The Dixie Chicks’ “Home” (Monument/Columbia) surges 4-1 this week on The Billboard 200, reclaiming the top spot from Norah Jones. Following the country trio’s performance of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, the album’s U.S. sales were up nearly 20% to 104,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “Home” squeezes by Jones’ “Come Away With Me” (Blue Note/Capitol), which falls to No. 2 on a 10% sales decline to 101,000 copies.
This marks the Dixie Chicks’ fourth, non-consecutive week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. In its 23 weeks of release, “Home” has sold slightly more than 4 million copies. It is now entering its 10th week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums roundup.
Billy Corgan’s post-Smashing Pumpkins outfit Zwan splashes onto The Billboard 200 at No. 3 with “Mary Star of the Sea” (Martha’s Music/Reprise/Warner Bros.) Its first week sales total of 90,000 copies isn’t quite as strong as many of the Pumpkins’ releases, but it impressively gives Corgan his fifth top-10 album. The No. 3 post matches the entry of the Smashing Pumpkins’ final studio effort “Machina/The Machines of God” (Virgin) in 2000, but that set moved 165,000 copies in its first week.
“Let Go” (Arista) from teen sensation Avril Lavigne is down one to No. 4 on an 11% sales dip to 80,000 copies. The set is barely holding court over Jennifer Lopez’s “This Is Me … Then” (Epic), which maintains its No. 5 position on sales of 79,000 copies, a small 1.3% decline from the previous week. Last week’s top debut, the Epic soundtrack to “Chicago,” slides 2-6 on The Billboard 200. The set was the victim of a relatively tame 14% second-week slide to sales of 79,000 copies.
Kid Rock’s “Cocky” (Lava/Atlantic) saw a nice 28% sales boost to 75,000 copies, but isn’t able to gain any chart ground and has to hold at No. 7. The album continues to benefit from “Picture,” currently the best-selling single in America, and Kid Rock’s exposure in the film “Biker Boys,” which held the No. 3 spot at U.S. box offices last weekend.
Like the Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain also benefited from Super Bowl exposure. Twain’s latest Mercury album, “Up!,” shoots back 12-8; the set saw a whopping 41% sales burst to 67,000 copies following her halftime show appearance. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott’s “Under Construction” (Elektra) saw an 11% sales gain to 61,000 copies, but Twain’s surge pushes the album down one slot to No. 8 on The Billboard 200.
With the aforementioned three albums earning gains, the Shady/Interscope soundtrack to “8 Mile” falls 6-10. Sales of the musical companion to the Eminem film were down 10% to 54,000 copies. Meanwhile, Aaliyah’s “I Care 4 U” (Blackground/Universal) falls 9-11 on the chart even though the set received a 5% sales boost to 54,000 copies. Nonetheless, “I Care 4 U” continues its reign at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally for a seventh-straight week.
Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman lands at No. 12 on sales of 51,000 copies of “All About Love” (Sparrow). While the sales total matches the first week numbers of his 1999 set “Speechless,” this is Chapman’s highest-charting album, as “Speechless” peaked at No. 31.
Coldplay’s sophomore Capitol effort “A Rush of Blood to the Head” tallied a respectable 27% sales gain to 39,000 copies, thanks, in part, to a post-Super Bowl performance on the debut of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Elsewhere, Tyrese’s “I Wanna Go There” (J) moves 33-23 on a 32% sales increase to 33,000 copies. His latest single, “How You Gonna Go Like That,” breached the top-40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 last week.
Expect a strong Billboard 200 entry next week from rapper 50 Cent, as his much-hyped Interscope album “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” will be released tomorrow (Feb. 6) in an effort to thwart illegal online downloads. While his 2002 Full Clip album “Guess Who’s Back?” is widely available on the Web, that doesn’t appear to be hampering its storming of The Billboard 200. This week, the set is up 43-28 on a mighty 49% sales blast to 30,000 copies.