‘Lost Highway’ heads to No. 1

Bon Jovi scores big with country disc

By taking a country road instead of the Jersey Turnpike, Bon Jovi landed its first No. 1 album in 18 years.

Bon Jovi’s “Lost Highway” (Island/Mercury Nashville) sold 292,000 in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to give them their first chart-topper since “New Jersey” in 1988.

Album also debuted at No. 1 on the European chart and in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Austria, Thailand and Japan.

Clear Channel radio station websites started promoting the disc from the minute it went on sale, by webcasting six live song videos, including the new single “(You Want To) Make a Memory.” Band also performed on NBC’s “Today” on the day of release; MTV, VH1 and CMT broadcast the band’s “Unplugged.”

Sales were boosted by a bundling of concert tickets and a digital download of the album. “Lost Highway” sold 32,000 digital copies, 11% of the album’s total sales.

While Bon Jovi used a new country fan base to post a record sales week, the White Stripes scored career bests by moving to a major label.

“Icky Thump,” the duo’s first album for Warner Bros., sold 223,000 to enter at No. 2. That’s one slot higher than 2005’s “Get Behind Me Satan” (V2), which sold 189,000 in its first week.

Brad Paisley’s “5th Gear” (Arista Nashville) just missed giving the week three discs with sales of more than 200K, as the disc topped out at 197,000 in its first stanza. By selling 14,600 downloads, “5th Gear” posts the largest digital debut of the year by a country artist. Paisley promo’d the album last week with a “Good Morning America” concert appearance.

Other debuts came from Atlanta’s Shop Boyz’s “Rockstar Mentality” (OnDeck/Universal Republic), which sold 52,000 to open at No. 11; Lifehouse’s “Who We Are” (Geffen) sold 49,000 (No. 14); “Notebook Paper” (Jive) from St. Louis rapper Huey wrote out 29,000 (No. 26); soul singer Chrisette Michele’s “I Am” (Island) sold 26,000 (No. 29); and Mandy Moore’s first release on the Firm Music label, “Wild Hope,” sold 25,000 (No. 30).

Last week’s No. 1, Toby Keith’s “Big Dog Daddy,” dropped to No. 4 on a 64% sales slide, moving 73,000 copies.

Next week’s race for No. 1 will be a dogfight between Miley Cyrus and Kelly Clarkson, as the two are expected to sell more than 300,000 copies each of their new discs.

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