This week, though Taylor Swift's Speak Now remains at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for a sixth nonconsecutive week, it does so while earning a dubious honor.
With just 52,000 copies sold (down 32%), it earns the distinction of notching the lowest-ever sales frame for a No. 1 album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.
Since SoundScan was established, the previous low had been set by the Dreamgirls soundtrack on the January 27, 2007, chart, when it scanned slightly more than 60,000 units.
That's in stark contrast to how 2010 got off to an unusually sexy start. This week a year ago, Ke$ha's Animal debuted at No. 1 with 152,000 and was followed in successive weeks by Vampire Weekend's Contra (No. 1; 124,000), the Hope for Haiti Now compilation (No. 1; 171,000) and Lady Antebellum's Need You Now (No. 1; 481,000).
Getting back to this week's top 10 albums recap, Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday climbs two to No. 2 with 39,000 (down 36%) while Bruno Mars' Doo-Wops & Hooligans also rises, up four to No. 3-matching its original debut and peak-with 38,000 (down 15%).
Daft Punk's TRON: Legacy soundtrack is up two spots to No. 4 (a new high) with 34,000 (down 37%).
The next three slots are only separated by a few hundred units: Eminem's Recovery falls three to No. 5 (33,000; down 47%), Rihanna's Loud slips three to No. 6 (33,000; down 46%), and Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy slides two to No. 7 (33,000; down 43%).
Holding at No. 8 is Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More (31,000; down 20%) while Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party rises four to No. 9 (29,000; down 15%).
Making a big move up the list this week is the Country Strong soundtrack, which flies 139 positions to No. 10 with 28,000 (up 477%). The film, which had been in limited release since December 22, was released nationwide to more than 1,000 theaters on January 7.
(Editing by Zorianna Kit)