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Bon Jovi comes full "Circle" at No. 1 on U.S. chart
By Keith Caulfield
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Bon Jovi claimed its fourth No. 1 album on the U.S. pop chart Wednesday, despite a sharp drop in sales.
"The Circle" sold 163,000 copies during the week ended November 16, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It marks the veteran band's second chart-topper in a row following "Lost Highway," which kicked off with 292,000 copies in 2007. Bon Jovi previously reached the top with "Slippery When Wet" in 1986 and "New Jersey" in 1988.
All told, the group has racked up 10 top-10 albums and every one of its studio releases since 1986 has reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200. The new album also debuted at No. 1 in Japan, Canada and Germany, and at No. 2 in the U.K.
Last week's U.S. chart-topper, Carrie Underwood's "Play On," slipped to No. 3 with 128,000, while Andrea Bocelli's "My Christmas" rose one to No. 2 with 136,000; both are in their second week.
The chart's second-highest debut came from alternative rock band Flyleaf, whose second album "Memento Mori" arrived at No. 8 with a career-high 56,000. The band's self-titled debut spent 133 weeks on the Billboard 200 from 2006 through 2008.
Michael Jackson's "This Is It" slipped two to No. 4 with 117,000, while Taylor Swift's "Fearless" rose one to No. 5 with 91,000 following her multiple wins last week on the Country Music Association Awards show.
The "Now 32" album fell one to No. 6 with 68,000, Michael Buble's "Crazy Love" rose one to No. 7 with 58,000, and the "Glee" soundtrack fell five to No. 9 with 56,000. The "New Moon" soundtrack was steady at No. 10 with 53,000.
Overall album sales totaled 7.04 million units, up 3% compared to the sum during the previous week, but down 21% compared to the same sales week of 2008. Year-to-date album sales stand at 301.5 million, down 13% compared to the same total at this point last year.
Next week, a bevy of big names will bow on the Billboard 200, including new efforts from "American Idol" winner Kris Allen, John Mayer, Norah Jones, Leona Lewis, Justin Bieber and 50 Cent's oft-delayed "Before I Self Destruct."