The streets are lined with discarded Christmas trees, and only four albums tallied sales in excess of 100,000 copies. If last week's charts suggested an illness, this week is the obit: The holidays are officially over, as consumers stuffed their wallets back in their pockets and went looking for jobs.
The usual suspects remain in place in and around the Top Ten. And Creed's Weathered remained unbeatable, despite selling only a paltry 166,000 copies, barely holding off Linkin Park's teflon Hybrid Theory, which was Number Two with 124,000 units sold. Ludacris' Word of Mouf and Nickelback's Silver Side Up round out the six-figure club with 106,000 and 103,000 copies sold, respectively.
And though this week last year was hardly a sales juggernaut, the Beatles 1 (which this week topped 8 million copies sold) was a sales champ worthy of praise, with sales of nearly 270,000, one of nine records that sold better than 100K.
Perhaps some solace can be found in the week's promising new debuts? No dice. The Top 100 was void of a single newcomer, and late 2001 prospects are already beginning a slow slide down, as highly anticipated albums by Kid Rock, Mystikal, Jewel are barely hanging on to spots in the Top Thirty.
Worse yet is the near future. Country man Alan Jackson's Drive, which includes the 9/11 inspired hit single "Where Were You (When the Earth Stopped Turning)" looks to be the only upcoming release with some sort of propeller. This time last year promised upcoming albums from Jennifer Lopez, Dave Matthews, Destiny's Child and Janet Jackson in the spring. As the schedules look now, summer may be the next sign of relief.
This week's Top Ten: Creed's Weathered; Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory; Ludacris' Word of Mouf; Nickelback's Silver Side Up; Now That's What I Call Music! 8; Enya's A Day Without Rain; Ja Rule's Pain Is Love; Pink's Missundaztood; Nas' Stillmatic; and No Doubt's Rock Steady.