The [artist id=”814″]Dave Matthews Band[/artist] lead the charge in a week of change at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. The venerable jam band’s Big Whiskey & the Groogrux King (the title is an homage to late sax player LeRoi Moore, who died following an ATV accident last year) will notch the second-biggest rock bow of the year so far, with first-week sales of 424,000, according to figures supplied by Nielsen SoundScan.
Relinquishing the #1 spot after two weeks at the top is [artist id=”502642″]Eminem’s[/artist] Relapse, which moved 141,000 more copies, for a three-week total of 962,000. Among the fresh blood in the top 10 is 311’s Uplifter, at #3 thanks to 60,000 in sales. At #6 is the self-titled debut from rock supergroup Chickenfoot, whose members include [artist id=”1012″]Red Hot Chili Peppers[/artist] drummer Chad Smith, guitarist Joe Satriani and ex-Van Halen members singer Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony. [artist id=”1227998″]Taking Back Sunday[/artist] also had a healthy first week, coming in at #7 with New Again, which sold 48,000 copies.
The rest of the top 10 features some usual suspects: [artist id=”988″]Green Day’s[/artist] 21st Century Breakdown (#4, 52,000), the “Hannah Montana” soundtrack (#5, 50,000), [artist id=”3061469″]Lady Gaga’s[/artist] Fame (#8, 47,000), Kenny Chesney’s Greatest Hits II (#9, 39,000) and [artist id=”2389485″]Taylor Swift’s[/artist] Fearless (#10, 36,000).
Veteran Bay Area punks Rancid will just miss a top 10 debut for their first album of new material in more than six years, Let the Dominoes Fall, which comes in at #11 with sales of 33,000 for their highest-ever chart debut. Speaking of old-school punks, original angry young man Elvis Costello hits #13 with his country tribute Secret Profane & Sugarcane (#13, 28,000). Not-so-angry young man and “Hannah Montana” co-star Mitchel Musso comes in at #19 with his self-titled debut, which moved 20,000 copies.
Kings of Leon appear still to be profiting from the MTV Movie Awards bounce, as their breakthrough Only by the Night album gets a 50 percent sales bump up to #12 on sales of 32,000. The news is not nearly as rosy for sagging goth rocker Marilyn Manson, whose The High End of Low lost 67 percent in week two, plummeting from #4 to #24 on sales of 16,000. He has some company, as Veckatimest from indie faves Grizzly Bear dropped 63 percent, falling from its unlikely #8 debut to #39 (12,000).
Lovable, scruffy mope-rockers the Eels shuffle onto the charts at #43 with Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire (11,000) and the mixtape-style memorial to late DJ J Dilla, Jay Stay Paid, shows up at #96 with 5,000 units moved. And despite more than a decade of hype, the long-awaited first installment of Neil Young’s eight-CD career retrospective, Vol. 1 Archives (1963-1972), might be a victim of the recession, as it manages just a #102 debut (5,000). The news is even worse for punk godfather Iggy Pop, whose arty experimental album of French poetry, Preliminaires, flops in at #187 (3,000).
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the debut at #121 (4,200) of the colorfully named screamo act Iwrestledabearonce, best known for their song “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon.”
Expect the Black Eyed Peas to shake things up next week with their future funk opus, The E.N.D.