First! Taylor Swift picks up her sixth nonconsecutive No. 1 week for Red with a fat pre-holiday haul of 276,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan. No surprise there as hers was the obvious choice for Crossover Stocking Stuffer of the Year, plus was boosted by the Lana Del Lookalike music video for the otherwise awesome "I Knew You Were Trouble." Swift ever so gently wubs that victory in T.I.'s stoic face. Like Bruno before him, Tip is locked out of the top spot on Billboard's Top 200 (for Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head, 179K). A crown is indeed a weighty thing — especially when there's a pint-sized star sitting atop yours with one of her own.
2 to 10: No. 2 goes to ... oh, wait, we already did that. Mr. Mars' "utterly engaging, genre-hopping, hyper-catchy" Unorthodox Jukebox slips a slot to No. 3 (178K) and is actually the only LP in the Top 30 to see a slight decline in sales. One Direction continue to hang on to that No. 4 spot (Take Me Home, 177K) with a tenacity that belies their no doubt ADHD-addled young minds. Michael Bublé's Christmas is No. 5 (148K) and was No. 1 during this same sales week in 2011. The holiday set has now sold 3.03 million copies. Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby also did quite well (No. 6, 113K) ensuring that its fast egress won't be too sour an affair when all of America simultaneously sheds its love for sleigh bells this week. From there, it's American Idol's Phillip Phillips at No. 7 (The World From the Side of the Moon, 98K), our old nemesis Mumford & Sons at No. 8 (Babel, 93K), that kooky 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief at No. 9 (82K), and the worst thing ever at No. 10 (80K).
Mars Attacks: Bruno fans (ourselves included) needn't be saddened by the fella's inability to reach those most pearly of Saint Billboard-guarded gates. Mars set a record this week by becoming the first artist to simultaneously top the Hot 100, Radio Songs, Digital Songs, and On-Demand Songs charts with "Locked Out of Heaven." Of course, the latter list has only been around since March, but he's the first solo male to nab the first three thrones since Eminem did it with 2010's "Love the Way You Lie" (which shouldn't count anyhow since Rihanna was on it).
Baby, It's Cold Outside: While this was indeed the busiest day for album sales in 2012 with 12.8 million full-lengths hawked (!), there were some brutal casualties. Our most recent Worst New Music LP, Jesus Piece by the Game, fell from No. 6 all the way down to No. 37 (35K). Meanwhile, Green Day's middling ¡Tré! tumbled from No. 13 to No. 57 (24K). Oof. Let's hope it's not all coal for the Bay Area punx. In all seriousness, get well soon, Billie.