Eminem leads US album chart

Los Angeles: Eminem logged his seventh nonconsecutive week at No. 1 on the US pop album chart, swatting away six newcomers to the top 10 including R&B singer Kem and singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne.

Eminem`s "Recovery" sold 116,000 copies during the week ended August 22, taking its total to 2.2 million after 10 weeks.

Kem bowed at a personal best No. 2 with "Intimacy," although its 74,000-unit start was almost half that of his last album, 2006`s "Kem II," which bowed at No. 5 with 140,000.

LaMontagne`s "God Willin` & the Creek Don`t Rise" floated in at No. 3 with a career-high sales week of 64,000. His last studio effort, "Gossip in the Grain," bowed at No. 3 with 60,000 in 2008. The new set additionally started at No. 1 on the Digital Albums chart with 31,000 downloads -- 49% of its overall first week. Its download sum was likely enhanced by its selection as the Amazon MP3 store`s $3.99 daily deal on its release date, Tuesday, August 17.

It didn`t benefit, however, from much promotion in Apple`s iTunes Store, which appeared to punish LaMontagne for the Amazon promo. While it earned front-of-store placement in iTunes on street date, that promo had vaporized by the 18th. Most new releases are hyped throughout the week in the iTunes Store, so this one-day-only placement is out of character. According to Apple, the selection and placement of promoted titles in the iTunes Store are an editorial decision made by their staff.

In more "best week ever" news, veteran rock act Iron Maiden celebrates its second top 10 album and best rank on the Billboard 200 with the arrival of "The Final Frontier" at No. 4. With 63,000 units sold in its first week, it marks the rock band`s biggest sales frame since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991. The band`s previous SoundScan-era sales high came when its only other top 10 set, 2006`s "A Matter of Life and Death," bowed at No. 9 with 56,000.

Trace Adkins roped a No. 5 entry with "Cowboy`s Back In Town" (50,000), David Gray grabbed his first top 10 set as "Foundling" landed at No. 9 (25,000), and John Mellencamp manages his tenth top 10 set as "No Better Than This" started at No. 10 (24,000). His previous studio set, "Life Death Love and Freedom," debuted at No. 7 with 56,000 units in 2008.

Among the holdovers, Lady Antebellum`s "Need You Know" soared six places to No. 6 (32,000) after it was sale-priced by iTunes for $7.99 as part of a heavy promotion. Arcade Fire`s former chart-topper "The Suburbs" slid five to No. 7 (31,000), and Justin Bieber`s "My World 2.0" fell three to No. 8.

Overall album sales totaled 5.06 million units, up 2% compared to the SoundScan-era low sum last week of 4.95 million and down 11% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 5.70 million. Year to date album sales stand at 190.2 million, down 12% compared to the same total at this point last year.

Bureau Report

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