This week's Billboard 200 albums chart tells the tale as well as any calendar --
the holiday season has arrived.
In the week ending Dec. 13, 174 of the top 200 albums on the chart showed an increase
in sales, as music fans stocked up for gift-giving.
"The day after Thanksgiving is always our strongest day," Andy Phillips, a manager at
Philadelphia's HMV record store, said. "But this season has been really strong over the
The increase in sales includes most of the artists in the top 10.
Country crooner Garth Brooks' Double Live set continues at #1 for the fourth week
in a row after the album's sales jumped from 423,332 last week to this week's total of
Brooks is followed -- as he was last week -- by pop singer Celine Dion's These Are
Special Times at # 2; 'N Sync's self-titled debut at #3; and singer/songwriter Jewel's
Spirit at #4.
Meanwhile, on the strength of the single "Pretty Fly (For A
White Guy)" (RealAudio excerpt), punk-rock band Offspring's Americana
jumped into the top 10. The album landed at #9 with a sales increase from 140,731 to
"I have a love-hate relationship with that song," Offspring fan Melanie Hill, 19, wrote in an
e-mail from her home in Phoenix. "On the one hand, you can't get the hook out of your
head. On the other hand, you can't get the hook out of your head."
Only two of last week's top-10 albums experienced sales slumps. Metallica's Garage
Inc., a two-disc set of covers of such songs as Queen's
href="http://media.addict.com/atn-bin/get- music/Metallica/Stone_Cold_Crazy.ram">"Stone Cold Crazy"
music/Metallica/Stone_Cold_Crazy.ram">"Stone Cold Crazy"(RealAudio
excerpt), dropped from #5 to #10 after moving 190,578 copies, a drop from last week's
total of 204,993.
And the greatest-hits collection from slain gangsta-rapper Tupac Shakur dropped from
#6 to #13 after its sales slipped from 184,228 to 178,265.
There were few debuts on the chart this week. Rapper Redman scored the highest debut,
as his Doc's The Name 2000 landed at #11 after moving 182,931 copies. Further
down the chart, the No Limit Records compilation We Can't Be Stopped, which
features new tracks by Snoop Dogg, Mia-X and C-Murder, landed at #19; while the
soundtrack to the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, "You've Got Mail," peaked in at #194.
The rest of the top 10: Backstreet Boys, Backstreet Boys (#5); Mariah Carey,
No. 1's (#6); 'N Sync, Home For Christmas (#7); and Shania Twain,
Come On Over (#8).