Friday, 17 October 2008

Britney Spears hits number one in US

The Hot 100’s highest climber not just of this week but of any week in chart history is Womanizer, the first single from Britney Spears’ Circus album.

The track rockets 96-1 this week, eclipsing the previous record jump of 80-1 set by T.I. and Rihanna’s Live Your Life only last week.

The number of songs making big jumps to the summit has increased exponentially in the last few years, as many gain a toehold on the basis of early airplay and explode to the top as soon as sales kick in. It’s a trend that has seen the 10 highest jumps to number one all take place in the 21st century.

Spears single sold 285,782 copies in just six days to secure the singer her first Hot 100 chart-topper in nine years. Spears has landed six number ones on the sales list but the Hot 100 is a composite of sales and airplay, and comparatively poor airplay for many of her singles means that only her debut, ...Baby One More Time, has previously managed to take the Hot 100 crown.

Spears’ last single, Break The Ice, reached only number 43 on the Hot 100 but has nevertheless done well on sales, with 529,947 paid downloads to date.

Her sixth album, Circus, is launched in December and is tipped by many to return her the top of that chart too but for the moment T.I.’s Paper Trail continues its reign, selling a further 176,714 copies on its second week at the summit. Metallica’s Death Magnetic manages a false bounce, jumping 5-2, even as its sales slide 24% to 65,741.

Chicago rockers Rise Against have the highest of four Top 10 debuts, entering at number three with their second album, Appeal To Reason, on sales of 64,701 copies; Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul debuts at number five on sales of 53,075; Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series: Volume 8 set follows a place behind on sales of 49,813; and Tim McGraw lands his 12th straight Top 10 album with Greatest Hits 3 in at number nine with 44,324 sales.

Another big intake – 24 debuts – includes a trio of British acts: Oasis, The Clash and The Streets.

Oasis’s debut provides the Manchester band with its highest charting album since Be Here Now in 1997, and its 10th chart success in all. First single, Shock Of The Lightning has a less stellar first week sales of 19,092, enough for 60th slot on the download chart but – with airplay scarce – only a number 93 posting on the Hot 100.

That’s not great but it IS the first Oasis single to gain admittance to the chart since Don’t Look Back In Anger reached number 55 in 1996. The band’s only other Hot 100 entry, from earlier the same year, is Wonderwall, which reached number eight.

The Clash also return to the album chart, debuting at number 93 with their 1982 New York concert recording, Live At Shea Stadium, on sales of 5,647 copies. It’s their 12th appearance in the chart, and their first since The Singles reached number 13 last year.

The Streets secures his third chart album, with Everything Is Borrowed selling 3,755 copies to debut at number 154. The first Streets album, Original Pirate Material missed out on US chart action but A Grand Don’t Come For Free reached number 82, and The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living pushed up to number 68.

Among UK acts already on the chart, Leona Lewis’ Spirit is again the star performer. Logging a four place rise for the second straight week, it climbs 26-22, although its sales are down 8% to 19,762.

Lewis’ second hit single, Better In Time, moves 14-11 this week, though it too suffers a dip in sales, taking a 3% hit to 55,590, as it moves 18-16 on the download chart.

For the second time in a fortnight, album sales reach a new low. They fell to 6.41m last week, 23.1% below the same week in 2007, and their lowest level for any week since SoundScan started quantifying data in 1991.

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