The Black Keys had a very nice first sales week for their 7th studio full-length, El Camino. The album sold 206,000 copies in its first week, nearly three times as much as the 73,000 they sold of previous effort Brothers in its inaugural week of release, and far more than other Top 200 debuts this week from Amy Winehouse (Lioness, 114k), KoRn (Path of Totality, 55k), The Roots (Undun, 48k) and T-Pain (Revolver, 34k—ouch). The Keys even beat out Adele, who continues her incredible and imporbable march to 5 million sold stateside with a 187k week for 21, nearly 11 months after its initial release.
Yet, all continue to be dwarfed by The Bub. Michael Buble, unexpected commercial powerhouse of 2011, was expected to put up big numbers for his Christmas album this week, thanks to momentum from a 60 Minutes feature and a Holiday special, and put them up he has—480k, the album's best week yet. So strong has the late surge been from Buble that Christmas has already sold over 1.5 million copies, and is expected to pass Lady Gaga's Born This Way shortly for the honors of being the year's second-best-selling album (still falling well short of You Know Who), despite Gaga's five-month head start.
Impressive stuff from Buble, to be sure. And with an uninspiring spate of new releases this week—Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa's Mac and Devin Go to High School soundtrack looks like the biggest potential blockbuster, but even Black Keys numbers would be an achievement for them—The Bub's run at the top should continue unabated next week. It's gonna be a long and stocking-stuffed holiday season for British Columbia's finest, we predict.