George Strait Tops Usher In Billboard Albums Chart Recount

New tally also moves R.E.M.'s album up one spot.

Usher might be putting the cork back into his bottle of champagne: His Confessions will not be #1 on the Billboard albums chart next week after all.

The chart, released early Wednesday morning (October 13), initially showed Confessions at #1 and George Strait's 50 Number Ones at #2. But due to a reporting error from a mass merchant, SoundScan has recounted the chart, and 50 Number Ones will be the #1 album next week, based on more than 343,000 sales, while Confessions will be #2, with over 336,000.

Due to a second, unrelated error, R.E.M.'s Around the Sun will move up one spot as well, to debut at #13 on more than 61,000 copies sold.

According to a representative for SoundScan, the error was noted early Wednesday afternoon and the data was reprocessed soon after. The new tally adds approximately 13,000 sales to Strait's total and just 1,000 to Usher's. The representative also said that it is not uncommon for SoundScan to reprocess data, but it is very uncommon for the upper reaches of a chart to be affected.

Even though Strait is now celebrating his 51st #1, this week's sales show a big boost for Mr. Entertainment, spurred by his current headlining tour and by the re-release of Confessions, which now includes four bonus tracks.

Elsewhere on the chart, the boys in Good Charlotte saw their ambitious third album, The Chronicles of Life and Death, open at #3, selling more than 198,000 copies. They shouldn't hang their spiky heads, however: It's their highest-ever chart debut (their 2002 album, The Young and the Hopeless, debuted at #7 on more than 117,000 copies sold). Their hard-rock brethren Korn are next at #4, selling more than 129,000 copies of their Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 album. The imaginatively titled LP sold nearly twice as many copies as their last studio album, 2003's Take a Look in the Mirror, did in its first week out of the gates.

Nelly's Suit stays well-pressed, selling more than 122,000 copies to hold steady at #5 for the second week (his Sweat, however, is starting to get old, dropping all the way to #12). Hilary Duff sold more than 97,000 copies of her self-titled album, good enough for #6. Green Day's American Idiot moved over 86,000 copies to follow Duff at #7.

Meanwhile, last week's chart champs, Rascal Flatts, will fall to #8 on over 81,000 copies of Feels Like Today. And right behind them is Tim McGraw, whose Live Like You Were Dying refuses to give up the ghost, selling more than 66,900 copies and hanging tough at #9. "Goodie" girl Ciara rounds out the top 10, selling more than 66,100 copies of Goodies.

Albums from a trio of rock vets will make their debut in next week's top 30. R.E.M.'s 13th studio LP, the politically charged Around the Sun, will open at #13 (fittingly enough). Sacramento oddballs Cake land at #17 on more than 46,000 sales of their album Pressure Chief (a big drop from the debut of their 2001 album, Comfort Eagle, which sold more than 72,000 copies in its first week). And Tom Waits will score what has to be the biggest-ever opening for a "cubist-funk" album, topping 34,000 copies of his Real Gone.

The dubious honor for biggest drop of the week goes to New York's Interpol, who saw their album Antics fall 26 spots to #41. The Used are right behind them, though, as In Love and Death drops 20 places to #26. And Talib Kweli's The Beautiful Struggle slips from #14 to #32.

Other notable debuts on the chart include the radio-hits collection Totally Hits 2004, Vol. 2 at #19; the Christian-artist collection Wow Hits 2005 at #44; Raphael Saadiq's Ray Ray at #86, rap veterans De La Soul right behind him at #87 with Grind Date; reunited rock vets Helmet at #121 with Size Matters; and Fatboy Slim's Palookaville at #149.