'NOW 17' Trumps Kelly, Jay-Z At No. 1
The NOW That's What I Call Music! franchise reaches the summit of The Billboard 200 this week for the second time in 2004. Starting with 407,000 U.S. copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the 17th iThe NOW That's What I Call Music! franchise reaches the summit of The Billboard 200 this week for the second time in 2004. Starting with 407,000 U.S. copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the 17th installment (Sony BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol) of the series towers over the rest of the chart with more than double the units of the second place act.
In August, the 16th installment (Universal/EMI/Sony Music/Zomba) grabbed the compilation its best opening sales week since 2001 with 504,000 copies. That set, which also bowed at No. 1, has sold 2.2 million to date.
The lawsuit surrounding former tour partners Jay-Z and R. Kelly may have soured sales of the duo's second collaborative album, "Unfinished Business" (Jive/Def Jam/IDJMG). Last week's chart-topper plummets to No. 10 this week on a 67% slide to 71,000 copies.
A Perfect Circle grabs the No. 2 slot with opening-week sales of 142,000 units for "eMOTIVe" (Virgin). The rock quintet also entered at No. 2 with last year's "Thirteenth Step," but enjoyed a better start with 231,000 copies. The album has sold 892,000 to date.
Elsewhere in the top 10, Usher's "Confessions" (LaFace/Zomba) rises 6-4 on a slight 1% boost to 115,000 copies and the WMG/Atlantic/Rhino soundtrack "Ray" climbs 10-9. The set earns The Billboard 200's Greatest Gainer trophy for the second week in a row on a 47% rise to 83,000 units.
Ray Charles' final studio set, "Genius Loves Company" (Concord/Hear Music), slides 14% to 83,000, but gains 8-7. Nelly's "Suit" jumps 5-3 this week despite a 10% fall to 118,000. Rod Stewart's former No. 1, "Stardust...The Great American Songbook, Vol. 3" (J), slips one position to No. 5 on a 23% decline to 103,000 copies.
George Strait's "50 Number Ones" (MCA Nashville) rises 7-6 despite a 9% decline to 94,000 units, while Trick Daddy's "Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets" (Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic) tumbles 2-8 on a 44% drop to 81,000 copies.
Ying Yang Twins' "My Brother & Me" (ColliPark/TVT) debuts at No. 12 this week with 58,000 copies. The Atlanta rap duo fared slightly better with last year's "Me & My Brother," which entered at No. 11 with 62,000 units and has sold 1 million so far.
Christian pop/punk act Relient K earns its highest chart position on The Billboard 200 and its best sales week ever with "MMHMM" (Gotee), which sold 51,000 units. The group's previous record, "Two Lefts Don't Make a Right...But Three Do," debuted at No. 38 with 30,000 copies last year and has sold 377,000 to date.
Rock legends John Lennon and the Rolling Stones land new projects in the top 50 this week. Lennon's Yoko Ono-produced collection of demos and home recordings, "Acoustic" (Capitol), comes in at No. 31 with 28,000 units, while the Rolling Stones' tour compilation "Live Licks" (EMI) enters at No. 50 with 20,000 copies. Train's concert set "Alive at Last" (Columbia) debuts at No. 48.
Overall U.S. album sales are up 4.3% from last week at 10.9 million units, but are down 21% from the same week last year. However, sales for the year are still beating those of 2003 by about 3.8% at 517 million units.