Dylan Drops Danity, Squashes Simpson
Just a week ago, Diddy’s pre-fab pop group Danity Kane scored the surprise number one album and Paris Hilton landed a Top 10 debut. But the times are a changin’.
For the first time in 30 years, grizzled vet Bob Dylan is perched atop the album chart with his latest album, Modern Times.
For the week ended Sunday, Modern Times sold 192,000 copies, per Nielsen SoundScan–Dylan’s biggest sales week in the 15-year SoundScan era and his first number one album since 1976’s Desire.
The three-decade interlude between chart-toppers is a Billboard record. Rod Stewart had a 25-year gap between number ones, Santana and the Isley Brothers both had 28-year spans, and Barry Manilow went 29 years between number ones. (Among defunct acts, the Beatles went 22 years and Elvis Presley 29 years between chart-toppers.)
Modern Times also topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland, while opening at number two in Germany, Austria and Sweden. In the U.K., the disc gave Dylan a personal single-week sales record with 55,000 copies at number three.
Helping propel sales with the kids, the 65-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer appears in a new iPod commercial performing the album track “Someday Baby.” His “When the Deal Goes Down” forms the soundtrack to a short film by Academy Award-nominated Capote director Bennett Miller and starring Scarlett Johansson. The clip premiered on AOL and has popped up on YouTube and other video-streaming sites.
Dylan, who kicks off a North American tour next month, owns eight Grammys, an Oscar and Golden Globe for “Things Have Changed,” and a Peabody Award. He has sold more than 100 million albums in a career that’s lasted nearly half a century.
Dylan’s arrival dropped Danity Kane down a spot to number two with 117,000 copies. Diddy’s Making the Band 3 babes sold enough to hold off new releases by Young Dro and Jessica Simpson.
Rap newbie Young Dro, signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle label, lit up the three spot selling nearly 104,000 copies of Best Thang Smokin’. The projects-raised rapper scored a massive hit this summer with “Shoulder Lean,” which picked up traction as a surprise ringtone smash, selling more than 500,000 units.
Many pundits had considered Simpson’s A Public Affair a lock for number one before vocal problems forced her to cancel several promotional appearances last week. The album, her first since her Newlyweds days (yes, it’s been that long), sold 101,000 copies to open at number five. Simpson still hasn’t landed a number one album–2001’s Irresistible opened at six and 2003’s In This Skin debuted at 10 and peaked at number two. (By comparison, sister Ashlee already topped the charts with both of her albums, 2004’s Autobiography and 2005’s I Am Me.)
A pair of veteran rap acts wrapped up the final Top 10 bows. Wu-Tang Clan rapper Method Man sold 62,000 copies of 4:21…The Day After to open at eight, and the Roots sold 61,000 copies of Game Theory at nine.
Rounding out the Top 10 were holdovers: Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics at four, Cheetah Girls 2 soundtrack at five and OutKast’s Idlewild at seven. Nickelback’s All the Right Reasons reentered in the 10 spot after dropping to 12 last week.
In what was a very active sales week, rapper Too Short’s Blow the Whistle sold 40,000 to open at 14. With fewer than 750 copies separating the three discs, Ray LaMontagne’s Till the Sun Turns Back, Crossfade’s Falling Away and Hatebreed’s Supremacy followed at 28, 30 and 31, respectively.
Other noteworthy debuts included the Toby Keith-led Broken Bridges soundtrack at 36, reggaeton superstar Tego Calderon’s Underdog/El Subestimado at 43, Pete Yorn’s Nightcrawler at 50, Paula DeAnda’s self-titled debut at 54, Beenie Man’s Undisputed at 65 and the country-goes-Christian compilation Three Wooden Crosses at 86.
Here’s a recap of the Top 10 albums:
1. Modern Times, Bob Dylan
2. Danity Kane, Danity Kane
3. Best Thang Smokin’, Young Dro
4. Back to Basics, Christina Aguilera
5. A Public Affair, Jessica Simpson
6. Cheetah Girls 2 soundtrack, various
7. Idlewild, OutKast
8. 4:21…The Day After, Method Man
9. Game Theory, The Roots
10. All the Right Reasons, Nickelback
Dylan Drops Danity, Squashes Simpson