In 2004, G-Unit soldier Lloyd Banks' debut disc, The Hunger for More, opened at #1 on Billboard's albums sales chart, with week-one sales topping 433,000, and Hunger ended up spending a second-straight week at #1, selling close to 164,000 units.
Of course, Banks would have liked to have seen the same results for his sophomore LP, Rotten Apple — an album that features a slew of special guests, including G-Unit associates Tony Yayo and Young Buck, Rakim, Scarface, Mobb Deep, and, on three cuts, 50 Cent.
But with first-week sales totaling close to 143,000, Banks fell more than 40,000 albums short of a chart-topping repeat, and will have to settle instead for the chart's #3 position. Because this week, the #1 slot belongs to Rod Stewart's Still the Same ... Great Rock Classics of Our Time. Rowdy Rod's new one sold to the tune of more than 184,000 its first week in record stores, which was more than enough for the Billboard title belt.
According to the latest SoundScan figures released Wednesday morning (October 18), a second-place finish wasn't even in the cards for Mr. Banks. That's because with more than 164,000 additional copies of The Open Door being carried away from retail outlets last week, Evanescence — who occupied the chart's #1 spot last week, with 447,000 in week-one scans — are sitting pretty at #2, having suffered the typical and expected second-week sales slump: a 63 percent drop.
The only other new disc to crack the chart's coveted top 10 can be found at #4 — Take the Weather With You from tropical rocker Jimmy Buffett. That album sold 121,000 copies during its initial week of release, thanks to the collective power of the Parrotheads, Buffett's legion of devoted, Hawaiian shirt-donning fans. Right behind Buffett is Bennett — Tony Bennett, of course. The iconic crooner's Duets: An American Classic continues to rack up strong sales, with another 105,000 units scanned during the album's third week in stores. The Killers' Sam's Town slides four spots to #6 this week, as second-week sales fell 68 percent, amounting to 102,000 sold.
Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds follows at #7, with sales reported at 92,000 for a five-week grand total of nearly 1.3 million sold. George Strait's It Just Comes Natural drops five spots to #8, with sales of 88,000, while Hinder's Extreme Behavior climbs one slot to #9, with 76,000 scans. Ludacris rounds out the top 10, selling more than 74,000 copies of his latest, Release Therapy, bringing his total album sales just short of the 500,000 mark. Not a shabby showing for an album that's been in stores just three weeks.
Just 20 new releases managed to make it into the Billboard top 200 this week, including the debut disc from country outfit Heartland, I Loved Her First, at #11, netting more than 61,000 in week-one sales. At #15 this week is Still Searching, the sophomore studio outing from New Jersey screamo specialists Senses Fail. More than 49,000 copies of the album left music retail last week, giving the band a strong, and unexpected, sales showing.
The same could be said for Florida metallers Trivium, who land at #25 with their latest, The Crusade, selling more than 31,000 units. Meanwhile, Sting's Songs From the Labyrinth claims the chart's #37 spot with sales nearing 24,000, and Sammie's self-titled sophomore LP, the R&B singer's first collection of new material in six years, opens at #42 with just over 20,000 scans (see "Where Ya Been? Sammie Graduating To Comeback, Third Eye Blind Can See Clearly Now").
Colorblind, the fresh studio set from Robert Randolph and the Family Band, bows at #75 with 12,000-plus copies snatched up, while Sister Hazel's Absolutely debuts at #86 with 11,200 sold. The Blood Brothers return to the Billboard chart with Young Machetes, which claims the #92 slot with nearly 11,000 units leaving record store shelves, and Uncovered/Covered, a collaborative release from R&B artists Kenny Lattimore and Chanté Moore, follows at #95 with more than 10,000 scans.
Cobra Starship's While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets debuts at #125 with 8,000 in first-week sales action, followed at #151 by singer/songwriter James Taylor's James Taylor at Christmas, which put up week-one sales of 6,000 units. And A Static Lullaby's self-titled new one takes the chart's #172 slot, with more than 5,000 scans.