Jay-Z Draws 'Blueprint' For Chart Dominance
Six albums debut in the top-10 of The Billboard 200 this week, including the fourth album in a row from Jay-Z to enter at No. 1, and the highest charting title for Bob Dylan since 1979. Jay-Z's "The BSix albums debut in the top-10 of The Billboard 200 this week, including the fourth album in a row from Jay-Z to enter at No. 1, and the highest charting title for Bob Dylan since 1979. Jay-Z's "The Blueprint" (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam/IDJMG) bows at the top of the main album chart after selling 427,000 units last week, according to SoundScan, and jumps to No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, where it appeared last week at No. 59 due to street date violations.
Jay-Z's staying power remains strong. His latest single, "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," has been performing well since it first appeared on Billboard's singles charts more than two months ago, and has lately been hovering around the top of Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, where it's No. 5 this week. "The Blueprint" does not, however, outmuscle the 558,000 first-week sales numbers for last year's "The Dynasty: Roc La Familia," which went on to sell 2.3 million copies.
Some may speculate that the numbers for "The Blueprint" weren't as strong as Jay-Z's previous set due to the tragic events along the East Coast last week. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the U.S., overall album sales declined nearly 5% from the previous week, and few titles showed an increase in sales.
Despite the nation's focus being elsewhere, a number of other albums were able to open strongly. Landing at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 on sales of 178,000 units is Nickelback's "Silver Side Up" (Roadrunner/IDJMG). The figure is a significant increase over the 6,500 first-week sales of the band's last album, 2000's "The State," which entered the chart at No. 191. The constantly touring hard rock group also has the No. 1 song on Billboard's Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts with "How You Remind Me."
Rap newcomer Fabolous has a mighty debut on The Billboard 200 as his Desert Storm/Elektra album "Ghetto Fabolous" flies straight to No. 4, settling in right behind the still strong "Songs in A Minor" (J) from Alicia Keys. "Ghetto Fabolous" sold 143,000 units, and also bows at No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. His single, "Can't Deny It" featuring Nate Dogg, is No. 15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
Dylan's "Love and Theft" (Columbia) sold 134,000 units to cruise onto The Billboard 200 at No. 5, the artist's best chart showing in more than 20 years. The first-week numbers are also a sizable improvement over 1997's "Time Out of Mind," which entered at No. 10 on sales of 102,000 copies. That Grammy winning album eventually went on to sell more than 840,000 copies, according to SoundScan.
Inspirational rap/rock act P.O.D. sails right past the numbers for its 1999 debut as its latest, "Satellite" (Atlantic), musters its way to No. 6 on the strength of 133,000 units. The San Diego band's first outing debuted at No. 158 after selling just 8,800 copies. P.O.D.'s single, "Alive," is No. 16 on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts.
Mariah Carey's "Glitter" soundtrack has what is for most acts an impressive first week -- a No. 7 entry on The Billboard 200 with 116,000 units sold -- yet one can't help but label this a disappointing initial week for the artist's Virgin debut. In fact, this is the worst debut for the diva since 1994's "Merry Christmas" (Columbia) bowed at No. 30, and more than a 50% decline from the first-week sales of 1999's "Rainbow," which opened at No. 2 with 323,000 units.
Other notable debuts on The Billboard 200 include Michael W. Smith's "Worship" (Reunion/Zomba) at No. 20, Babyface's "Face2Face" (Arista) at No. 25, Slayer's "God Hates Us All" (American) at No. 28, Ben Folds' "Rockin' the Suburbs" (Epic) at No. 42, and Jamiroquai's "A Funk Odyssey" (Epic) at No. 44. "A Funk Odyssey" is also No. 1 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums tally.
System Of A Down's "Toxicity" (American/Columbia), which opened last week at No. 1 on the strength of 222,000 units, suffered a 55% decline in its second week, and falls to No. 11. The number of high debuts pushes a slew of albums out of the top-10, including Mary J. Blige's MCA set "No More Drama" (5-12), Staind's Flip/Elektra album "Break the Cycle" (6-13), Maxwell's Columbia effort "Now" (8-14), and 'N Sync's Jive album "Celebrity" (9-16).
The terrorist attacks seem to have had a more direct influence on The Billboard Hot 100, where Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" is the Hot 100's top debut at No. 16, and Whitney Houston's "The Star Spangled Banner" re-enters the chart at No. 50. As previously reported, Arista is rushing to release a commercial single of Houston's version of the National Anthem next week (backed by her rendition of "America the Beautiful"), sales of which will benefit relief funds in the wake of the tragedies.
Back at No. 1 on the Hot 100 is Alicia Keys' "Fallin'," which inches up a slot to knock out "I'm Real" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Ja Rule down to No. 2. Keys' resurgence marks the fourth, non-consecutive week that "Fallin'" has been on top of the Hot 100.
The singles chart's fastest-growing track at retail is Jagged Edge's "Where the Party At" featuring Nelly. The cut is also No. 1 for a third straight week atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, where "I'm Real" is also No. 2.
The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at radio is Enya's "Only Time," which moves 27-18 this week. Experiencing an even more impressive jump on the Hot 100 is Christina Milian's "AM To PM," which shoots 81-31. The 20-year-old singer, first heard on Ja Rule's "Between Me and You," will release her self-titled debut album Oct. 9.
Other top debuts on the Hot 100 are Enrique Iglesias' "Hero" at No. 44, U2's "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" at No. 62, Destiny's Child's "Emotion" at No. 65, and Tyrese's "What Am I Gonna Do" at No. 79.
The Mercury soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" once again reigns supreme on Billboard's Top Country Albums tally, notching a 21st non-consecutive week atop the chart. The top country single for the second straight week is Cyndi Thomson's "What I Really Meant to Say," from her Capitol album "My World," which is No. 13 on the Top Country Albums chart.