In a close race for No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Slipknot earns its first chart-topper, as "All Hope Is Gone" bows in the penthouse with 239,516 . . . The Game's arriving "LAX" is a close second with 238,382 . . . In other chart news, the latest "Now That's What I Call Music!" spinoff launches, Beyonce's little sister Solange makes big news, Luis Fonsi scores the second-biggest sales week of the year for a Latin artist, and DragonForce rocks out with its best sales week ever . . . In Progress Reports, we've got updates on AC/DC, the "Just Stand Up!" charity single and new artist Simon Collins, son of Phil.

FLASH POINTS

• By a margin of 1,134 units, Slipknot grabs its first No. 1 album as "All Hope Is Gone" beats out the Game's "LAX" for the top spot on the Billboard 200. "All Hope Is Gone" starts with 239,516 while "LAX" bows with 238,382.

• Previously, Slipknot had scored a No. 3 album with "Iowa" in 2001 and a No. 2 peak with "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses" in 2004. Meanwhile, the Game settles for his third top two album: The rapper notched No. 1s with 2005's "The Documentary" and 2007's "Doctor's Advocate."

• Last week's No. 1, Jonas Brothers' "A Little Bit Longer," drops to No. 4 with 80,000 and a 45% decline. A few steps down the list, at No. 7, we greet the arrival of the "Now That's What I Call Country: 20 Chart-Topping Hits!" compilation, starting with 50,000. The successful "Now" series has spun off genre-specific lines with Christmas tunes, Latin music, No. 1s, '80s tunes, party hits and most recently, classic rock.

• Of the genre-specific "Now" lines, the new "Country" album has the second-best opening sales week and second-best chart debut. Only the "Now No. 1s" set boasted a bigger opening week, when it started at No. 6 with 90,000. (While the three "Now That's What I Call Christmas" sets each individually earned bigger sales weeks, all three of them grew to large sales after debuting with smaller figures.)

• Beyonce's little sister Solange makes some big news this week as the latter's sophomore set, "Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams," debuts at No. 9 with 46,000. Her first album, 2003's "Solo Star," peaked in its debut week at No. 49 with 19,000. The new album was led by the single "I Decided," which recently hit No. 1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart ... Luis Fonsi lands his best sales week as "Palabras Del Silencio" starts at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 with 30,000. That also gives him the highest-charting album of his career, easily beating the No. 62 peak of "Paso A Paso" in 2005. Additionally, his 30,000 entry is the second-biggest sales week of the year for a Latin artist. Only Luis Miguel notched a larger sales week, when his "Complices" started with 32,000 ... On Top Latin Albums, "Palabras" gives Fonsi his second chart-topper.

• It's fair to say that without the "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" game, rock band DragonForce would not be as well-known as it is in the United States. In turn, its "Guitar" fame has led the band to its best sales week as its new album "Ultra Beatdown" charges in at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 with 24,000. The use of the band's song "Through the Fire and Flames" in the "Guitar" game helped the band move more than 312,000 units of the song's parent album, "Inhuman Rampage." Additionally, the band has sold 1 million-plus total track downloads (including more than 600,000 copies of "Fire and Flames").

• "Inhuman Rampage" was released in June 2006 and has sold 46% of its overall total since "Guitar Hero III" launched Oct. 28, 2007. As for digital sales of "Fire and Flames," 90% of its downloads were sold after "Guitar Hero III" was released.

• Other top 30 debuts on the Billboard 200 this week include the Verve's comeback set "Forth" (No. 23 with 21,000), Alacranes Musical's "Tu Inspiracion" (No. 26 with 20,000) and Jimmy Wayne's "Do You Believe Me" (No. 27 with 20,000).



The Billboard 200

Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
*1 New SLIPKNOT All Hope Is Gone (Roadrunner ) 11 6 MILEY CYRUS Breakout (Hollywood )
*2 New THE GAME LAX (Geffen / IGA) 12 12 RIHANNA Good Girl Gone Bad (SRP / Def Jam / IDJMG)
3 2 KID ROCK Rock N Roll Jesus (Top Dog / Atlantic / AG) 13 3 STAIND The Illusion Of Progress (Flip / Atlantic / AG)
4 1 JONAS BROTHERS A Little Bit Longer (Hollywood ) 14 5 ICE CUBE Raw Footage (Lench Mob )
5 4 SOUNDTRACK Mamma Mia! (Decca ) *15 New LUIS FONSI Palabras Del Silencio ( )
6 7 LIL WAYNE Tha Carter III (Cash Money / Universal Motown / UMRG) 16 9 SOUNDTRACK Camp Rock (Walt Disney )
*7 New VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW That's What I Call Country ( ) 17 13 THE CHEETAH GIRLS One World (Soundtrack) (Walt Disney )
8 8 SUGARLAND Love On The Inside (Mercury Nashville / UMGN) *18 New DRAGONFORCE Ultra Beatdown (Roadrunner )
*9 New SOLANGE Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams (Music World / Geffen / IGA) *19 18 LEONA LEWIS Spirit (SYCO / J / RMG)
10 11 COLDPLAY Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends (Capitol ) 20 14 KATY PERRY One Of The Boys (Capitol )
* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week




MARKET WATCH

• Album units, current chart week: 7.15 million units
• UP 2.3% from last issue's charts: 6.99 million units
• DOWN 6.5% from same week, 2007: 7.65 million units
• This week: The top two albums each sell more than 100,000 copies.
• This week last year on the Billboard 200: The "High School Musical 2" soundtrack held firm in the top slot for a third week, selling 210,000. There were four debuts in the top 10 from Casting Crowns, Yung Joc, Atreyu and Ben Harper. The top two albums each sold more than 100,000.



BORDERLINES

• The No. 10 album this week, Coldplay's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" (Capitol), sold 44,000.
• The No. 10 album for the same week of 2007, Nickelback's "All the Right Reasons" (Roadrunner), sold 39,000.
• Average total of the No. 10 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1999-2008): 68,944.


PROGRESS REPORTS

• Simon Collins carries on the family tradition as "Unconditional" debuts at No. 30 on the Adult Contemporary chart. His father, Phil, has placed 31 songs on the list, as well as 13 with Genesis, dating back to 1978 -- when Simon was 2 years old. Simon's first set on Razor and Tie, "U-Catastrophe," is available digitally, with its physical release set for Sept. 30

• The all-star charity single "Just Stand Up!" by Artists Stand Up to Cancer debuts on the Mainstream Top 40 radio chart at No. 37 as well as Adult Contemporary at No. 21. All 15 all-star artists on the single have charted previously on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, combining for 124 prior entries. Artists featured on the song include Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Beyonce. Proceeds from the iTunes-exclusive release will benefit Stand Up to Cancer, a new initiative to raise money for research.

• AC/DC returns to the Mainstream Rock radio chart for the first time in more than seven years as "Rock N Roll Train" chugs in at No. 15. It's the 29th charting hit for the band since the Mainstream Rock chart was established in 1981. (So, yes, a number of the band's big hits from the '70s and early '80s pre-date this tally.) "Train" is the first single from "Black Ice," AC/DC's first album in more than eight years, due Oct. 20.



A LOOK AHEAD

• Among the titles released this week, due on next week's charts: New Kids on the Block's "The Block," Young Jeezy's "The Recession," Chris Tomlin's "Hello Love" and Terrence Howard's "Shine Through It."

• Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2007 when: The "High School Musical 2" soundtrack held on to the No. 1 spot for a fourth week, shifting 165,000 units. A lone album debuted in the top 40 -- Chiodos' "Bone Palace Ballet" at No. 5 with 39,000. Only the No. 1 album sold more than 100,000.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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