On With The 'Show': Eminem Album An Instant No. 1

Eminem bolts to the top of The Billboard 200 with his third album, "The Eminem Show" (Aftermath/Interscope), on sales of 285,000 units in just one weekend, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The rapper b

Eminem bolts to the top of The Billboard 200 with his third album, "The Eminem Show" (Aftermath/Interscope), on sales of 285,000 units in just one weekend, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The rapper blows by the competition, sending last week's No. 1, P. Diddy's Bad Boy/Arista compilation "We Invented the Remix," to No. 2 after a 44% slide to sales of 144,000 units. Eminem also debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hop-Hop Albums tally.

While "The Eminem Show" was officially released on Sunday, the final day of the chart week, many stores began selling it as early as Friday. The off-cycle release of the album, rushed from June 4 to combat unauthorized downloading and piracy, makes sales comparisons to Eminem's previous sets imprecise. However, his 1999 debut, "The Slim Shady LP," sold 283,000 units in its entire first week, strong enough to debut at No. 2. The follow-up, "The Marshall Mathers LP," went way beyond that, opening at No. 1 with 1.76 million units in June 2000, the third-highest album sales week of the SoundScan era.

"The Eminem Show" is expected to approach or possibly exceed 1 million units in its first full chart week, in addition to the units already sold, but even at 285,000 units Eminem owns the fifth-strongest opening total in 2002. His current single, "Without Me," ties his previous high position on Billboard's Hot 100 with a 6-4 move this week, and is currently the most-played video on MTV.

Eminem wasn't the only newcomer in the top-10 of The Billboard 200. Marc Anthony debuts at No. 3 with "Mended" (Columbia), his second English-language effort, on sales of 111,000 copies. It's his highest position to date on The Billboard 200, although his 1999 self-titled English-language debut sold slightly more units in its first week with 124,000. The first single from the new album, "I Need You," is No. 4 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.

Box Car Racer, the side project of Blink-182's guitarist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker, lands at No. 12 on The Billboard 200 on sales of 65,000 units for its self-titled MCA debut. Blink-182's "Take Off Your Pants and Jacket" debuted at No. 1 last summer.

Other newcomers include the R&B/hip-hop hits compilation "Off the Hook" (Sony/Universal/EMI/Zomba) at No. 13, Amy Grant's "Legacy ... Hymns & Faith" (Word) at No. 21, and "Never a Dull Moment" (MCA), the first solo offering from Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, at No. 39. Lee's "Hold Me Down" is No. 5 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks roundup.

Last week's big album chart debuts held up relatively well in their second week. Cam'ron's "Come Home" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) slips 2-4 on a 52% sales drop to 108,000 units, while his single "Oh Boy" jumps to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Moby's "18" (V2) slides 40% to 76,000 units and drops 4-10. Weezer's "Maladroit" suffers the most, falling 3-16 on a 63% decrease to 55,000 units.

A number of artists benefited from exposure at last week's Academy of Country Music Awards, including Alan Jackson, whose album "Drive" (Arista/Nashville) accelerates 26-18 on The Billboard 200 on a 39% jump at retail. Martina McBride's RCA Nashville set "Greatest Hits" soars 127-71 on an 80% sales boost. Meanwhile, on Billboard's Top Country Albums tally, Kenny Chesney holds for a fifth-straight week at No. 1 with "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" (BNA), and Jackson's "Drive (For Daddy Gene)" fronts Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart for a third week in a row.

Ashanti's single "Foolish" begins an eighth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but drops to No. 3 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles after 10 weeks on top. Her self-titled Murder Inc./Def Jam debut slips 9% on sales of 88,000 units, but bounces back 7-5 on The Billboard 200.

The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at radio is Chad Kroeger's "Hero" featuring Josey Scott, which climbs 28-18. The cut also knocks Unwritten Law's "Seein' Red" from the perch of Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks tally. "Hero" gives Nickelback frontman Kroeger his second No. 1 on that chart in the past year, as Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" previously held the position for 13 weeks. Godsmack's "I Stand Alone" is No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks count for the fourth-straight week.

The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at retail is the Clipse's "Grindin'," which scoots 94-81. The single has been tearing up the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, rocketing 41-25 this week.

The Hot 100's top debut is P. Diddy and Ginuwine's "I Need a Girl (Part Two)" featuring Loon, Mario Winans and Tammy Ruggieri at No. 55. P. Diddy's "I Need a Girl (Part One)" featuring Usher and Loon is still at No. 2. Other newcomers include Kenny Chesney's "The Good Stuff" at No. 70, Amerie's "Why Don't We Fall in Love" at No. 71, Creed's "One Last Breath" at No. 72, and Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" at No. 73.