No fuzzy math was involved as the Beatles' new collection of old number-one hits added up to a massive number-one debut as 1 easily dominated the pop album charts, outpacing hyped new releases from Sade, Ricky Martin and the Offspring.
The album, whose 27 cuts spans the Fab Four's career, benefited from an ABC prime-time special and the launch of the new TheBeatles.com Website, and gave the best-selling act of all time its second-best sales week sales ever. 1 sold a whopping 594,000 copies for the week ended November 19, a huge number for a compilation of previously released material. (The band's Anthology 1 sold 800,000 in its first week in 1995.) The Beatles' 18th number-one album comes 30 years after their break-up.
The album is also topping the charts in Britain and 17 other countries.
Opening in second place was another compilation, Now That's What I Call Music! 5. Featuring hit singles from the likes of 'N Sync, the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees, the disc sold 444,000 copies. The previous installment in the series, Now That's What I Call Music! 4, was the first multiartist, non-soundtrack compilation ever to debut in the top spot. Despite its second place finish, 5 actually sold 124,000 more copies in its first week than its predecessor.
The smooth-operating Sade opened at number three, as her first new studio album in eight years, Lovers Rock, moved 369,000 copies. The Nigerian-born pop singer sold just enough to edge Ricky Martin's sophomore English-language release, Sound Loaded, which sold 317,000. The Offspring's Conspiracy of One topped off the first-week mega-debuts by selling 125,000 copies for a number-nine bow.
With the exception of OutKast's Stankonia at number six, the rest of the top 10 are all former number ones: R. Kelly's TP-2.com at five, Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water at seven, Jay-Z's Dynasty: Roc La Familia 2000 at eight and Nelly's Country Grammar at 10.
Marilyn Manson's latest, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), entered the charts at number 13, despite not being stocked in Kmart and Wal-Mart stores and facing a boycott by some religious groups.
Harlem-born R&B singer-songwriter Keith Sweat debuted at number 16 with Didn't See Me Coming. Prodigy, one half of the Queens-rap duo Mobb Deep, bowed at number 18 with his first solo album, H.N.I.C.
The next installment in another popular hit series, Totally Hits 3, featuring tracks from Madonna, Faith Hill and Christina Aguilera, made a number 25 entry. Musiq Soulchild's Aijuswanaseing, considered by many to be the best R&B album out of Philadelphia in years, charted at 32. And Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's The Collection: Volume Two debuted at number 41.
With the season-to-be-jolly right around the corner, a sleigh-full of new holiday albums cracked the charts. Among the many stocking stuffers were Platinum Christmas ('N Sync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears) at number 57, Stoned Immaculate (Aerosmith, Creed) at 72, Grammy-winning gospel star Yolanda Adams' Christmas with Yolanda Adams at 143, A Very Ally McBeal Christmas (Vonda Shepard, Macy Gray, Robert Downey Jr.) at number 153 and Lonestar's This Christmas Time at 160.
Coming next week is the Backstreet Boys' Black and Blue. With the number-one position a virtual lock, the only drama will be whether the Backstreeters can eclipse rival 'N Sync's record first week of 2.4 million copies.