It was a tight race for the #1 spot on Billboard's next albums chart, one that pitted enigmatic indie rock outfit Modest Mouse against soulful British songstress Joss Stone. And no matter how it all played out, someone was going to score the first chart-topping debut of their career.
While Stone was a solid contender for the top spot, Modest Mouse take the crown on next week's chart by a margin of 10,000 scans with their latest offering, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, selling nearly 129,000 copies. But Modest Mouse's conquest was perhaps more significant because of the band's newest member.
It took 25 years, but at long last, Johnny Marr -- the iconic guitarist behind the music of influential alternative rockers the Smiths, a band that released four studio albums and a pile of singles before calling it a day back in 1987 -- has himself a #1 album. Marr entered the Mouse fold last year, and We Were Dead -- the follow-up to the band's breakout Good News for People Who Love Bad News, which opened at #19 with 68,000 sold back in 2004 -- marks his first collaboration with the group.
Stone's hunt for #1 isn't yet over, but the singer can take solace in the fact that she's scored the highest-charting debut of her career with Introducing Joss Stone, her third studio LP. The disc sold 118,000 units to finish at #2, according to the latest SoundScan tallies. Following closely behind at #3 is the self-titled debut from Elliott Yamin, the third-place finalist on the fifth season of "American Idol." Yamin's album sold more than 90,000 copies its first week in stores, edging out the inaugural eponymous effort from the rock act fronted by fellow "Idol" hopeful Chris Daughtry. Daughtry racked up another 76,000 sales for #4 and an overall total that tops 2 million units.
Another new release lays claim to the chart's #5 slot with R&B heartthrob Marques Houston's third LP, Veteran, netting nearly 69,000 scans during its first week in stores. Akon's Konvicted drops one spot to #6, with nearly 69,000 sold, while Lloyd's Street Love sinks five to #7, scanning more than 55,000 copies.
The previous chart champ, Musiq Soulchild's Luvanmusiq, drops to #8 with 54,000 sold. Down six to #9 is Rich Boy's self-titled effort, which racked up sales of 49,000 in its second week in stores. Amy Winehouse slips three to #10, selling close to 48,000 copies of her debut, Back to Black.
A total of 23 new releases enter Billboard's top 200, including the Insane Clown Posse's latest, Tempest, which claims the #20 spot with 33,000 sold. New Orleans rapper Baby Boy Da Prince debuts in the #26 position, having sold nearly 26,000 copies of his LP, Across the Water, while Devin the Dude's Waitin' to Inhale bows at #30 with close to 25,000 scans. Crunk specialists Crime Mob open at #31, scanning more than 22,000 copies of their latest, Hated on Mostly, while Stephen Marley's Mind Control debuts at #35 with nearly 20,000 discs sold.
LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver pops up at #46, with 15,000 copies sold, while Squirrel Nut Zippers' Andrew Bird follows at #76 with Armchair Apocrypha moving 11,000 units. El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead claims the #78 opening with 11,000 sales, with Haste the Day's Pressure the Hinges finishing at #89 with nearly 10,000 scans. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists' Living With the Living debuts at #109 with sales just shy of 8,000 copies, while J Dilla's posthumous Ruff Draft follows at #112 with 7,700 scans.
Coming in at #156 with 5,500 copies sold is Maylene and the Sons of Disaster's latest, II, while Everything But the Girl's Tracey Thorn takes the #172 spot with her Out of the Woods generating 4,800 scans. Rapper Haystak's new one, Crackavelli, follows at #186, with 4,400 sales, while Low's Drums and Guns makes the cut at #196 with 4,000 copies sold.