies to open at No. 7.
“Underage Thinking” (Columbia), by Teddy Geiger, the singer whose promotional effort was tied to CBS’ “Love Monkey” until the skein was canceled, did a respectable 56,000 in sales to debut at No. 8. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter was cast in the show as an aspiring recording artist forced to choose between a new indie imprint and a major with a new A&R chief.
The debuts were knocked down a notch as Barry Manilow came screaming back into the top 10 with his “Greatest Songs of the Fiftie’s” (Arista). Manilow appeared on “American Idol” during the sales sesh and bolstered his sales by 140% to 78,000 to land at No. 4.
Kenny Rogers secured his best chart position in 23 years, No. 14, selling 44,000 copies of “Water & Bridges” (Capitol Nashville). In 1983, his disc “Eyes That See in the Dark” hit the same number. Rogers’ “21 Number Ones,” released in January by Capitol Nashville, rose 31 slots to No. 80 on sales of 14,000.
Another veteran act returning to the charts, Chicago, saw its first studio album of originals in 15 years reach No. 41 on sales of 23,000. Barring greatest-hits releases in 2001 and 1989, it’s the horn-driven rock band’s highest chart position since 1988.
Other debuts include From First to Last’s soph effort, “Heroine” (Epitaph), which sold 33,000 copies to hit No. 25; My Chemical Romance’s “Life on the Murder Scene” (Reprise), 31,000 (No. 30); Sony BMG’s “Now! Latino” compilation, 27,000 (No. 36); and “Hearts of the Innocent” (Bec Recordings), from Christian alternative band Kutless, 22,000 (No. 45).