It’s hard to believe that any other album was on sale last week besides Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” – which moved a little less than a million copies in its first week – but it’s true. Thus, a lively Billboard 200 this week, with Tunechi at the top.
 
“Carter” moved 964,000, as reported last night, for an easy No. 1; only Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” sold more in a single week this year, with 1.1 million.
 
Right behind it, however, is Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “I’m With You,” which moved 229,000 copies at No. 2. Their last, double-disc effort “Stadium Arcadium” (2006) was the band’s first and sole No. 1, having moved 442,000 in its premiere week.
 
Adele’s “21” clings to No. 3, but with a 88% sales gain to 154,000 units due in part to her impressive performance of new single “Someone Like You” at the MTV VMAs on Aug. 28.
 
Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch the Throne” falls No. 2 to No. 4 (80,000, -16%); they too performed on the MTV awards show.
 
David Guetta’s star-studded dance album “Nothing but the Beat” enters at No. 5 with 58,000, beating the heck out of his previous best: his 2009 album “One Love” started and peaked at No. 70 with 8,000.
 
Country singer Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” moves 55,000 for a No. 6 debut. His previous highwater was with last “Easy Does It” in 2009, at NO. 13 with 23,000.
 
Beyonce and her baby bump on the VMAs propelled her back into the top tier with “4,” leaping No. 12 to No. 7 (39,000, +87%).
 
Game’s “The RED Album” slips from No. 1 to No. 8 (39,000, -60%), Barbra Streisand’s “What Matters Most” dips No. 4 to No. 9 (37,000, -46%) and “Now 39” descends No. 6 to No. 10 (36,000, -18%).
 
Album sales are up 29% compared to last week and up 27% compared to the same sales week last year. Sales are up 3% for the year now.