Green Day scores its first No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week with its first album in four years, “American Idiot.” It’s also the biggest opening sales week ever for the pop/punk act, as its fifth studio set for Reprise opens with 267,000 copies.
The group entered the chart at No. 4 with 2000’s “Warning,” which sold 156,000 copies in the first week and boasts a to-date total of 1 million. Collectively, the band has sold 14 million units since its 1989 debut for indie label Lookout.
Nelly, who last week took over the top two slots with the simultaneous release of “Suit and “Sweat,” sees the Universal albums respectively fall to No. 2 and No. 4 this week. Former No. 1 “Suit” drops to the second slot on a 57% fall to 160,000 copies, while “Sweat” dips 2-4 on a 63% slide to 127,500.
Debuting in between the Nelly sets is New Zealand-born country artist Keith Urban, who not only opens with his biggest sales week ever, but also with his highest placement on The Billboard 200. At No. 3 with 148,000 copies, “Be Here” (Capitol Nashville) also grabs Urban his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums list.
Urban’s previous set, “Golden Road,” opened at No. 11 with 66,500 copies and has sold 1.8 million to date. The album hasn’t left The Billboard 200 since its debut in 2002, and in its 103rd week on the chart, it moves 67-54 on a 21% rise to 18,000 copies.
The top 10 is graced by another debut this week as Chevelle’s “This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)” (Epic) enters at No. 8 with 89,000 units. The Chicago-based rock trio’s previous set, “Wonder What’s Next,” opened at No. 14 with 61,000 and has sold 1.2 million to date.
Tim McGraw’s former chart-topper, “Live Like You Were Dying” (Curb), falls 3-5 on a 16% dip to 102,000 copies. Ray Charles’ “Genius Loves Company” (Concord/Hear Music) slides 4-6 on a 17% drop this week to 94,000 copies.
The top 10 is rounded out by the 16th installment of “NOW That’s What I Call Music!” (Universal/EMI/Sony Music/Zomba) series, which falls 5-7 on a 12% decline to 89,000; Ashlee Simpson’s “Autobiography” (Geffen), which dips 6-9 on a 1% drop to 75,000; and Maroon5’s “Songs About Jane” (Octone/J), which slides 8-10 on a 1.5% fall to 63,000 units.
Shadows Fall notches its first appearance on The Billboard 200 with “The War Within,” which debuts at No. 20 on sales of 39,000 copies. The group’s previous Century Media set, “Art of Balance,” spent nine weeks on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart with a No. 15 peak. The album has sold 107,000 units to date.
Gospel veteran Steven Curtis Chapman enters The Billboard 200 at No. 22 on sales of 38,000 copies for “All Things New” (Chordant). His 2002 Sparrow release, “All About Love,” fared slightly better with a No. 12 bow and sales of 51,000.
Former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty is right behind at No. 23 with his latest solo offering, “Deja Vu All Over Again” (Geffen). The set opens with 37,000 copies; his previous studio album, “Blue Moon Swamp,” opened at No. 38 in 1997 with 28,000 and has a to-date sales total of 774,000 units.
Other notable debuts this week include Chris Tomlin’s “Arriving” (Sixstep) at No. 39, Elvis Costello & the Imposters’ “The Delivery Man” (Lost Highway) at No. 40, DreamWorks’ “Shark Tale” soundtrack at No. 42 and Raven-Symone’s “This Is My Time” (Hollywood) at No. 51.
With a re-issued version of her sophomore Blue Note effort, “Feels Like Home,” Norah Jones moves 59-38 on a 38% gain to 23,500 copies to grab the chart’s Greatest Gainer honors. The new set features three bonus tracks and a DVD with music videos, live performances and an interview with the artist.
Overall U.S. album sales are down about 2.2% from last week, almost 18% down from the same week last year. Year-to-date sales are beating those of 2003 by about 6.2%.