'NOW' Leads 4 Top-10 Debuts
In what has become a sure-fire hitmaking brand, the sixth volume of the various artists compilation "NOW That's What I Call Music!" shoots straight to No. 1 on The Billboard 200, having sold more thanIn what has become a sure-fire hitmaking brand, the sixth volume of the various artists compilation "NOW That's What I Call Music!" shoots straight to No. 1 on The Billboard 200, having sold more than 525,000 copies in its first week in U.S. stores, according to SoundScan. The album, which sports hits from artists such as Destiny's Child, U2, and Jennifer Lopez, bumps last week's No. 1 debut -- Tupac Shakur's posthumous "Until the End of Time" -- down to No. 2.
Hugely popular internationally for nearly two decades, the "NOW" series was inaugurated in 1998 in the U.S. The second and third volumes have been certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association Of America for U.S. sales of 2 million copies. The fourth edition, released last July, became the first compilation of previously released hits to top The Billboard 200.
In another active week in the top-10, R&B vocalist Ginuwine crashes in at No. 3 with "Life" (Epic), followed by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's "Live in New York City" (Columbia) at No. 5. For Springsteen, it's his highest charting album since 1995's "Greatest Hits" collection, which bowed at No. 1.
Also opening big is late rapper Big Punisher's "Endangered Species" (Loud) at No. 7. The album features tracks from 1998's "Capital Punishment," guest appearances, and previously unreleased material.
Run-D.M.C.'s oft-delayed "Crown Royal" (Arista), the pioneering hip-hop act's first album in eight years, lands at No. 37, while Wu-Tang Clan rapper Cappadonna opens at No. 51 with "The Yin & the Yang" (Epic). Other debuts include veteran rock outfit Journey at No. 56 with "Arrival" (Columbia); German metal act Rammstein's "Mutter" (Universal) at No. 77; and underground rock icons Guided By Voices -- making their first-ever Billboard 200 appearance -- at No. 168 with "Isolation Drills" (TVT).
Aside from the debuts, only five titles in the top-40 post an increase over the previous week's sales. Among them is Kid Rock protege Uncle Kracker's "Double Wide" (Top Dog/Lava/Atlantic), which reaches a new high of No. 17 in its 14th week..