First! Last week we predicted that Taylor Swift’s Red would continue to sit atop Billboard’s Top 10, hence breaking the tie that the Nashville star and Adele currently have going for career No. 1 weeks. Well, we were wrong. That bloody battle will not see resolution today, as the unthinkable has happened: Lady Tay has been bested by not only the soundtrack to a movie musical (Les Miserables, natch, in at No. 1 with 92K sold according to Nielsen SoundScan), but by Mumford and Sons’ Babel to boot (No. 2, 91K sold), which experienced a 34 percent sales bump thanks largely to an iTunes markdown and top billing from Apple’s song-slinging retailer (including highly suspicious slotting in the “new release” section). That left Red with No. 3, and only 69K units moved.
4 to 10: Man, why bother? No. 4 went to an American Idol (Phillip Phillips), No. 5 went to a boy band (One Direction), and No. 7 went to yet another movie musical soundtrack (Pitch Perfect). You don’t care about their sales numbers, so we’re not going to report them. Plus, it seems that Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox will never nab the No. 1 it deserves, since it’s now slid all the way down to No. 6, losing 50 percent of its sales (55K). If there’s a silver lining here, it’s the slow, honest rise of the Lumineers who scoot up from No. 9 to No. 8 as their “Ho Hey” picks up radio adds and on-demand plays since their Grammy nomination and despite their album (The Lumineers, 51K) having come out all the way back in April. No. 9 and 10 go to Alicia Keys (Girl on Fire, 44K) and Pink (The Truth About Love, 41K), each of whom benefitted from iTunes promos.
Unwavering Jukebox: Mars’ paean to sexual withholding continues to rule the Hot 100 songs chart. “Locked Out of Heaven” has now enjoyed five weeks at No. 1, making it the most successful of the Hawaiian gentleman’s four chart-topping singles. If he gets himself into one of those newfangled musical moving pictures, he might really be able to do something here.
Clubbin’ Jack Flash: The Rolling Stones landed on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play Songs list for their GRRR! single “Doom and Gloom,” a song that contrasts apocalyptic ripped-from-the-headlines lyrical themes against Mick Jagger’s commands of “Dance with me!” The track hit No. 44, so it’s not a windfall, but the old rockers are up against titles like “Big Banana” and “Rum and Raybans,” and we’re impressed. Of course, they might’ve gotten an assist from this: