Forget jingle bells and the songs of herald angels, this year Christmas morning is likely to be marked with the growling baritone of Scott Stapp.
Creed's Weathered has been the hot-ticket item at record stores since its November 20 release, and it'll take the top spot on next week's Billboard 200 albums chart for the fourth consecutive week. The band's third album sold more than 555,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (December 19).
Although most albums in the top 40 saw an increase in sales last week, with two weeks left of holiday shopping, Weathered claims the chart's biggest sales spike, enjoying a nearly 100,000-copy increase.
Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 8 maintains its grip on the #2 spot for a fourth straight week, selling more than 403,000 copies, while Britney Spears' Britney comes in at #3 on sales of almost 300,000 copies.
No Doubt's Rock Steady is the only album to debut in the top 20, touching down at #9 after selling more than 254,000 copies on the back of its first single, "Hey Baby."
Surprising at this time of year, Now That's What I Call Christmas! is one of only six albums in the top 40 that failed to expand their buyer bases last week. It falls three places to #6 after seeing sales drop by nearly 14,000 copies. Another carol-filled collection, Barbra Streisand's Christmas Memories, also took a dive in sales, slipping nine places to #24 after falling 4,000 copies short of its previous week's sales.
Other albums taking steps back include Ludacris' Word of Mouf, which slips six spots to #14; the compilation America: A Tribute to Heroes, which descends eight places to #25; Busta Rhymes' Genesis, on a downward spiral, going from #7 to #21 to #33 after three weeks out; and Limp Bizkit's remix LP, New Old Songs, which relocates 11 spots down to #37 on a loss of more than 19,000 units.
Not all holiday albums were bah-humbugged at the point of purchase, however. Mannheim Steamroller's New Age Christmas Extraordinaire will once again occupy the #5 position, selling another 275,000 and earning platinum certification for shipping more than 1 million copies since its late October release.
The rest of next week's top 10: Garth Brooks' Scarecrow moves up two places to #4 on more than 281,000 in sales, Nickelback's Silver Side Up moves two to #7 (259,000), Enya's A Day Without Rain slips one spot to #8 (256,000), and Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory re-enters the upper echelon at #10 (230,000).
Thanks to two singles "The Learning (Burn)" and "Hey Luv (Anything)" paving the way, rap duo Mobb Deep's Infamy will land at #22 in its first week out; while Joe's Better Days, the smooth soul crooner's follow-up to last year's My Name Is Joe, will debut at #32.
Other notable debuts include Method Man and Redman's "How High" soundtrack at #43 and Warren G's Return of the Regulator, the funky West Coast rapper's fourth album, at #89.