First! In news that will shock no life form with a pulse, Justin Bieber's Believe nabs the biggest debut sales week of the year, with 374,000 copies sold per Nielsen SoundScan easily giving him a No. 1 atop the Billboard 200. Sorry, Madonna fans, that does mean he also beat out MDNA's 359,000-copy first week.
2 Through 10: Nos. 2, 3, and 4 all belong to debuts as well, with Kenny Chesney's Welcome to the Fishbowl (193,000), Fiona Apple's marvelously joyful The Idler Wheel... (72,000), and Smashing Pumpkins' better-than-the-real-world Oceania (54,000) lining up in that order. The eclectic trio mercifully staves off the Rock of Ages soundtrack, which comes in at No. 5 with 49,000 copies after last week's No. 9 spot (and the week before's No. 15) and beats out the second week of Usher's Monsters of Folk-inspired Looking 4 Myself, which takes No. 6 with 48,000. Feel like something is missing? It's not just you — Adele's 21 suffers a shuddering blow and lands outside the top 5 for the second time ever (the last and only other time was during the second week of December last year), coming in at No. 7 with just 47,000 copies sold (don't worry, that's still greater than the population of a lot of Midwestern towns). Nos. 8, 9, and 10 belong to One Direction's Up All Night (41,000), Luke Bryan's Tailgates and Tanlines (28,000), and Rush's Clockwork Angels (27,000), respectively.
Beliebe It or Not: Album sales this week were up 2 percent this week, in part no doubt due to how many big-name albums debuted, but surprisingly, not a single track off Bieber's Believe cracked the top 10 on the Digital Songs chart — Carly Rae Jepsen is still destroying the rest with "Call Me Maybe" at No. 1, while Katy Perry's "Wide Awake," Maroon 5's insidious "Payphone," Gotye's inescapable "Somebody That I Used to Know," and even Ellie Goulding's "Lights" and David Guetta's "Titanium" are all more downloaded than "Boyfriend." Alas!
Red White and Blues: The only semi-major release set to debut on the charts next week is Linkin Park's Living Things, which dropped yesterday via Warner Bros., so it's likely that the Independence Day edition of the charts will otherwise be a less-than-revelatory carry-over of this week's rankings (we do hope, though, that that gives DIIV's Oshin a fighting chance? Maybe?).