It has been awhile since I've looked at the Billboard Album charts. I think this is mostly because I forgot they existed, but with spring here, it seemed like time to return.
And why not? Sure, George Strait is #1 (you know, he's one of the most popular musicians ever), but who pops in at #2? R.E.M. Yes, the Athens legends new album, Accelerate, made for the best showing of an R.E.M. album on the Billboard chart in years. Heck, the other day I was in a record store looking at R.E.M. albums and noticed a copy of their last album, 2004's Around the Sun, and realized (a) I, at first, did not even remember its existence and (b) I didn't recognize a single song on it. So, to say that R.E.M. was verging on obscurity might have not been far from the truth.
But that was then, and this is now. Everyone loves R.E.M. again! (Even if their album was produced by the same guy who produces for Bloc Party).
The soundtrack to Alvin & the Chipmunks is all the way at #5 thanks to the DVD realize. (Shudder in fear, both for the Chipmunks and David Cross).
I was surprised to see the Black Keys entered at #14 with their Danger Mouse-produced new album, Attack & Release. At can attest to the fact that it is pretty darn good.
Even Moby is still vaguely relevant, making it to #27 with Last Night, his tribute to New York dance music. Then again, he could have recorded an album of his favorite bathtime gurgles and it would have been leaps and bounds above the disaster of his last disc Home.
And who knew Muse had a live album? I didn't, but enough people bought it to put it at #49.
And this isn't a debut, but the B-52s dropped from #11 to #48 in their second week. Sure, its a big drop, but with big live dates like the DIXON, CA SPRING FLING, they will be taking over. I am slightly disturbed by the fact that I know Kate and Cindy are in their upper 40s (or more?) yet they look pretty hot in the video for "Fun Plex" and on the CD cover. OK, well, I've always though they were hot, so whatever. Now, if you think Fred still looks hot, more power to you.
And one last note. Joe Satriani released an album that made the Top 100 (at #89) called Professor Satchafunkilis and the Musterian of Rock. Guitar nerds of the world, unite!