Hip-hoppin' Hotlantian Young Jeezy entered this week's heavyweight fight for the Billboard albums chart's coveted championship belt with one glove tied behind his back. Contending with the 19th edition of powerhouse compilation series Now That's What I Call Music! — featuring hits from Gwen Stefani, Ludacris, Eminem, Coldplay and Destiny's Child — left Jeez at something of a disadvantage.
According to the latest SoundScan totals, Now 19 spends a second week as the chart's #1 album, despite suffering a 46 percent sales slip. The disc netted week-two scans of over 236,000. Jeezy's Let's Get It moved close to 172,000 copies, relegating former second-place finisher, Mariah Carey, to Billboard's #3 spot.
Miss Mariah's disc, The Emancipation of Mimi, experienced a 13 percent sales boost thanks to the instant success of the pop diva's latest single, "Shake It Off." Mimi sold 101,000-plus copies during its 16th week in stores.
Funnyman Dane Cook's Retaliation lands at #4, making the disc 2005's highest-charting comedy album; Larry the Cable Guy's Right to Bare Arms opened at #7 back in early April, but outsold Cook's offering — which scored opening-week sales of nearly 86,000 — by more than 6,000 copies.
Mr. A-Z, the follow-up to singer/songwriter Jason Mraz's breakthrough 2002 offering Waiting for My Rocket to Come, debuts at #5, selling more than 80,000 copies during its first week at retail. Not only does Mraz score the highest debut of his career, he pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of bumping Coldplay's X&Y from Billboard's top five. With eighth-week scans of more than 73,000, Chris Martin and crew's X&Y drops to #6 for the first time since its release.
Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business falls one chart position to #7 this week, selling over 68,000 copies. Gorillaz's Demon Days follows at #8, climbing one spot from the previous week with sales of more than 59,000. The two-dimensional troupe's LP outsold R. Kelly's new one by a mere 55 copies, forcing TP.3 Reloaded to the chart's #9 spot. Grown & Sexy, the latest offering from soulful singer/songwriter/producer Babyface, takes the #10 spot, with first-week sales of more than 56,000.
Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway comes in at #11 with scans of just over 56,000, followed at #12 by Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby, which moved close to 49,000 copies. Bow Wow's Wanted finishes at #13, with nearly 47,000 discs scanned, right in front of #14's In Your Honor, the latest from the Foo Fighters. The Foos' album netted sales of more than 45,000, besting the Ying Yang Twins' United State of Atlanta by just over 300 scans, dropping the Twins' latest to #15.
R&B newcomer Trey Songz's I Gotta Make It was one of a number of debuts to invade this most recent chart. Songz's album achieved opening-week sales of more than 41,000, earning a post at #20. Lil' Rob's Twelve Eighteen debuts at #31 with less than 34,000 copies sold, while Redemption, the fourth volume in Ruff Ryders' compilation series, takes #40 with close to 25,000 scans. Insane Clown Posse protégés Twiztid grab the chart's #80 spot with 13,000 plus sales for their latest, Mutant, Volume Two, while Swedish metal band and Ozzfest second-stage act Arch Enemy's Doomsday Machine checks in at #87, with sales of close to 12,000.
Jackson's Second Wind
After the abysmal first-week sales of The Essential Michael Jackson retrospective, there was speculation last week that the singer's recent acquittal on child-molestation charges had soured consumers on his music. (Then again, it's possible fans were content with owning just one or more of his numerous best-of discs, such as 1995's HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, 2003's Number Ones or 2004's Ultimate Collection.) But this week, retail interest in the disc mushroomed 40 percent, quieting at least some of the naysayers. Not that 11,000-plus scans can be interpreted as a resounding sign of support, but it does suggest the star's still got some gas in his tank. Essential advances 35 positions to #96.
Java Little Pill
Alanis Morissette's more caffeinated fans have had nearly two months to pick up Jagged Little Pill Acoustic, the lovelorn Canadian's revision of her breakthrough 1995 debut, thanks to an exclusive deal she inked with Starbucks (see "Alanis Morissette Plots Jagged Little Pill Acoustic Tour"). The album hit record stores nationwide last week and popped up at #50 on this most recent chart, having sold more than 20,000 copies during its first week of widespread commercial availability.
So when close to 57,000 copies of Morissette's unplugged Pill crossed Starbucks counters nationwide during the album's first week of release (it came out on June 14), technically, Alanis' album was the country's 17th best-selling LP — not the Dave Matthews Band's Stand Up, which, with sales of little more than 56,000, was listed at #17 on Billboard's sales chart. According to a SoundScan spokesperson, albums sold exclusively through one retailer are excluded from the company's weekly sales report
, accounting for Morissette's absence before this recent chart week. All told, Jagged Little Pill Acoustic has sold more than 178,000 copies in the U.S.