US charts: Thanksgiving lifts album sales by 44%

Paul Williams
US charts: Thanksgiving lifts album sales by 44%

US album sales shot up by more than 40% during Thanksgiving week with British acts One Direction, Rod Stewart and Led Zeppelin among the 10 biggest sellers.

Nielsen SoundScan figures show 9.74 million albums were sold in the States last week, a 44.1% increase on the previous week, and down just 0.4% compared to the equivalent week in 2011 as consumers enjoyed some retail therapy during the Thanksgiving break. That takes year-to-date sales up to 267.79 million, 3.9% lower than at this stage 12 months ago.

As reported elsewhere, Rihanna's Unapologetic led the sales increase as it sold 238,000 copies to debut at No 1 on the Billboard 200, incredibly her first ever chart-topper on the countdown but her fourth in the UK. Her previous US peak was 2, achieved by Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007, although she has topped the Hot 100 12 times and remains there for a second week with Diamonds.

As Taylor Swift's Red holds at 2 with sales increasing 28% to 185,000, One Direction's Take Me Home drops to 3, having debuted at No 1 the previous week. In its second week on sale it suffered a 67% sales drop to 176,000 copies, a decline slightly less than what their first album Up All Night endured in March. Also No 1 for a week, that album saw its sales clawed back by 69% week two and fell to No 4 on the chart.

The boy band are joined by two other UK acts in the Top 10, both with chart careers dating back more than 40 years. Rod Stewart makes the most of the Thanksgiving sales surge with a 47% increase for Merry Christmas, Baby, which sold another 117,000 copies last week. However, that is only good enough for it to retain its position of 6 after being outsold by new albums from Phillip Phillips and Kid Rock. American Idol winner Phillips' debut album The World From The Side Of The Moon is new at 4 after shifting 169,000 copies, while Kid Rock's Rebel Sould starts at 5 on the back of 146,000 sales.

The third British act in the Top 10 are Led Zeppelin whose Celebration Day is new at 9 with 101,000 sales. It is their 13th Top 10 hit and their third this century following another live album, How The West Was Won, topping the chart in 2003 and best of Mothership reaching 7 in 2007.

A combination of events results in weekly sales of Pink's album The Truth About Live increasing by 334% to 114,000 to send it bak up 22-7. Besides the Thanksgiving break, it was helped by her performing on the American Music Awards and a series of discounts at leading retailers. Jason Aldean's Night Train was similarly discounted and rises 13-8 as a result with sales up 157% to 103,000, while Keyshia Cole's Woman To Woman completes the Top 10 as it debuts at 10 after selling 96,000 copies.

In recent Thanksgivings Susan Boyle has hugely benefited from the resultant extra shopping activity. Not so this time with her fourth album Standing Ovation sinking 12-31 after just two weeks on sale. Above it, Mumford & Sons' Babel has shown far better endurance, but at this stage it is looking like it does not have anywhere near the legs of their first album Sigh No More. Nine weeks after release, Babel has already lost its Top 20 status, dropping 15-23, while Sigh No More moves up 46-43 in incredibly its 140th week on the chart.

Like Standing Ovation, The Rolling Stones' GRRR debuted in the Top 20 last week and seven days on makes an even bigger chart dive, dropping 19-64. It finds itself placed just above two albums from fellow rock veterans AC/DC whose Live At River Plate is new at 66 and Back In Black re-enters at 67 after the band's catalogue was made available on iTunes for the first time.

After a number of weeks of steading progress, either moving slightly up or down the chart, Ed Sheeran's + suffers a steep fall this week, dropping 57-81. However, his single The A Team reaches another new peak on the Hot 100, climbing 25-23. It is now the chart's second highest-ranked UK track, beaten only by Alex Clare's Too Close, which falls 11-12.

In the week in which her album 21 surpassed 10 million US sales, appropriately the 21st album in the SoundScan era to do so, Adele's Bond theme Skyfall is back down on the Hot 100, dropping 21-32. But three UK or UK-signed tracks reach new peaks on the chart with The Script featuring will.i.am's Hall of Fame up 49-46, Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris and Florence Welch climbing 97-82 and The Wanted's  Found You re-entering at 89.

As Rihanna's Diamonds spends a second week at No 1 it faces a new main rival in Ke$ha's Die Young, which climbs 3-2 to swap places with Maroon 5's One More Night at 3. Bruno Mars' Locked Out Of Heaven holds at 4 and PSY's Gangnam Style moves back up 7-5.

One-track digital sales rose 9.2% on the week to 24.06 million, 9.1% higher than the equivalent week in 2011, while year-to-date sales are 5.8% higher at 1.186 million.


Tags: one direction, rihanna, ed sheeran, taylor swift, Mumford & Sons, Calvin Harris, Adele, the wanted, The Script, Pink, Alex Clare, Maroon 5, Led Zeppelin, PSY, Susan Boyle, Florence Welch, Jason Aldean, Ke$ha, Rolling Stones, Kid Rock, Rod Stewart, Phillip Phillips, Keyshia Cole

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