In the best sales week of 2006, Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" moved 722,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, easily debuting at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and the Top Cou

In the best sales week of 2006, Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" moved 722,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, easily debuting at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart.

At 11.2 million units, overall CD sales were up 3% from the previous week and up 15% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 2% compared to 2005 at 151.6 million units.

For Rascal Flatts, it was the best sales week of the country band's career and the biggest debut week for a country act since Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" roared in with 766,000 units in September 2004. "Gang" is the act's second No. 1 album on the big chart, following 2004's "Feels Like Today," and its third consecutive release to bow on top of the country tally.

The 21st "NOW That's What I Call Music" compilation enters The Billboard 200 at No. 2, the 18th consecutive top 3 debut in the series (not including spin-off themed "NOW" discs). But it's not all good news: the BMG/Zomba/EMI/UME effort sold 334,000 copies, the series' lowest opening sales week since 2003's "NOW 14" bowed with 322,000.

After debuting at No. 1 last week, T.I.'s "King" slips to No. 3 with 185,000 copies, a 65% dip in sales. However, the Grand Hustle/Atlantic release reigns over the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for a second week in a row.

The soundtrack to Disney's "High School Musical" falls 3-4, despite a 10% increase to 181,000. McGraw's "Greatest Hits Vol. 2 - Reflected" (Curb) took 47% hit at 128,000 and slides 2-5.

Pink's fourth album, "I'm Not Dead" (LaFace), enters The Billboard 200 at No. 6 with 126,000 copies. The album ties the peak of 2001's "M!ssundaztood," though it falls short of her best sales week; 2003's "Try This" opened with 147,000 and a No. 9 debut.

James Blunt's Custard/Atlantic set "Back to Bedlam" keeps the No. 7 spot warm for a second week with 64,000 (-20%). Shakira's re-issued "Oral Fixation Vol. 2" (Epic) slides 6-8 with 63,000 (-22%).

Bubba Sparxxx nets his third consecutive top 10 debut on The Billboard 200 with "The Charm" (Purple Ribbon), which bows at No. 9 with 51,000 copies. His 2001 debut "Dark Days, Bright Nights" moved 132,000 to enter at No. 3, while 2003's "Deliverance" opened at No. 10 with 65,000.

Rounding out the top tier, Alan Jackson's "Precious Memories" (ACR/Arista Nashville) holds tight at No. 10 with 49,000 (-15%).

The Flaming Lips' "At War With the Mystics" debuts at No. 11 with 48,000, their highest chart position and best sales week ever. The Warner Bros. set more than doubles the Lips' previous best sales week of 22,000 for "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," which started at No. 50 in August 2002.

Other big debuts this week include Queensryche's "Operation: Mindcrime II" (Rhino, No. 14, 44,000), "The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock" (Capitol, No. 17, 40,000) and "Disneymania 4: Music Stars Sing Disney" (No. 21, 39,000).

For Queensryche, it's the band's highest charting album since "Promised Land" went to No. 3 in 1994 and best sales week since "Hear In The Now Frontier" bowed with 64,000 at No. 19 in 1997. The last time Poison posted a better chart position and sales week was when "Native Tongue" entered at No. 16 in 1993 with 43,000.

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