Creed Hold #1 Chart Slot For Fifth Straight Week

Band's Weathered sells 865,000 more copies.

You can't accuse Creed of not having staying power. For the fifth straight week, the Floridian trio will top the Billboard 200 albums chart, with last week's sales of Weathered totaling more than 865,000, according to SoundScan figures released Thursday (December 27). And most surprising is that last week's amount is only 22,000 fewer copies than what the band moved the week of November 20, when the LP made its debut.

The feat gives Creed's Weathered the title of having the most weekly sales in a non-debut week of any other album released this year. Only Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 6 comes closest to the mark, by selling more than 546,000 copies in its second week, after debuting with more than 525,000 copies in April. Its sister LP, Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 8, next week's #2 album, ranks third, with last week's sales total coming in at 540,000 copies.

Save for one soundtrack, hip-hop albums will be next week's only chart debuts, and Nas' fifth album, Stillmatic, leads the way at #8 with more than 342,000 copies sold. Nipping at his heels three spots down is Lil' Bow Wow's Doggy Bag, which comes in with more than 319,000 in sales.

It's a virtual rapper's delight in the 30s, as the Wu-Tang Clan's Iron Flag, Mystikal's Tarantulaand Jay-Z's MTV Unplugged, LPs vying for basically the same audience, will debut at #32, #33 and #34, respectively. The third Ruff Ryders compilation, Ryde or Die Vol. III: In the "R" We Trust, featuring cuts from DMX, Ludacris, and Bubba Sparxxx and Jadakiss on the single "They Ain't Ready," will bring up the rear at #38.

The chart's only other debut, the "Vanilla Sky" soundtrack, rife with touching tunes from Jeff Buckley, Peter Gabriel and Radiohead, among others, comes in at #150.

Expectedly, nearly all albums witnessed a sales spike the week before Christmas, and while Creed's astonishing total is commendable, relatively speaking, Linkin Park had the biggest boost of top 20 albums. Hybrid Theory, at #7 next week, saw its sales rise by nearly 65 percent, from 230,000 copies to 379,000. While Weathered's increase of almost 310,000 copies is huge, it's a 55 percent inflation from the week before.

The remainder of next week's top 10 includes Garth Brooks' Scarecrow, rising up one place to #3 (with more than 442,000 in sales); Britney Spears' Britney, down a notch to #4 (423,000); Enya's A Day Without Rain, three spots higher at #5 (394,000) and total sales amounting to more than 5 million; Nickelback's Silver Side Up moving up a step to #6 (394,000); Usher's 8701 returning to the top 10 at #9 (338,000); and Pink's Missundaztood, at #10 (323,000), which has now cracked a million (1.07) in sales.

There won't be much change further down the chart, with the exception of the weekly totals. Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas Extraordinaire (moving from #5 to #12), No Doubt's Rock Steady (#9 to #13) and Now That's What I Call Christmas (#6 to #15) were the only LPs to forfeit top 10 positions for places in the next highest bracket, though the Christmas compilation was the only one to experience a decrease in sales, with a loss of 4,000.

Enrique Iglesias' Escape will take a step back to #14; Ludacris' Word of Mouf will take two to #16; Shakira's Laundry Service will follow suit to #17; Echoes - The Best of Pink Floyd will maintain its grip on #18; Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor will also hold at #19; and Ja Rule's Pain Is Love will rejoin the top 20 at #20, from last week's #21 position.

For a full-length Creed feature, check out "Creed: Multiplatinum Underdogs."