In the midst of retail's holiday rush, Creed's "Weathered" (Wind-Up) mustered a 10% sales bump to remain atop The Billboard 200 for a third straight week. With U.S. sales of 458,000 units, according t

In the midst of retail's holiday rush, Creed's "Weathered" (Wind-Up) mustered a 10% sales bump to remain atop The Billboard 200 for a third straight week. With U.S. sales of 458,000 units, according to SoundScan, "Weathered" holds off a storm of Christmas-related and gift-ready compilations in the upper reaches of the chart.

The eighth volume in the "NOW That's What I Call Music!" series (EMI/Universal/Sony/Zomba/Virgin) once again owns the chart's second slot, the beneficiary of a 3% sales boost to 366,000 units. Not to be outdone, the holiday-themed installment of the series -- "NOW That's What I Call Christmas!" (EMI/Zomba/Sony/Universal) -- snowballs 6-3, thanks to a 28% sales increase. This proved to be the best week ever at retail for the "NOW" compilations, with all nine volumes combining to sell 750,000 copies.

Meanwhile, other Yuletide releases continue to march up the chart. Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas Extraordinaire" (American Grammaphone) plows ahead 8-5 after receiving a bountiful 41% sales boost to 242,000 units. This is the instrumental group's second top-5 album; its "Christmas in the Aire" reached No. 3 in 1995. Additionally, Barbra Streisand's "Christmas Memories" (Columbia) soars 22-15.

In a generally quiet week for new releases, a number of albums enjoy strong holiday bursts, led by Britney Spears' "Britney" (Jive), which moves 5-4 on a 17% sales increase. Similarly, Enya's "A Day Without Rain" (Reprise) hops 9-7 thanks to a 22% hike. Rebounding into the top-10 is Nickelback's "Silver Side Up" (Roadrunner), moving 12-9 and Pink's "M!ssundaztood" (Arista), which jumps 10-9, following sales increases of 34% and 30%, respectively.

Nickelback also sees its single "How You Remind Me" take command of The Billboard Hot 100, thanks in part to last week's retail release of the cut. The song is, not surprisingly, the Hot 100's fastest-growing track at retail, after selling 48,000 units. Even though Usher's "U Got It Bad" -- No. 1 for a sixth-straight week on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart -- has more airplay than the Nickelback cut, Usher's track has not been released commercially, and slips a notch to No. 2 on the Hot 100.

"How You Remind Me," however, loses the No. 1 slot on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks count after 13 weeks to Linkin Park's "In the End." Creed's "My Sacrifice," meanwhile, shoots 17-11 on the Hot 100, and is No. 1 for a second-straight week on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally.

Of the new releases debuting on The Billboard 200, the Interscope set "America: A Tribute to Heroes" leads the charge, arriving at No. 17. As previously reported, the set is culled from the landmark Sept. 21 broadcast arranged by the major U.S. television networks to benefit victims of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. through the Sept. 11 Telethon Fund.

Elsewhere, Limp Bizkit's remix album "New Old Songs" (Flip/Interscope) lands at No. 26, while the Outkast hits set "Big Boi & Dre Present ... Outkast" (Arista) arrives at No. 31, and Nate Dogg barks his way to No. 32 with "Music & Me" (Desert Storm/Elektra).

Last week's top debut, Ludacris' "Word of Mouf," (Distributing Peace/Def Jam), suffered a 31% sales decline, and slips 3-8 on The Billboard 200, uet remains No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Nate Dogg's set performed stronger in urban markets as well, and comes in at No. 3 on that chart. In fact, his set is one of six debuting in the top-15 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, where Fat Joe's "J.O.S.E.: Jealous Ones Still Envy" (Terror Squad/Atlantic) enters at No. 6, Yolanda Adams' "Believe" (Elektra) cruises to No. 7, the Outkast set breaks in at No. 8, and Ice Cube's "Greatest Hits" (Priority/Capital) drops in at No. 11.

Ja Rule's "Always on Time" featuring Ashanti is the Hot 100's fastest-growing track at radio, skipping 13-9. The top debut on the Hot 100 is Outkast's "The Whole World" featuring Killer Mike at No. 68. Other notable debuts include Joe's "Let's Stay Home Tonight" at No. 70, Puddle of Mudd's "Blurry" at No. 72, and "Brooks & Dunn's "The Long Goodbye" at No. 75.

Garth Brooks' "Scarecrow" (Capitol) continues to frighten away any competition, remaining at No. 1 for a fourth-straight week on Billboard's Top Country Albums count, but falling 4-6 on The Billboard 200. On the country singles side, Toby Keith has plenty to boast about as he maintains his lock on the peak position of Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks tally for a fifth straight week with "I Wanna Talk About Me."