Santa Claus Kind To Creed's 'Weathered'

The last-minute Christmas rush saw Creed's "Weathered" (Wind-Up) post a 56% gain to remain atop The Billboard 200 for a fifth straight week. The set sold 860,000 units in the U.S., according to SoundS

The last-minute Christmas rush saw Creed's "Weathered" (Wind-Up) post a 56% gain to remain atop The Billboard 200 for a fifth straight week. The set sold 860,000 units in the U.S., according to SoundScan, in a week where all but two albums in the top-50 of The Billboard 200 posted sales increases over the previous week. But even with the gain, Creed's tally falls shy of the 1.26 million sum that the Beatles' "1" (Capitol) moved in the week prior to Christmas 2000.

The multi-label "NOW That's What I Call Music! Vol. 8" compilation holds at No. 2 for a fifth week, while Garth Brooks' "Scarecrow" (Capitol) jumps 4-3. Of the eight rap albums released Dec. 18, only Nas' "Stillmatic" (Columbia) opens in the top-10 at No. 8, although label mate Lil Bow Wow comes close with "Doggy Bag," which bows at No. 11.

Wu-Tang Clan's "Iron Flag" (Loud/Columbia) lands at a disappointing No. 32, compared to the No. 5 entry for last year's "The W." Mystikal's "Tarantula" (Jive) debuts at No. 33, followed by Jay-Z's "MTV Unplugged" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) at No. 34, and the various artists compilation "Ruff Ryders Vol. III: In the 'R' We Trust" (Ruff Ryders/Interscope) at No. 38.

On Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Nas' "Stillmatic" soars to No. 1 following last week's premature debut at No. 62 due to street-date violations. Lil Bow Wow opens at No. 2, followed by Mystikal at No. 4, Wu-Tang Clan at No. 6, Jay-Z at No. 8, and the Ruff Ryders compilation at No. 9.

Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" is No. 1 for a third week in a row on The Billboard Hot 100, where Outkast's "The Whole" climbs 51-39 and is the fastest-growing track at radio. Whitney Houston's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" rises 89-80 and is the fastest-growing track at retail. The chart's top debut comes from R&B quartet B2K's "Uh Huh," which premieres at No. 43.

Ja Rule's "Always on Time" featuring Ashanti unseats Usher's "U Got It Bad" from a seven week reign atop Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The B2K cut rockets 87-20, while Jonell & Method Man's "Round and Round" shoots 56-13.

In addition to enjoying a sixth week at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with "Scarecrow," Garth Brooks also has the two top debuts on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks survey with "Call Me Claus" at No. 55 and "'Zat You, Santa" at No. 56. Both songs are drawn from TNT's recent original picture "Call Me Claus," which Brooks executive produced, and can also be found on the new pressing of his 1999 album "The Magic of Christmas."

Linkin Park's "In the End" earns a third straight week at No. 1 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, while Creed's "My Sacrifice" is on top of Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally for a fourth week in a row. The former chart hosts the first-ever solo appearance by a member of Pearl Jam, as Eddie Vedder's cover of the Beatles' "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" (from the "I Am Sam" soundtrack) debuts at No. 39. On Mainstream Rock Tracks, Neil Young lands his first title in more than six years with the Sept. 11-inspired "Let's Roll," which also debuts at No. 39.

Although Billboard does not publish this week, charts are compiled and made available to subscribers of SoundScan, Broadcast Data Systems, Billboard Information Network, and Billboard.com. Charts from the unpublished week are also sold through the magazine's research department (research@billboard.com).