For five long years, Tool fans waited for Maynard James Keenan's rock collective to bless them with some fresh material to sink their teeth into. That's over 250 weeks of waiting and wondering just when Tool's next studio effort would surface to soothe those burning hunger pangs. Last week, Tool finally served up a fourth helping of avant-metal in the form of 10,000 Days, the follow-up to 2001's Lateralus.
From the looks of things, Tool's faithful followers couldn't stand another minute of malnourishment. Nearly 564,000 rushed right out to record stores to devour 10,000 Days. The result? Tool have reclaimed Billboard's albums chart throne. According to the latest SoundScan data, 10,000 Days becomes Tool's second-straight LP to debut at #1 (Lateralus opened on top with week-one sales topping 555,000).
All in all, it was a strong week for rock and roll. Of the 14 newcomers to the upcoming chart, nine are rock bands, including Pearl Jam, whose latest, self-titled release -- the band's first in nearly four years -- follows at #2 with 279,000 scans. Though it is by no means Pearl Jam's strongest debut showing (1996's No Code bowed at #1 with 366,000 copies sold, and 1993's Vs. and 1994's Vitalogy both opened at #1 with sales reported at 877,000 and 950,000, respectively), Pearl Jam did manage to outsell the grunge icons' two previous outings: 2000's Binaural, which debuted at #2 and pushed 226,000 units, and 2002's Riot Act, which finished at #5 with 166,000 scans.
Sales of Pearl Jam's 2004 best-of collection, Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003, also shot up 44 percent, moving close to 5,000 discs to return to the chart at #177.
Mobb Deep's Blood Money, the chart's sole hip-hop newbie, occupies the #3 spot with close to 106,000 copies sold. The rap veterans' first release for 50 Cent's G-Unit Records outsold the soundtrack to the Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical," which moved 94,000 copies and climbs three spots to #4. Me & My Gang, the latest from country trio Rascal Flatts, follows at #5 with sales of 89,000 plus. The 21st installment in the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series -- featuring tracks from the Pussycat Dolls, Nelly, Chris Brown, Nickelback and the All-American Rejects -- finishes at #6 with 85,000 units scanned. The previous week's #1, Godsmack's IV, slides to #7 with nearly 84,000 copies sold.
Jewel's latest, Goodbye Alice in Wonderland, debuts with 82,000 copies sold -- enough to break the top 10, but soft compared to 2003's 0304, which bowed at #2 with 143,000 sales. Bruce Springsteen's We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions put up second-week sales of 75,000 and then some to give the Boss a solid ninth-place finish. A fresh face rounds out the top 10 as country artist Phil Vassar's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 takes the 10 spot after selling 65,000 copies its first week in stores.
A City by the Light Divided, the new LP from New Jersey emo heroes Thursday, debuts at #20 with nearly 46,000 units scanned. The band's 2003 major label debut, War All the Time, opened at #7 with 74,000 in sales. The self-titled debut from Wolfmother bows at #22 with 37,000 copies sold, and the self-titled debut offering from Rebel Meets Rebel, a project featuring ex-Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul and his late brother, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, claims the #38 slot, with first-week scans of nearly 26,000.
Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell's solo debut, Welcome Home, pops up at #74 with 13,000-plus scans, while Gomez's first studio LP for Dave Matthews' ATO Records, How We Operate, bows at #106 with over 8,000 copies sold. Ministry's Rio Grande Blood debuts at #134 with close to 7,000 sales, and the Black Keys' Chulahoma just makes the chart, coming in at #199 with more than 4,000 copies sold.
Check out "Throwback With Mobb Deep" for a look at the duo's road to G-Unit.