With first-week sales of Hypnotize coming it at over 320,000, System of a Down have pulled off two Billboard albums chart #1 debuts in 2005.
You may not think System have much in common with the Beatles, but according to the band's label, the hard-rocking foursome — who landed on top with Mezmerize in May — is the first group to score a pair of chart-topping debuts within the same calendar year since John, Paul, George and Ringo. The Beatles did it five times — though they had anthologies and collections, not two studio LPs, in the mix — while solo artist DMX opened on top twice in 1998.
According to the latest SoundScan figures, Hypnotize gives the Serj Tankian-fronted collective the third #1 debut of its decade-long career. The eclectic metallers bumped pop icon Madonna from Billboard's top spot. Her Confessions on a Dance Floor drops to #4 with second-week scans of 210,000 plus. Country star Kenny Chesney's The Road and the Radio climbs one chart position to #2 with 303,000 copies sold, following a 58 percent sales boost. The 20th installment in the Now That's What I Call Music! series jumps two spots to #3 this week, with sales of 288,000 reflecting a 70 percent surge in retail interest.
After System of a Down, the week's biggest debut belongs to #8 finisher Enya and her latest new age collage, Amarantine. The disc sold more than 178,000 copies during its first week on shelves, following Carrie Underwood, whose debut Some Hearts falls five spots to #7 with 187,000 in sales. Mariah Carey's The Emancipation of Mimi drops two to #6, selling more than 204,000 units to push total sales past the 4 million mark. The soundtrack to 50 Cent's first crack at acting, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," ascends one position to #5 with more than 207,000 scans — a 23 percent sales spike.
It was a huge week for album sales overall, one of the best in recent memory. Of Billboard's top 50 finishers, only eight sold fewer albums than the previous week — 33 experienced a sales increase while nine others were new to the chart. And many of the biggest winners from last week's American Music Awards were even bigger winners with the record-buying public, while several of the ceremony's performers also did well for themselves. Green Day's American Idiot, for instance, jumped from #29 to #16 with over 100,00 copies sold, a 153 percent increase. Usher's Confessions skyrocketed from #199 to #94, thanks to surging sales of 174 percent. Rob Thomas' Something to Be, a no-show on last week's chart, returns at #104 after a 173 percent spike.
Notable debuts cracking the chart include Juelz Santana's What the Game's Been Missing! which whistles into the top 10 at #9 with 141,000 in sales, while Chamillionaire's The Sound of Revenge opens at #10 with 130,000 scans. Former Creed frontman Scott Stapp's first solo outing, The Great Divide, opens at #18 with 94,000 copies sold, and Nelly's Sweatsuit takes the chart's #26 with sales of 64,000 plus.
Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert, opens at #34 with nearly 50,000 copies sold, and Got Purp? Vol. II, a compilation of artists championed by Outkast's Big Boi surfaces at #49 with 35,000 scans. Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda's side project Fort Minor debut at #60 after moving 28,000 copies of The Rising Tied, while Talib Kweli's Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD takes #113 with sales of more than 16,000. Britney Spears' barely promoted remix album, B in the Mix: The Remixes, pops up at #134 with 14,000 scans.
Check out the feature "System Of A Down: Double Header" for more on Hypnotize and Mezmerize.