You've got to hand it to Justin Timberlake.
Who else could have told the entire world that "sexy" had indeed vanished and that he can restore it? Probably no one. And evidently, JT was onto something, because some 684,000 copies of the former 'NSYNC star's sophomore solo outing, FutureSex/LoveSounds, were purchased across the nation last week.
Of course, during his stint with 'NSYNC, Timberlake reached Billboard's apex twice before; 2001's Celebrity opened at #1 with 1.9 million in sales, and 2000's No Strings Attached took the #1 spot thanks to 2.4 million first-week scans (still the biggest-ever tally). But FutureSex/LoveSounds marks Justin's first #1 debut as a solo performer — his first LP, 2002's Justified, bowed at #2, selling more than 439,000 in its first week.
Plus, FutureSex/LoveSounds racked up some of the year's biggest sales numbers, outperforming previous #1 Beyoncé's B'Day (which drops to #3) by more than 143,000 copies and Tool's 10,000 Days by 120,000 units. Still, the year's best first-week performance belongs to Rascal Flatts' Me & My Gang, which generated about 722,000 scans during week one.
FutureSex sold more than twice as many copies as John Mayer's Continuum, which debuts at #2 with close to 300,000 units sold; Mayer's 2003's effort, Heavier Things, was a #1 debut with sales of 316,500, while 2001's Room for Squares failed to chart its first week out.
Timberlake and Mayer's albums are just two of the 30 new releases on the chart, 14 of which broke the top 50. Face the Promise, a fresh collection of Bob Seger tunes, opens at #4 with 151,000 in sales, followed by Bob Dylan's Modern Times, which sold more than 93,000 copies. Lionel Richie's Coming Home debuts at #6 with 75,000 scans, while Hinder's Extreme Behavior climbs three to #7.
Danity Kane's self-titled debut slides four to #8 with 62,000 in sales, while the new one from the Mars Volta, Amputechture, bows at #9 (Volta's 2005 LP, Frances the Mute, sold 123,000 copies its first week to open at #4). Rounding out the top 10 is Nickelback's All the Right Reasons with 56,000 units sold.
Of the rest of the newcomers, one of the best performers ended up being the second soundtrack to the television series "Grey's Anatomy." This latest volume features tracks from the Fray, Gomez and Snow Patrol, and it racked up more than 46,000 sales to claim the #14 slot. Papa Roach's The Paramour Sessions bows at #16 with close to 37,000 scans, outselling the Barenaked Ladies' Barenaked Ladies Are Me — which occupies the #17 spot — by just seven copies. The latest from Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society, Shot to Hell, claims the #21 position with 32,000 units scanned, while Mastodon's epic Blood Mountain debuts at #32 with 24,000 copies sold.
Daz's So So Gangsta debuts at #35, selling around 23,000, and Norma Jean's Redeemer trails just three spots back. TV on the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain claims the #41 slot with just under 21,000 in sales, and Yo La Tengo's I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass comes in at #66 with 14,500. Citizen Cope's back in the top 200 at #69 with Every Waking Moment. Meanwhile, N.O.R.E.'s N.O.R.E. y la Familia ... Ya Tú Sabe pops up at #82 with 11,700 in sales.
The Plain White T's' Every Second Counts opens at #89 with 11,000 scans, followed at #95 by the Black Keys' Magic Potion, which garnered 10,600 in first-week sales. Shawn Colvin's These Four Walls takes the chart's #109 position, selling close to 9,500 copies, and the Rapture's Pieces of the People We Love opens at #113 with 9,200 in sales. R.E.M. appear on the chart not once but twice this week: The two-disc collector's edition of the band's And I Feel Fine: The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 comes in at #116 with 8,700 sold, while the single-disc version opens at #148 with 6,800 scans.
Peter Frampton's Fingerprints surfaces at #129 with sales reported at 8,000, and Heavens' Patent Pending takes the #146 slot with 6,800 units sold. Everclear's Welcome to the Drama Club lands at #169 with 5,400 in sales, followed by Carbon Leaf's Love Loss Hope Repeat at #170 with 5,300 scans.
For more on Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, check out the features [article id="1538480"]"Justin's Future Shock"[/article] and [article id="1538719"]"Be All You Can, B."[/article]