New "Glee" album overshadows Twilight, Aguilera

Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:54pm EDT
 
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By Keith Caulfield

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Gleeks rejoice! The latest "Glee" soundtrack EP debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. pop album chart Wednesday, surpassing both the new "Eclipse" soundtrack and Christina Aguilera's latest release.

"Glee: The Music - Journey to Regionals" sold 152,000 copies during the week ended June 13, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" soundtrack came in at No. 2 with 144,000 copies, while Aguilera's "Bionic" bowed at a distant No. 3 with 110,000.

Last week, industry prognosticators thought "Eclipse" was a good bet for No. 1, with a possible opening round of around 140,000-160,000 units, while "Glee" was aiming for a number in the 110,000-130,000 range.

The new "Glee" set is the fifth soundtrack album release from "Glee" since the TV series launched a year ago on Fox, and the third "Glee" set to hit No. 1, following "The Power of Madonna" EP and "The Music: Volume 3 - Showstoppers."

Industry prognosticators believe Canadian rapper Drake's debut full-length studio album "Thank Me Later," which hit stores Tuesday, will take next week's crown with sales of at least 425,000 units -- one of the biggest starts of the year.

Aguilera's album opened within muted expectations. Her last effort, the 2006 double-length album "Back to Basics," bowed at No. 1 with 346,000 copies.

Other new releases included Plies' "Goon Affiliated" at No. 5 with 56,000. The rapper's previous release, 2008's "Da Realist," opened at No. 14 with 114,000.

Dierks Bentley's "Up On The Ridge" debuted at No. 9 with 38,000, and Jewel's "Sweet and Wild" at No. 10 with 31,000. Both also suffered big hits. Bentley's last release, 2009's "Feel That Fire," entered at No. 3 with 71,000. Jewel's last regular studio release was 2008's "Perfectly Clear," which started at No. 8 with 48,000.

Last week's No. 1 album, Jack Johnson's "To the Sea" slid to No. 4 (89,000), Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" dropped four to No. 6 (49,000), "Glee, the Music, Volume 3: Showstoppers" fell four to No. 7 (40,000); and Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" also fell four, to No. 8 (39,000).

Overall album sales totaled 5.49 million units, up 6% compared to the previous week, but down 14% from the comparable sales week of 2009. Year-to-date album sales are off 11%.