This week it's an 8 Mile jaunt to the top.
The soundtrack to Eminem's debut film bested considerable competition to claim top honors on the album sales charts. The collection--featuring four new Eminem tracks along with cuts by, among others, Jay-Z, Nas, Macy Gray--benefited heavily from its red-hot single "Lose Yourself" and the bombardment of music-filled commercials for the film, which opens Friday. For the week ended November 3, 8 Mile easily outdistanced all comers, selling 702,000 copies, according to SoundScan numbers.
The only albums to boast better single-week sales this year were the Dixie Chicks' Home (with 780,000 copies in September) and the rapper's own The Eminem Show (which moved 1.3 million and 808,000 copies in subsequent weeks last June). The chart-topping debut gives Em two discs in the Top 10, with The Eminem Show hanging in at number eight.
Christina Aguilera, one artist who must truly hate playing runner-up to Eminem (he has dissed the teen diva in song), debuted at number two selling 330,000 copies of Stripped. Aside from falling way behind the new album from her nemesis, Aguilera also didn't match up to the sales of her fellow Mouseketeer Britney Spears, whose Britney sold 750,000 in its first week last year.
Aguilera had been hoping for even bigger numbers from Stripped, considering it's part of her move to a more adult sound (its lead single is the raunchy, banned-in Thailand "Dirrty", and she's sporting all sorts of, ahem, grown-up tattoos) and it's her first proper studio album since her 1999 self-titled debut, which opened at number one. Between releases, Christina put out three specialty albums, a Christmas disc, a Spanish-language collection and early demos.
Courtney Love will be happy to know that the self-titled Nirvana anthology registered a strong debut. The best-of compilation, featuring the previously unreleased song "You Know You're Right," marked the group's best opening to date. The 14-track disc had been stalled for years, as Love tied the album up in a legal tug-of-war with surviving Nirvana-ites Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. The situation was finally resolved over the summer.
Country trio Rascal Flatts opened at number five, selling 169,000 copies of their sophomore release, Melt. This puts three country acts in the Top 10, with Melt joined by Faith Hill's Cry at six and the Dixie Chicks' Home at 10. Appropriately, the 36th annual Country Music Awards go down Wednesday night with Rascal Flatts going for two trophies, in addition to performing.
Tori Amos closed out the five Top 10 newbies this week, as Scarlet's Walk sold 107,000 copies, good enough for the seventh slot. After releasing several albums on Atlantic Records, Amos moved to Epic, and Scarlet's Walk is her first effort on that label. Her new tour kicks off Thursday night in Tampa.
Among the remaining Top 10 holdovers, Santana's Shaman dropped from number one to four, and Avril Lavigne's Let Go fell a spot to nine. Elvis Presley's Elvis 30 #1 Hits, Nelly's Nellyville and the Rolling Stones' Forty Licks all exited from the Top 10 after extended stays.
Rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony just missed the Top 10, chalking up 82,000 in sales of Thug World Order at number 12. Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz scored the next highest debut at 15 with Kings of Crunk.
Backstreeter Nick Carter debuted at 17 with his first solo bow, the aptly titled Now or Never. Also cracking the Top 20, former Ginuwine background singer Tank at 20 with his second effort, One Man.
Shaggy, whose Hotshot had a long run on top the charts last year, only managed to move 50,000 copies of his follow-up, Lucky Day, which landed at 24. Of course, Hotshot opened way down at 87 before charging to number one.
Other notable debuts included Stevie Wonder's Definitive Collection at 35, Too Short's What's My Favorite Word at 38, Icelandic art-rockers Sigur Ros' oddly titled () at 51, Los Tigres Del Norte's La Reina Del Sur at 54 and Christian crossover Sixpence None the Richer's Divine Discontent at 154. Also, Phish dropped several new authorized bootleg albums last week, with Volumes 13, 14, 15 and 16 debuting at 112, 146, 144 and 139, respectively.
Finally, in the wake of Jam Master Jay's murder, Run-D.M.C.'s Greatest Hits reentered the charts at number 117, selling nearly 10,000 copies.
To recap, the Top 10 albums for the week ended Sunday were:
1. 8 Mile soundtrack, various
2. Stripped, Christina Aguilera
3. Nirvana, Nirvana
4. Shaman, Santana
5. Melt, Rascal Flatts
6. Cry, Faith Hill
7. Scarlet's Walk, Tori Amos
8. The Eminem Show, Eminem
9. Let Go, Avril Lavigne
10. Home, Dixie Chicks