Beck didn’t have any major cause for a guilt trip as Modern Guilt, the last album he owes Interscope under his current contract, debuted on the Nielsen Soundscan album chart at No. 4 with 84,000 copies. But there is a certain amount of facing up to modern marketplace realities here: His previous effort, The Information, bowed with 99,000 two years ago, and Guero opened with 162,000 the year before that.
In the chart’s three top spots, everything was static, with Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III enjoying another week at No. 1 with 125,000 sold, leading Coldplay at No. 2 and the Disney Channel’s happy Camp Rock-ers in third place. Kid Rock’s remarkably resurgent 2007 album Rock N Roll Jesus moved up two spots to No. 5, moving 84,000 units.
After Beck, the week’s second-best debut belonged to the Mamma Mia cast album, which came in at No. 7 with 48,000, giving Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan a berth on the pop charts at last. Given that this soundtrack came out a week and a half before the movie’s opening, the ABBA-themed set could be the rare album to do bigger numbers in its subsequent weeks in stores. The only other new entry in the top 20 was the collaboration between Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis, Two Men with the Blues, sneaking in at No. 20 with 22,000 copies.