Michael Jackson soundtrack tops U.S. album chart

Wed Nov 4, 2009 3:46pm EST
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By Keith Caulfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - The companion soundtrack to Michael Jackson's worldwide No. 1 movie claimed the top spot on the U.S. pop albums chart Wednesday with the fifth-best sales week this year.

"This Is It" sold 373,000 copies during the week ended November 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan, exceeding expectations of an opening in the 300,000 and 350,000 range.

It marks Jackson's sixth No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and it arrives with his best sales week for an album since 1995's "HIStory" opened at No. 1 with 391,000 copies.

Jackson collected his first No. 1 with "Thriller" in 1983 and later notched toppers with "Bad," "Dangerous," "HIStory" and "Invincible." His 2003 greatest hits set "Number Ones" is the biggest seller in the United States this year.

The "This Is It" film, which consists of rehearsal footage for a planned residency in London, earned $104 million during its first weekend of worldwide release.

Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, reunited rockers Creed debuted at No. 2 with "Full Circle," which sold 110,000 copies. It's the band's first studio release since 2001, when "Weathered" started at No. 1 with 887,000 copies.

Taylor Swift's "Fearless" soared four places to No. 3 with 109,000 copies. The set was reissued in a "platinum" deluxe edition last week, with additional bonus tracks and a DVD.

Rod Stewart's latest covers set, "Soulbook," debuted at No. 4 with 84,000 copies. His previous release, "Still the Same ... Great American Rock Classics of Our Time," debuted at No. 1 in 2006 with 184,304 copies.   Continued...