With only two titles exceeding sales of the 100,000 copies, it was a relatively quiet week at record stores. But you probably won't hear rapper Jay-Z complaining, as the 186,000 copies of his Vol II: Hard Knock Life that he moved for the week ending Oct. 18 was enough to keep him at the top of the country's music charts for the third straight week, according to SoundScan.
The week's second 100,000-plus mover was Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. After that, it was all about long distance runners, albeit slow ones. After watching eight new albums debut in the Top Ten over the last two weeks, the highest new debut last week came in all way down at No. 31 -- Bob Dylan's Live 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert (39,000 copies). That market was so soft it allowed some titles to climb the charts simply by treading water. For instance, the Goo Goo Dolls' Dizzy Up the Girl jumped from No. 23 to No. 15, despite the fact that during the past two weeks the record sold the same amount: 54,000 copies.
Some artists did manage to post significant sales gains, such as Nashville and Texas faves the Dixie Chicks, who crashed the Top Ten after thirty-eight weeks on the charts. The country trio (think Shania Twain times three, albeit with instrumental chops), were recently the surprise winners at the nationally televised Country Music Awards. That exposure, along with the Chicks' recent country No. 1 single, "There's Your Trouble," have turned the trio into superstars.
Other movers included Janet Jackson, whose recent HBO special featuring a live broadcast of her show in New York's Madison Square Garden, catapulted the singer's Velvet Rope from No. 68 to No. 43. And Eagle-Eye Cherry, he's climbing the charts the old fashion way, with a hit song. Thanks to the singer's Top Ten modern rock single, "Save Tonight," his new album Desireless jumps from No. 64 to No. 47.
From the top, it was Hard Knock Life, followed by The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (selling 127,000 copies); Twain's Come On Over (99,000); 'N Sync (98,0000); Outkast's Aquemini (89,000); Sheryl Crow's Globe Sessions (79,000); the Barenaked Ladies' Stunt (78,000); the soundtrack to Rush Hour (76,000); Backstreet Boys (70,000); and the Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces (68,000).