The three men known collectively as Rascal Flatts weren't able to pull off four weeks at the top of the Billboard albums chart. Instead, the trio took a pounding from IV, the fourth serving of dude-rock cooked up by Massachusetts' own Godsmack.
The Sully Erna-led rockers weren't the only ones to help derail the Flatts' three-week express run. Four other new releases managed to crack the top five, jolting Rascal's Me & My Gang to the #6 slot. The Flatts album sold 111,000 copies last week, bringing its four-week sales total to over 1.3 million.
According to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (May 3), Godsmack's IV — one of six LPs that will debut in the top 10 on the new chart — sold 211,000 copies during its first week to open at #1. The album is the second of the band's career to debut on top, as 2003's Faceless claimed a first-place win with 267,000 scans. Awake, Godsmack's 2000 release, bowed at #5 with 256,000 copies sold, making IV the band's third-best debut performer.
Louder Now, the latest offering from Long Island, New York, melodic hardcore outfit Taking Back Sunday, falls in at #2 after netting first-week sales of close to 158,000. Although it is TBS' highest-charting debut, Louder Now was outsold by 2004's Where You Want to Be, which opened at #3 with 164,000 scans.
Bruce Springsteen's latest offering, the folk album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, follows at #3 with sales topping 149,000. The Boss' 2005 album, Devils & Dust, debuted at #1 with more than 222,000 sales. Chicago R&B crooner Avant's Director, another new release, pops up at #4 with 123,000 scans, followed at #5 by Barbados-born R&B singer Rihanna's A Girl Like Me, which netted week-one sales of 115,000.
The soundtrack to the Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical" follows the Flatts, sliding four spots to #7 with 106,000 sales. The 21st addition to the Now That's What I Call Music! franchise — featuring hit singles from Mariah Carey, Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson and Fall Out Boy — follows at #8, with 98,000 copies sold. The #9 slot belongs to the Goo Goo Dolls' Let Love In, the band's first album in four years, which racked up sales nearing 83,000.
Rounding out the top 10 — and proving once again that "American Idol" isn't only beneficial to the show's contestants, but also helps out the program's coaches — is Andrea Bocelli's Amore, which climbs 15 spots to #10 with 74,000 scans. Sales of the disc experienced a 208-percent boost following Bocelli's appearance on last week's "Idol."
Next week's albums chart is crammed with fresh faces, with 14 new releases cracking the top 200. Coming in at #13 is gospel group MercyMe's Coming Up to Breathe, which generated more than 58,000 scans its first week out. All the Road Running, the collaborative release from Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler and country icon Emmylou Harris — which took seven years to craft — follows at #17 with 47,000 copies sold.
The Streets' The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living opens in the #68 spot with 13,000 scans, while R&B singer/songwriter Amel Larrieux's Morning checks in at #74 with nearly 12,000 in sales. Lewis Black's latest comedy album, The Carnegie Hall Performance, opens at #144 with 6,000-plus scans. The Secret Machines' Ten Silver Drops surfaces in the #159 spot with close to 6,000 copies sold, and DJ Tiësto's In Search of Sunrise 5: Los Angeles bows at #164 with sales topping 5,000.