It was an impossible mission for Metallica, Foo Fighters and other hard-rockers the stars of the new "Mission: Impossible 2" soundtrack to conquer teen pop wonders *NSync on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
The five heartthrobs continued to grip the #1 position with No Strings Attached, selling 188,156 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to SoundScan data released Wednesday (May 17).
Mission: Impossible 2, which also includes songs by Chris Cornell, Rob Zombie and Buckcherry, checked in with 130,357 copies sold during its debut week of release.
Other notable debuts include Hanson's This Time Around at #19 and Mandy Moore's I Wanna Be With You (RealAudio excerpt of title track) at #21.
The rest of the top 10 will be: Santana's Supernatural at #3, Sisqó's Unleash the Dragon at #4, Joe's My Name Is Joe at #5, Creed's Human Clay at #6, Toni Braxton's The Heat at #7, 504 Boyz's Goodfellas at #8, Dixie Chicks' Fly at #9, and Faith Hill's Breathe at #10.
The Hanson brothers who scored a 1997 hit with "MMMBop" (RealAudio excerpt) and Moore, both teenage pop acts, say they've grown since their previous releases.
"Of course, as you live your life, it will change the way you write songs and your perspective," lead singer/keyboardist Taylor Hanson, 17, said recently. "This album is definitely a different Hanson."
Moore, 16, expressed similar sentiments. Her debut, So Real, was just released in December but had been recorded about a year before that.
"I've been out in the world [since then] and experienced new cultures and met new people, and it's bound to change you," she said recently. "I'm a more confident person, so why not make some new music?"
Additional debuts of note include rapper Miracle with his self-titled disc at #56, Wu-Tang Clan associate Killah Priest at #73 with View From Masada, punk-rockers Bad Religion at #88 with New America, country duo the Judds at #107 with Judds Reunion: Live, roots-rockers the Jayhawks at #129 with Smile and late singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley at #133 with Mystery White Boy.
Pop singer Vitamin C's self-titled album was boosted 10,000 copies and 11 notches to #35, undoubtedly thanks to the popularity of her single "Graduation" (RealAudio excerpt) in this end-of-the-school-year season.
Metallica also received a seven-slot bump to #90 for last year's live symphonic set, S&M. The band has been a fixture in the music press since last month, when it filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the maker of the popular Napster MP3-trading software, charging that the program allows people to swap near-CD-quality music for free without permission.
The new album chart is likely to offer grist for the ongoing debate over music piracy.
During a recent online chat, Metallica singer/guitarist James Hetfield said giving away music for free via Napster could put the band out of business. Drummer Lars Ulrich added that seeing pre-release copies of Metallica's Mission: Impossible 2 song "I Disappear" on Napster was the motivation for filing the suit.
Apparently, the widespread piracy through Napster hasn't hurt business enough to prevent "I Disappear" and the "Mission: Impossible 2" soundtrack from landing at #2 on the chart.