Josh Groban's No. 1 album now top release of '07

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:42pm EST
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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Josh Groban set a new record on the U.S. pop albums chart Wednesday as "Noel" became the first Christmas album to lead the field for four straight weeks.

The disc moved 669,000 copies in the week ended December 16, according to Nielsen SoundScan data. With total sales at 2.77 million, "Noel" has now surpassed the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack as this year's top selling album. The biggest seller in 2006 was the first "High School Musical" album with 3.72 million copies.

Elvis Presley's 1957 release "Elvis' Christmas Album" also sat on top for four weeks, but non-consecutively.

Alicia Keys' "As I Am" (292,000 copies) and the Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" (241,000 copies) held steady at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. The multi-artist "Now 26" hits compilation was No. 4 for a third week with 191,000 copies.

Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas Song" jumped six places to No. 5 with 180,000. "High School Musical 2" held at No. 6 for a fourth week with 178,000. Miley Cyrus' double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" fell two to No. 7 with 177,000.

Three country stars rounded out the top 10: Taylor Swift's self-titled debut rose one to No. 8 with 139,000; Carrie Underwood's "Carnival Ride" fell two to No. 9 with 137,000; and Garth Brooks' "The Ultimate Hits" fell two to No. 10 with 119,000.

Bow Wow & Omarion's collaboration "Face Off" was the week's top debut, entering at No. 11 with 107,000. Last December, Bow Wow's "The Price of Fame" started at No. 6 with 262,000 while one week later, Omarion's "21" bowed at No. 1 on the chart with 119,000.

Sales this week (17.98 million units) were down 23.1% compared to the same week last year (23.39 million). But the latest sum was up 24.4% from last week (14.45 million units).


<p>Josh Groban waves backstage during the "Idol Gives Back" show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles April 25, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>