It's a classic tale of old meets new unfolding in the top ten this week, with rejuvenated veteran Eric Clapton and sparkling newcomer Natalie Imbruglia swooping in with hotshot performances for the week ending March 15, according to SoundScan.
For Clapton, no stranger to the charts, Pilgrim's debut at No. 4 (selling 168,258 copies) is his first top ten performance since 1994's From the Cradle, which entered at No. 1. But the real surprise this week is actress turned pop star Imbruglia, who comes to these shores from Australia by way of London. Her Left of the Middle enters the fray at No. 10, selling 84,257 copies. Of course, it'll be a difficult climb to the top with the slots one, two, and three holding steady with the indomitable Titanic soundtrack, Madonna's Ray of Light and Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love, respectively.
Top down it was: Titanic (448,000 copies); Ray of Light (225,000); Let's Talk About Love (199,000); Pilgrim; Savage Garden (116,000); K-Ci & Jo Jo's Love Always (106,000); the Wedding Singer soundtrack (94,000); Backstreet Boys (90,000);Scarface's My Homies (88,000) and Left of the Middle.
Elsewhere in the top 200, Grammy winners and nominees lost a step or two after their post-ceremony bumps, with artists like Bob Dylan, Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole and Erykah Badu experiencing noticeable slides. Other noteworthy debuts included Killah Priest's Heavy Mental, which kicked in at No. 24, and the Mavericks' Trampoline, with a strong first showing at No. 97. Way down in the mid-hundreds, British techno duo Mono continued their measured climb through the ranks. Might want to keep an eye on that one ...