Faith Hill will prove this week that chart success runs through her
household, while The Artist, formerly Prince, will see the results of
major-label distribution after three years without it.
Hill's Breathe will debut at #1 on this week's Billboard
200 albums chart, replacing Rage Against the Machine's The Battle of
Los Angeles, which will slip to #4.
Hill's album sold 242,229 copies in its first week of release, according
to SoundScan data released on Wednesday (Nov. 17). Hill's husband and fellow
country singer, Tim McGraw, reached that plateau earlier this year when
his A Place in the Sun debuted at #1 in May. The Breathe
title track (RealAudio
excerpt) already is a top-10 country hit.
The Artist's Rave Un 2 the Joy Fantastic will debut at #18 on sales
of 83,971 copies. The album is his first under a distribution deal with
Arista Records that allows The Artist to retain ownership of his recording
Here is the rest of this week's top 10: Mariah Carey's Rainbow at #2;
Latino rock band Santana's Supernatural at #3; the Backstreet Boys'
Millennium at #5; pop group Savage Garden's Affirmation at
#6; Britney Spears'
the soundtrack to the animated film "Pokémon: The First Movie" at
#8; German pop singer Lou Bega's A Little Bit of Mambo at #9; and
rapper Lil' Wayne's Tha Block Is Hot at #10.
R&B singer Montell Jordan's Get It On Tonite, which the singer
said in September he divided into two sections for slow jams and for
party songs, will debut at #32. Rock band Tonic will debut further down
the chart at #81 with their second album, Sugar.
The Savage Garden album and the "Pokémon" soundtrack are also debuts
The Artist's most recent original major-label studio album was 1996's
Chaos and Disorder, on Warner Bros., although EMI/Capitol Records
distributed a three-CD set, Emancipation, later that year. Last
year's Newpower Soul, and the box set Crystal Ball, like
Rave Un 2 the Joy Fantastic, were released on The Artist's NPG
Records but did not have the major-label distribution of the new CD. In
August, Warner Bros. released an album of Prince outtakes called The
Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale.
Rave Un 2 the Joy Fantastic features collaborations with Sheryl
Crow, Chuck D, Eve, Ani DiFranco and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt. It also
features production from some guy named Prince.
"It is inspiring if it's done properly," The Artist said in September
about tapping into his former self. "You can produce by opening channels.
Prince can do things to me that others can't. Jimi Hendrix can do a rock
album, and I want to ask him if I can use his name."
The album's first single is "The Greatest Romance Ever Sold" (RealAudio
excerpt). This week's debut marks the highest chart point for The
Artist since 1995's The Gold Experience, which reached #6. He
released 10 top-10 albums earlier in his career, including three #1 albums:
Purple Rain, Around the World in a Day and Batman.
Outside the top 10, introspective singer/songwriter Fiona Apple's new
album with a 90-word title, referred to as When the Pawn ... for
brevity's sake, will debut at #13. The disc builds on the dark tones of
Apple's first LP, Tidal (1996). Again she uses piano to augment
songs such as "Fast As You Can" (RealAudio
While sales of The Battle of Los Angeles fell substantially (from
more than 430,000 to around 198,000) in its second week, Frank Youngworth, the
head buyer for a Tower Records in Chicago, said he doubts the album will
go the way of Nine Inch Nails' The Fragile, which debuted at #1
in September but has plummeted to #103.
"I think it will sell well through the Christmas season," he said of the
Rage album. "If it's a good album, it will keep selling."
Several of the six albums that debuted in the top 10 last week didn't
fare nearly as well their second week. WWF: The Music, Volume 4, a
collection of pro-wrestling entrance songs, fell from #4 to #17. The
Counting Crows' third album, This Desert Life, went from #8 to
#25. Foo Fighters' There Is Nothing Left To Lose went from
#10 to #32. Lil' Wayne managed to hold some ground, falling to #10 from
Two wildly different soundtracks for the movies "End of Days" and
"Light It Up" will debut at #19 and #20, respectively. The soundtrack
to "End of Days," an Arnold Schwarzenegger film, features the first Guns
N' Roses song in eight years, "Oh My God" (RealAudio
excerpt), and other hard-rock songs. The soundtrack to "Light It
Up," an urban crime-drama, is loaded with hip-hop tracks from Ja Rule,
OutKast and others.
Other debuts will come from San Francisco Bay Area rapper E-40, whose
Charlie Hustle: Blueprint of a Self-Made Millionaire will enter
the chart at #28; singer Natalie Merchant, whose Live in Concert
will appear at #82; defunct dub-punk band Sublime, whose Greatest
Hits comes in at #114; and Social Distortion singer Mike Ness, whose
country-flavored Under the Influences will rest at #174.
Although it no longer sits atop the chart, Supernatural continues
to gain an audience. The album, guitarist Carlos Santana's most glowing
success in three decades, features collaborations with Rob Thomas of
Matchbox 20, Dave Matthews, Lauryn Hill and others. This week, the album's
sales rose nearly 4,000 copies from last week's total, to a little more
than 207,000, a higher total than any of three weeks it spent at #1 in
October and November.
This week marks the first time in two months that a guitar-rock album
will not hold the #1 position on the chart. Nine Inch Nails' The
Fragile, Creed's Human Clay, Supernatural and The
Battle of Los Angeles all preceded Breathe.
(An earlier version of this story ran at 7:35 PM EDT on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 1999.)