Tallied 526,000 copies in first week of U.S. sales.
For the third time in their career, the Dixie Chicks roost on the top of The Billboard 200. The Columbia album "Taking the Long Way" tallied 526,000 copies in its first week of U.S. sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the trio's best-selling week since 2002's "Home" debuted with 780,000.
And while country radio has remained cool to the group in the wake of a 2003 boycott following comments group member Natalie Maines made about President Bush, "Taking the Long Way" also nabs the No. 1 spot on the Country Albums chart, bumping Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" (Lyric Street/Hollywood) down to No. 2 after seven weeks at the top.
Two soundtracks fill the No. 2 and No. 3 spots this week on The Billboard 200. In its 20th week on the chart, Disney's "High School Musical" climbs 4-2 with 175,000 copies, a 113% sales increase. RCA's "American Idol Season 5: Encores" enters at No. 3 with 154,000 units. The 12-track compilation features a song from each of the final 12 contestants from the last season, including winner Taylor Hicks' take on "Takin' It to the Streets." This is the sixth "Idol" tie-in album and marks the best sales week of the lot.
Angels & Airwaves' debut album, "We Don't Need to Whisper" (Geffen), roars in at No. 4 with 127,000 copies. Fronted by Blink-182 singer Tom DeLonge, A&A also opens at No. 1 on Top Rock Albums chart as well. DeLonge is no stranger to The Billboard 200, on which each of Blink-182's five albums landed within the top 10.
After sitting on top of the chart for two weeks in a row, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Stadium Arcadium" (Warner Bros.) slides down to No. 5 wtih 113,000, a 28% decrease. Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" keeps the No. 6 spot warm with 85,000 copies (+33%).
With the highest charting debut by a reggaeton artist, Don Omar's "King of Kings" (VI) enters at No. 7 with 68,000, besting Daddy Yankee's No. 24 entry with 2005's "Barrio Fino En Directo." "King of Kings" crowns the Top Latin Albums chart as well.
The Sony compilation "WWE: Wreckless Intent" rocks the No. 8 spot on the big chart, selling 66,000 copies. The album comprises entrance music for World Wrestling Entertainment characters by by artists like P.O.D., Theory Of A Deadman and Motorhead.
Tool's "10,000 Days" (Tool Dissectional/Volcano) falls 3-9 with a 21% decrease in sales, moving 65,000 units. Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" (Arista/Arista Nashville) re-enters the top 10, flying up 22-10 thanks to sales of 65,000. The move was likely aided by her appearance on the season finale of "American Idol" last week.
Only two other titles managed to debut in the top 50 this week. The Wreckers, the country duo comprising Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp, enters at No. 14 with "Stand Still, Look Pretty." The Maverick/Warner Bros. Nashville release sold 44,000 copies. Def Leppard's covers set "Yeah!" (Mercury/Universal) gives the group its tenth consecutive top 20 album at No. 16 with 42,000 units.
At 9.9 million units, overall CD sales were up 8% from the previous week and down 7% compared to the same week a year ago. Sales for 2006 are down 3% compared to 2005 at 222.4 million units.