First! God bless Taylor Swift for holding steady at No. 1 for a third week. Not because she happens to be our new BFF — although, those little dubstep noises she makes are totes adorbs — but because by selling another 196K copies of her record-breaking and well-reviewed Red, she kept that abomination known as Now That's What I Call Music! 44 away from the highest seat in the land. Swift has moved 1.75 million units of her fourth album thus far, but she's got a long way to go before catching up with 2012's biggest seller, Adele's 21, a 2011 release with more than 4 million sold this year. Even sweeter: This may be Now's last hurrah (99K, btw). As reported in early October, the long-running pop comp series is facing the chopping block as EMI merges with Universal. All but the first installment debuted in the Top 10, says Billboard, and that inaugural entry eventually made the climb. We're hoping someone will make a statue commemorating Now so that we can watch American soldiers topple that shit Firdos style.
2 through 10: We're not particularly stoked that Rod Stewart bagged No. 3 again with Merry Christmas, Baby (74K), but Ne-Yo, who recently reclaimed "Smooth Criminal" from the pronged grasp of Alien Ant Farm, came in at No. 4 with 66K copies sold of R.E.D. The R&B LP did 10K better than expected, but that could be within the margin of error of those who mistook it for the other Red — you know, the 1974 prog epic by King Crimson. Aerosmith are Back in the Saddle with their first set of original tunes since 2001. (Dream On, it's the Same Old Song and Dance with a little Sweet Emotion thrown in, Remember?) Um, anyway, Music From Another Dimension did 63K, while Jason Aldean's cowpokin' Night Train hit No. 6 with 48K. Mumford and Sons stay disgustingly sticky with Babel (No. 7, 41K) and Christian rockers Third Day landed at No. 10 with Miracle (29K). We skipped two so we could end on a high note — No. 8: Meek Mill's Dreams and Nightmares (41K), and No. 9: Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city (40K).
Marooned: "One More Night"? More like 63 more nights, amirite? Yeah, despite our submission to the Make a Wish Foundation, not to mention the hundreds of pennies we've wasted on totally unmagical fountains, Maroon 5 have now spent nine weeks on top of the Hot 100 songs chart. Somehow, they've tied Carly Rae Jepsen for longest consecutive run of 2012, handily smashing other Now 44 participants like Flo Rida and Kelly Clarkson, and immensely better artists like Gotye, Adele, and fun. Where's PSY when you need him?
SIGH: Oh, right. After seven weeks dueling with Adam Levine from the Hot 100's No. 2 spot, the South Korean meme-nomenon has packed up his "Gangnam Style" and retreated to No. 5. Though the megaviral track still tops the Digital Songs sales chart, its once ferocious gallop is looking more like a canter these days, having its first sub-200K weekly haul in two months. Look, America, we know you're tired of the guy, but some of us over here appreciate his plucky spirit and bona fide PSYnderella story. Plus, we all know he'll never have another hit.