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Lady Gaga Vs. Adele In The Charts

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way set another record this week, but not one that Gaga’s team will be happy about. Sales of the album dropped off by 84% from its sizzling (but discount-inflated) opening week. That’s the steepest drop-off in sales, expressed in a percentage basis, of any of the 17 albums that sold 1 million units in a week in Nielsen SoundScan history.

ladygaga.com/adele.tv

Gaga’s album sold 174,000 copies this week, down from 1,108,000 last week, when sales were goosed by a two-day, 99-cent sale at Amazon.

A big drop-off was to be expected. But the fact that Gaga’s drop-off was steeper than any of the other follow-ups to albums that had a million-unit week is troublesome. It seems obvious that the opening week tally for Born This Way was generated not only by hard-core fans, but also by casual fans who just didn’t want to pass up such a deal. Last week’s near giveaway worked in the short term (by giving Gaga the biggest one-week sales total since 2005), but it may have also served to devalue albums in general and Gaga’s brand in particular.

Born This Way may not even log a third week at #1. Adele’s 21, which is currently 53 thousand copies behind Born This Way, could easily return to the top spot next week.

Born This Way fell off even more sharply in the digital realm. The album sold 38K digital copies this week, a 94% drop from its record-setting opening week total of 662K. Born This Way isn’t even #1 on this week’s Digital Albums chart.

Born This Way holds at #1 in the U.K. for the second week, but it drops from #1 to #7 in Japan. Gaga’s previous full-length, The Fame, logged seven weeks at #1 in the U.K., but didn’t reach #1 in Japan.

Adele’s 21 rebounds from #3 to #2 on The Billboard 200. The album has ranked in the top three for each of its first 15 weeks. I expect Adele’s “Rolling

In The Deep” to hold the top spot for a fifth week when the chart is released later today.

21 tops the 2 million mark in sales this week. It’s the first album to sell 2 million copies in 2011.

Here’s how it looked this week.

1. Lady Gaga, Born This Way, 174,000. The album logs its second week at #1. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by “The Edge Of Glory,” which holds at #4 for the second week.

2. Adele, 21, 121,000. The former #1 album rebounds from #3 to #2 in its 15th week. Four songs from the album are listed on Hot Digital Songs, topped by “Rolling In The Deep,” which holds at #1 for the fifth straight week.

Adele’s 2008 album 19 jumps from #21 to #15. It’s #1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 14th time in the past 16 weeks. Among all albums, it’s #33 for the year-to-date.

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