There's a reason they call him the Boss.
Bruce Springsteen just accomplished what eight weeks of challengers failed to do, namely knock out Taylor Swift from atop the Billboard 200. The Boss and his E Street Band took the No. 1 spot as Working on a Dream worked up 224,000 in sales for the week ended Sunday, per Nielsen SoundScan.
With his ninth chart-topper, Springsteen is tied with the Rolling Stones for the fourth most No. 1 albums of all time. The Beatles have the most with 19, followed by Elvis Presley and Jay-Z, both with 10.
The Boss' album clearly got a boost from Super Bowl XLIII hype. The Jersey rocker played an electrifying halftime set, which will have a further impact on next week's sales chart as the game averaged 96 million viewers.
While the Boss scored a touchdown on the charts, there was a yellow flag thrown over tickets for his upcoming tour.
Fans trying to buy tickets to his Meadowlands show from Ticketmaster.com received messages saying the shows were sold out and pushing would-be concertgoers instead to the company's ticket reseller TicketsNow, where plenty of seats were available at jacked-up prices.
Springsteen today issued a statement saying he was "furious" at the move. "We perceive this as a pure conflict of interest," Springsteen and the E Street Band said. "Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges."
The rocker says he has a promise from Ticketmaster to stop redirecting fans to TicketsNow. But that's not good enough for a New Jersey congressman who is demanding that the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigate.
As Springsteen topped the charts and gave Congress something besides the stimulus plan to fret about, Swift's Fearless slipped to No. 2 on sales of 55,000. To date, the teen queen's album has sold nearly 2.5 million discs.
Scoring the week's next best bow, the 2009 Grammy Nominees compilation—featuring songs like Duffy's "Mercy," M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" and Lil Wayne's "Got Money"—opened with a 33,000 at No. 6. The comp should get a boost following the actual ceremony this weekend.
Scottish alt-rockers Franz Ferdinand landed the third and final Top 10 bow as Tonight: Franz Ferdinand moved 31,000 at No. 9. Voices: WWE the Music, Vol. 9 fell short, selling 24,000 copies at No. 13.
The Bird and the Bee's Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future debuted down at No. 105, but its 5,000-copy week was enough to top the Heatseekers chart.
David Cook, who made his debut on the Thanksgiving week charts, has another reason to give thanks as his eponymous release officially went platinum for sales in excess of a million units. Hopefully his luck holds up as the American Idol champ launches his first national tour in Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday the 13th.
Sales overall are up a tick from last week but still down 14 percent compared to the same week last year when the Juno soundtrack ascended to No. 1.
Here's a recap of the Top 10 albums for the week ended Sunday:
1. Working on a Dream, Bruce Springsteen
2. Fearless, Taylor Swift
3. I Am…Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé
4. Dark Horse, Nickelback
5. 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West
6. 2009 Grammy Nominees, various
7. Intuition, Jamie Foxx
8. A Different Me, Keyshia Cole
9. Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand
10. Circus, Britney Spears