Dec 4, 2008

Entertainment - Kanye Brings Heartbreak to Guns N' Roses, Ludacris and Killers

David Jenison

Los Angeles (E! Online) – This week, Kanye West's got more than love on the lockdown.

In a typically stuffed Thanksgiving week of releases, West's 808s & Heartbreak lorded over Ludacris, the Killers and the seemingly forever-awaited new Guns N' Roses.

The rap superstar's 808s & Heartbreak sold 450,000 for the week ended Sunday, nearly 200,000 more copies than the next best debut, Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy. Critics often joked that China would have democracy before this album came out, but after a decade-and-a-half, Axl Rose's Best Buy exclusive sold 261,000 copies at No. 3.

Clearly that's $14 million well spent, eh, Axl?

Guns' last studio debuts, Use Your Illusion I and II, opened in the top spots 17 years ago, selling 685,000 and 770,000, respectively.

Among the week's other major newcomers, Ludacris' Theater of the Mind sold 213,000 at No. 5, breaking the rapper's string of three straight chart-toppers. (This is Luda's lowest chart debut since his independently released 2000 debut, Incognegro.)

The Killers' Day & Age followed at No. 6, selling 193,000 copies.

West, Ludacris and the Killers are all on Island Def Jam Records, who got a jumpstart on the sales week by releasing the albums a day early, on Monday rather than the typical Tuesday. This may have been a reaction to Chinese Democracy, which also broke from tradition by debuting in Best Buy stores the Sunday before.

In other Top 10 action, 2008 leading ladies Taylor Swift and Beyoncé finished nearly equal in their second week of head-to-head retail action, with the country teen getting the slight edge. Swift's Fearless (267,000) finished at No. 2, while Beyoncé's I Am...Sasha Fierce (257,000) fell to No. 4.

Though not the main course, Thanksgiving week's notable sides included Barry Manilow's Greatest Songs of the Eighties topping Coldplay's Prospekt's March EP by a mere 1,000 copies at Nos. 14 and 15.

The week's other big bows included Trace Adkins' X: Ten at No. 32, Paul McCartney's side project, the Fireman, at No. 67 with Electric Arguments, Paramore's live The Final Riot! at No. 88, Scott Weiland's Happy in Galoshes at No. 96 and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo at No. 174 with Alone 2: The Home Recordings.

Linkin Park also debuted a pair of new discs, Road to Revolution: Live at Milton Keynes at No. 41 and Songs from the Underground at No. 95.

Overall, sales are up nearly 30 percent from last week and nearly identical to last year's Thanksgiving-week numbers.

Here's a recap of the Top 10:

1. 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West

2. Fearless, Taylor Swift

3. Chinese Democracy, Guns N' Roses

4. I Am...Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé

5. Theater of the Mind, Ludacris

6. Day & Age, the Killers

7. Dark Horse, Nickelback

8. Twilight soundtrack, various artists

9. Now That's What I Call Music! 29, various artists

10. David Cook, David Cook

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