It’s no surprise that Coldplay scored the number one album this week. Thanks to the intense marketing of Viva La Vida (free downloads, record-breaking iTunes pre-orders, commercials, music videos, putting “Death and All His Friends” in the Grey’s Anatomy finale), the top debut was widely predicted. (Also, Billboard officially ruined the suspense thanks to its tracking chart, which reveals the likely number-one album the Friday before Wednesday’s early chart announcement.) But, the band’s 700,000+ sales are still remarkable.
While EMI, Terra Firma (and their lenders at Citigroup) are no doubt delighted, don’t go betting on a record-industry comeback just yet. Both albums just represent passionate fans buying highly-anticipated releases. We’ll see what happens next week when the number one spot belongs to, um, Motley Crue? Three Six Mafia? Coldplay again?
Billboard: This marks the first time since March 2005 that The Billboard 200 is led by a total of more than 700,000 in two consecutive weeks. That last happened when 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” began with 1.1 million units and then went on to sell 771,000 in the second week.
The handoff from Cash Money/Universal Motown’s Lil Wayne to Coldplay also represents just the second time in Nielsen SoundScan history that two albums start with sums greater than 700,000 in back-to-back weeks. The last time it happened was May 2000, when Britney Spears’ “Oops! … I Did It Again,” followed by Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” each broke the million milestone in successive frames, the former with 1.8 million, and Spears’ with 1.3 million.
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