Well, with hard rock in and Christmas coming, what better stocking stuffer than the latest from God-fearing rockers Creed. The group's new album, Weathered, sold 887,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan, to score the second highest debut of 2002, trailing only 'N Sync's Celebrity, which fell just shy of 2 million in its first week.
Weathered provided a long overdue week one ass-kicking of the Now That's What I Call Music! chart bully; the eighth volume of the best-selling series sold 550,000 copies, the first one in two years that failed to debut Number One. Now! also scored another chart coup, with Now That's What I Call Christmas! slipping into the Top Five with sales of 230,000. Creed's tally is particularly impressive within their own catalog. The band's previous effort, Human Clay, also debuted Number One, in October 1999. And like Weathered, it did so by upsetting a heavy favorite, Garth Brooks and his . . . In the Life of Chris Gaines pop miscue. But Human Clay, which has sold 10.2 million copies to date, got out of the gate with a mere 316,000 copies. With Christ's birthday approaching, don't expect much of a sales lag for Weathered between now and year's end. Or until Easter, for that matter.
Two other albums splashed into the Top Ten with strong, yet very different, six figure sales. Kid Rock's Cocky moved 223,000 units. A not shabby start, but nevertheless way below expectations for the Motor City rap-rocker. Rock seems to have lost his flock, and it may have something to do with the formula. He offers conflicting signals to a post-September 11th America, and with the week's announcement that we're in an official recession, a hesitant buying public is a non-existent buying public. Stars and stripes, good. "Cocky," bad. Rock's left-field hit, Devil Without a Cause was a slow burn success, and one of the biggest sellers of the past ten years. But Cocky couldn't even top last year's odds and ends collection, The History of Rock, which sold twice as many copies in its first week. Rock's still set on going platinum, it's just the trip will take longer than expected. On the other hand, Pink seems to be coming into her own. Her second release, Missundaztood, capitalized nicely on her Moulin Rouge gig, selling 220,000 copies. The figure is a marked jump from her debut, 2000's Can't Take Me Home, which bowed in at Number Twenty-six, with sales of 52,000.
Other strong showings were made by Timbaland and Magoo's Indecent Proposal (Number Twenty-nine), Smashing Pumpkins' Greatest Hits (Number Thirty-one), Ghostface Killah's Bulletproof Wallets (Number Thirty-four), Jill Scott's Experience (Number Thirty-eight), Mick Jagger's Goddess in the Doorway (Number Thirty-nine), Sting's All This Time (Number Forty), the Dungeon Family's Even in Darkness (Number Forty-two), Eightball's Almost Famous (Number Forty-seven) and the Bee Gees' Their Greatest Hits (Number Forty-nine).
Elsewhere, Enya's Day Without Rain (Number Six, 230,000) topped 4 million in sales, while Disturbed's Sickness and DMX's The Great Depression passed the 2 million and 1 million copies sold marks, respectively.
Next week look for new albums by summer hit-makers Smash Mouth and platinum hip-hop artists, Ludacris and Busta Rhymes, to make their charges into the Top Fifty.
This week's Top Ten: Creed's Weathered; Now That's What I Call Music! 8; Britney Spears' Britney; Garth Brooks' Scarecrow; Now Christmas!; Enya's Day Without Rain; Kid Rock's Cocky; Pink's Missundaztood; Enrique Iglesias' Escape; and Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory.