As Josh Groban's "Noel" album spends its third consecutive week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, he matches the previous record-holder for most straight weeks at No. 1 with a Christmas album -- Elvis Presley ... Will Groban be able to fend off challenges next week from Wu-Tang Clan's reunion album and Bow Wow and Omarion's collaboration effort? Stay tuned ... This year's "American Idol" runner-up, Blake Lewis, sees his "Audio Day Dream" debut at No. 10. First-place finisher Jordin Sparks' self-titled bow also began at No. 10 two weeks ago ... Other debuts on The Billboard 200 this week include sets from Scarface, Drama, Wyclef Jean, Godsmack and Ghostface Killah ... In Progress Reports, Grammy Award nominees Foo Fighters celebrate a historic achievement on the Alternative/Modern Rock radio chart, Taylor Swift nabs her first No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, and Groban sings his way to No. 1 on the AC/Adult Contemporary chart.
Ever year, artists and labels pull together holiday music releases in hopes of striking perennial silver and gold, and 2004 can be considered a banner year for seasonal fare. Thanks to new albums from Vanessa Williams and Jessica Simpson and reissued material from Frank Sinatra and Stevie Wonder, the songs of the season are everywhere.
With its fifth seasonal tour looming, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's annual year-end trek has become an established tradition. As it has for the past three years, the symphonic rock group founded by Paul O'Neill will split into two factions to perform 74 shows before the close of 2003.