Fewer than 2,000 maggots made all the difference. Masked Iowan metallers Slipknot had never debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart, and needed their fans — affectionately dubbed "Maggots" — to hit their local record stores in force, if they were ever going to get All Hope Is Gone to the top. That's because West Coast rapper the Game released his latest, L.A.X., on the very same day, and with two consecutive #1 openings under his belt, he'd be a tough foe to best.
Earlier Wednesday (September 3), MTV News had reported that Game did in fact beat Slipknot to #1, based on sales figures released by Nielsen SoundScan. That sales information was incomplete, however, according to a representative for SoundScan, who added that the long holiday weekend caused delays in sales data. The spokesperson said that the company would be looking into why those erroneous numbers were posted on SoundScan's Web site.
In the end, it turns out that Slipknot will debut at #1 on next week's top 200. While it's the band's first chart-topping debut, All Hope Is Gone could not outsell Slipknot's previous outings. With just under 240,000 sold, it ranks third in first-week sales behind the band's 2001 effort, Iowa, which opened at #3 with 255,000 sold, and 2004's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), which entered at #2 with 243,000 scans.
The Game's latest enters the chart at #2, selling more than 238,000 copies; his previous efforts sold significantly better. His 2005 LP The Documentary entered the chart on top with 587,000 scans, while the 2006 follow-up, Doctor's Advocate, sold more than 358,000 units, to open at #1.
While the chaotic metal outfit and the hard-knocks MC were clearly the matchup of the week, theirs weren't the only new albums to make an impact on next week's chart. A total of 23 new releases crack the top 200, with two others debuting in the top 10. The Now That's What I Call Country compilation enters at #7 with 50,000 scans, and Solange Knowles' Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams bows at #9 with 46,000 sold.
Those new kids join a group of releases that are beginning to seem like old standards on the chart: Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus finished at #3 (with 89,000 sold), followed by the Jonas Brothers' A Little Bit Longer at #4 (80,000), the "Mamma Mia" soundtrack at #5 (78,000), Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III at #6 (54,000), Sugarland's Love on the Inside at #8 (47,000) and Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends at #10 (44,000).
Elsewhere on the chart, we find DragonForce's Ultra Beatdown opening at #18 after selling 24,000 copies and the Verve's Forth entering at #23 with 21,000 scans. Coming in at #63, with 9,000 sold, it's the Tropical Thunder compilation, which features tracks by Sean Paul, R. Kelly, Busta Rhymes, Beenie Man and more. Rapper V.I.C. 's Beast follows at #73, scanning nearly 7,000 units, while Motörhead's Motorizer trails at #82, with 6,000 first-week scans. Lastly, finishing out the week with 4,000 sold, Matthew Sweet's new album, Sunshine Lies, enters the chart at #162.