'NOW 20' Cruises To No. 1 Debut
With a little help from acts like Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, Weezer and the Backstreet Boys, the 20th installment of the "NOW! That's What I Call Music" series takes the top slot of The Billboard 200With a little help from acts like Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, Weezer and the Backstreet Boys, the 20th installment of the "NOW! That's What I Call Music" series takes the top slot of The Billboard 200 this week. The collection sold 378,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, putting it ahead of new albums from Santana, Blink-182 and Third Day.
The multi-label "NOW!" series, a cooperative effort of Sony BMG, Zomba, EMI and Universal Music Enterprises, has eight Billboard 200 chart-toppers to its credit. Among those is the 19th installment, which started with sales of 436,000 upon its release in July and has sold 1.7 million.
At No. 2, Santana is back with the superstar-rich "All That I Am," which racked up first-week sales of 142,000 copies. The Arista disc boasts collaborations with Steven Tyler, OutKast's Big Boi, Mary J. Blige, Michelle Branch and Los Lonely Boys, among others. It's the follow up to 2002's "Shaman," which bowed at No. 1 with 299,000 and has so far sold 2.4 million.
Slipping 2-3 on a less than 1% sales dip to 100,700 copies is Nickelback's "All the Right Reasons" (Roadrunner). Black Eyed Peas' "Monkey Business" (A&M/Interscope) rises 5-4 on an 8% rise to sales of 86,000 copies, while last week's No. 1, Destiny's Child's "#1's" (Columbia), falls to No. 5 on a 25% slide to 85,000.
Released along with a separate DVD of music videos, Blink-182's "Greatest Hits" (Geffen) bows at No. 6 on the big chart. The pop/punk trio's last studio release, a self-titled 2003 album, debuted at No. 3 with 313,000.
Martina McBride's covers set "Timeless" (RCA Nashville) dips 3-7 in its third week on the chart thanks to a 30% sales drop to a little more than 63,000.
With not quite 63,000 copies, Third Day's "Wherever You Are" (Essential) gives the inspirational rock act its career-best sales week and Billboard 200 berth with a No. 8 entry. Last year's "Wire" debuted at No. 12 with 61,000; it has sold 427,000 to date.
Rod Stewart's "Thanks for the Memory... The Great American Songbook, Vol. 4" (J Records) falls 4-9 with sales of 62,000 copies (-31%) and Ashlee Simpson's "I Am Me" rounds out the top tier, sliding 6-10 with sales of 54,000 (-25%).
John Fogerty enters The Billboard 200 at No. 13 with "The Long Road Home" (Fantasy/Concord), which sold 47,000 copies. It's a 25-track career retrospective including Creedence Clearwater Revival hits like "Bad Moon Rising" and "Proud Mary" as well as solo work.
Slipknot's "9.0: Live" opens at No. 17 with 42,000. Last year, the mask-wearing Roadrunner metal act started at No. 2 with "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses," which moved 243,000 copies in its first week and 1.2 million so far.
Montgomery Gentry finishes off the top 20 debuts at No. 20 with "Something To Be Proud Of: The Best of 1999-2005" (Columbia). The country duo's first hits collection moved a first-week total of 41,000 copies.
Also debuting this week is Nirvana's "Sliver: The Best of the Box" (Geffen, No. 21); Krall's "Christmas Songs" featuring the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (Verve, No. 23) and Terri Clark's "Life Goes On" (Mercury Nashville, No. 26).
At 10.9 million units, overall U.S. album sales were up 14% over the previous week and barely trail the same week last year by about 0.1%. Sales for 2005 lag behind 2004 by about 9.5% at 467 million units.