Digital Sale Vaults Bruno Mars to Top of Album Chart

One-day Amazon deal leads to big gains in sales for 'Unorthodox Jukebox'

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars’ nearly three-month-old “Unorthodox Jukebox” reached No. 1 on the U.S. album chart, on the back of a one-day $1.99 digital sale at Amazon.

Mars’ Atlantic title, the singer’s first chart-topping set, took the pinnacle with sales of 95,000 (a 96% gain), according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ending March 3. The previous week, “Jukebox” occupied the No. 2 slot, the same position it took on its release in December.

Amazon’s one-day blow-out on Feb. 26 and strong sales for Mars’ new single “When I Was Your Man” pushed the package to the top. His debut album, 2010’s “Doo Wops & Hooligans,” peaked at No. 3.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ 21-week-old “The Heist” also saw a lift from Amazon’s “Gold Box” promotion, rising 12 slots to No. 4 with 42,000 sold (an 89% boost).  The “Thrift Shop” act also gained ground behind last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance.

Amazon’s promotions can provide thrust to titles that have been in the market for some time. However, SoundScan does not recognize discounted sales on albums sold for less than $3.49 in their first four weeks of availability; proviso was instituted after Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” roared to No. 1 in 2011 behind Amazon lowballing.

Two new titles entered the national top five. Atoms For Peace, a side project featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, bowed at No. 2; act’s self-titled XL set shifted 50,000. “Zion” by Australian Christian unit Hillsong United stepped in at No. 5 with a 34,000-unit debut score.

After a two-week return to No. 1 following their Grammy album of the year triumph, Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” (Glassnote) slipped to No. 3, selling 43,000 (down 31%). Week’s tally was large enough to push the album over the 2 million mark.

Filling out the top 10 were the “Now 45” compilation (No. 6, 33,000 sold, down 13%), “The Lumineers” (No. 7, 30,000, off 13%), Josh Groban’s “All That Echoes” (No. 8, 29,000, down 29%) and Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” (No. 9, 29,000, flat).

Adele’s “21” (Columbia) was the only other title in the top 10 to show an increase, rising four poles to No. 10 with a 27,000-unit week. The collection, which has shifted 10.4 million, received a boost off the British vocalist’s Oscar triumph and telecast appearance with her “Skyfall” theme.

Country star Luke Bryan’s “Spring Break: Here to Party” is the top candidate for a major debut next week.