Linkin Park emerged triumphant from last week's super Tuesday release party, but as with everything in this era of low expectations, it's hard to view the win with unbridled exuberance. In its first week out of the gate, the band's A Thousand Suns landed at the top of the Billboard 200. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the record sold 241,000 copies, just 1,000 more than the second-place finisher, Trey Songz's Passion, Pain & Pleasure.
Shall we measure our response against the downhill slide of record-selling history? Let's see ... Linkin Park debuted at number one the last time they dropped a new album, the 2007 set Minutes to Midnight, but that album sold 623,000 copies in its first week.
Back to the present: This week, four other albums debuted in the top ten. Four, five and six, in order: Jamey Johnson's The Guitar Song sold 63,000, Robert Plant's Band of Joy sold 49,000 and Weezer sold 45,000 photos of Jorge Garcia's face. The other debut in the top 10 was Brandon Flowers, who sold 41,000 copies of Flamingo, good enough for the number eight spot.
A few older albums stuck around in the top ten. Eminem's Recovery actually sold 10% more copies last week than it did the week prior, but falls to the number three spot. The Now 35 compilation finishes at number seven, Katy Perry's Teenage Dream falls to number nine, and Justin Bieber's My World 2.0 drops to number 10.
This week saw some big moves as well. Sara Bareilles, who had last week's number one record with Kaleidoscope Heart, dropped to number 12. Meanwhile, Lungs, by Florence and the Machine, jumped from number 44 to 14 following the band's performance at the MTV Video Music awards.