A new year, the same old Billboard albums chart.
The soundtrack to "8 Mile" will remain #1 on next week's chart, which represents sales that occurred in the first week of 2003. The album sold more than 119,000 copies, according to SoundScan, less than half of what it sold the previous week, when it first made its return to the top slot.
The current figures represent the first week of sales following the holiday shopping surge, and it shows. Only one album in the top 200 significantly increased its sales total from the previous week. The double-album soundtrack to "XXX," which features cuts from Queens of the Stone Age and Moby on the rock disc and Nelly and N.E.R.D. on the hip-hop disc, sold more than 15,000 copies last week, up from just under 10,000 the week prior. The bump, likely caused by the Vin Diesel flick's home video release, allowed the album to re-enter the top 200 at #85.
Of the albums that took a dive in weekly sales, Shania Twain's Up! dove deepest. While Up!'s sales were down by more than 180,000 copies, it still managed to maintain a spot in the top 10. After spending five consecutive weeks at #1 after it was first released in November, the country crossover star's first album in five years fell to #2 last week and will currently sit at #8.
Media predictions of who would get Grammy nods when the nominations were announced Tuesday may have allowed two albums to maintain the position they held last week and one album to advance five spots, the largest leap of any album in the top 10. Norah Jones, who wound up the focal point of the Grammy nominations, will jump from #7 to #2, after Come Away With Me sold more than 118,000 copies, 100,000 fewer than the week before.
Avril Lavigne's Let Go (113,000) and the Dixie Chicks' Home (96,000) will maintain their spots at #3 and #4, respectively, as many predictions proved accurate. Lavigne tied Jones and six other artists with a pack-leading five nominations, while the country trio nabbed four (see "Eminem, Avril Lavigne, Nelly, Norah Jones Nab Most Grammy Noms" 1459402).
The remainder of next week's top 10 will find Christina Aguilera's Stripped rising three spots to #5 (95,000); Jennifer Lopez's This Is Me ... Then falling a spot to #6 (94,000); Justin Timberlake's Justified taking a step back to #7 (86,000); Aaliyah's I Care 4 U moving a spot ahead to #9 (80,000); and Now That's What I Call Music! Vol. 11 taking two steps forward to #10 (78,000).
The #11-#20 slots will be bookended by extremes. Missy Elliott's Under Construction will take eight steps forward to #11 (75,000) by selling roughly half of last week's total; while Tim McGraw & the Dancehall Doctors two-steps 11 places back to #20 (55,000).
No album that was released in the last week of 2002 managed to crack the top 200.