Faith Takes King's Throne

"Cry" debuts at Number One, while Elvis falls to Three

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Faith Hill's Cry sold 472,000 copies in its first week, according to SoundScan, to bounce Elvis' 30 #1 Hits from Number One. Cry also got a head start on the fall diva sweepstakes, beating releases by Shania Twain, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston into stores and perhaps avoiding the pitfall of shared sales among that cluster of heavy-hitting female vocalists who timed their new albums closer to the holidays.

In addition to 30 #1 Hits (which fell to Number Three with sales of 143,000), Faith bested LL Cool J's 10, which didn't repeat the chart-topping success of his 2000 release, G.O.A.T.. But 10 still mustered 154,000 sales for a respectable Number Two showing.

In addition to Cool J, other Top Ten debuts included Gerald Levert's G Spot, which came in at Number Nine (with sales of 75,000), and Dave Hollister's Things in the Game Done Changed, which squeezed in at Number Ten (71,000). Fleetwood Mac's Very Best of Fleetwood Mac (Number Twelve, 65,000 copies sold), Taproot's Welcome (Number Seventeen, 51,000) and Tracy Chapman's Let It Rain (Number Twenty-five, 39,000) also debuted in the Top Fifty.

The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac underscores a value-added desire on the part of consumers who have been tighter with their purse strings this year. In addition to 30 #1 Hits and The Very Best, compilations by the Rolling Stones (Forty Licks, Number Four), Sting (The Very Best of Sting and the Police, Number Eighty-five), Aerosmith (Ultimate Greatest Hits, Number 101), Chicago (Very Best of Chicago, Number 104), Rod Stewart (Voice: The Very Best of Rod Stewart Number 148) and Prince (The Very Best of Prince, Number 151) have all followed the path of the Beatles' 1 (albeit, slightly less successfully) and debuted in the Top 100 and remained mainstays on the chart. Only INXS's just-released The Best of INXS enjoyed a less robust initial bow, debuting this week at Number 144 with sales of 8,000, perhaps due to the conspicuous absence of a "very" from the title.

Next week is anybody's guess. Faith's big first week should ensure a week two in the vicinity of 200,000 copies, a number that seems reasonable for the Foo Fighters' One by One to hit. And while Santana's last album, Supernatural, has sold more than 14 million copies, it was driven by the smash hit, "Smooth." His latest, Shaman might need a viable single, more than a nudge from its predecessor, to push it to the top.

This week's Top Ten: Faith Hill's Cry; LL Cool J's 10; Elvis Presley's 30 #1 Hits; Rolling Stones' Forty Licks; Avril Lavigne's Let Go; the Dixie Chicks' Home; Eminem's The Eminem Show; Nelly's Nellyville; Gerald Levert's The G Spot; and Dave Hollister's Things in the Game Done Changed.

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