Looks like he’s still got it. Jay-Z took the top spot in the new Billboard 200 albums chart after selling 476,000 copies of The Blueprint 3, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
That’s not super-huge, but it’s a nice opening number for a guy who’s been in the rap game as long as Jay. In fact, he’s been making hit records for so long that this is his 11th trip to No. 1 on this chart, breaking his tie with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums of any solo artist. The only person or band with more chart-toppers to its name is the Beatles, who’ve racked up 19 No. 1s on Billboard‘s flagship albums chart over the years. More on them later!
Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Whitney Houston fell to No. 3, selling another 88,000 copies of her comeback disc. Raekwon came in at No. 4 with 68,000 copies sold of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II. The long-awaited sequel to his 1995 classic of similar name, OB4CL2 is a deep dose of head-knocking hip-hop the old-fashioned Wu-Tang way. A week after its release hasn’t been close to enough time for this fan to digest all of Rae’s complex crime narratives, and I’m glad to see his hard work rewarded with decent sales.
One spot below at No. 5 are Brooks & Dunn, who announced their imminent breakup last month. A solid 55,000 fans said goodbye by purchasing #1s…and Then Some, the long-running country duo’s latest best-of set. Boys Like Girls, meanwhile, found 41,000 people who liked Love Drunk, their second pop-punk album, for a No. 8 finish.
Two other entries of note came from those aforementioned Beatles, whose new box set releases both went on sale this past week: Their Stereo Box Set bowed at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 with 26,000 copies sold, while the limited-edition The Beatles in Mono made it to No. 40 with 12,000. I’m impressed so many fans were willing to plunk down the $200-range price for either one.
The real sales action for the Beatles, however, was on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart, which tracks releases that are 18 months and older. The Fab Four’s individual remastered albums, unshockingly, dominated the Top 10 of that chart. No. 1 went to 1969′s Abbey Road, with 89,000 CDs sold. Next came Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (No. 2; 74,000), The Beatles a.k.a. The White Album (No. 3; 60,000), Rubber Soul (No. 4; 58,000), and Revolver (No. 5; 46,000).
After a brief pause at No. 6 for Michael Jackson’s Number Ones, still selling well (45,000) two and a half months after his untimely death, the Beatles’ inexorable march continued. Help! took No. 7 with 39,000, followed by Let It Be (No. 8; 32,000), Past Masters Vol. 1 and 2 (No. 9; 31,000), and Magical Mystery Tour (No. 10; 30,000).
What do you think of this week’s results? Did Jay-Z do as well as you expected? Are you surprised by the order in which the Beatles’ remasters charted? Weigh in below.
More from EW’s Music Mix:
Whitney Houston tops the albums chart
Jay-Z “Answers the Call” in NYC with help from Rihanna, Beyonce, Kanye West…
Kanye West and Taylor Swift: Why do people care so much about this story?
Alicia Keys’ “Doesn’t Mean Anything” hits the Web: Hear it here