Country crooner Garth Brooks has made sales history. Again. Not only did he beat out a crowded field of superstars to land the new No. 1 album in the country, but he did it the hard way, with a six-CD boxed set, The Limited Series. It sold 372,000 copies for the week ending May 10, according to SoundScan.
That's a stunner, because not only do bulky boxed sets rarely sell enough copies to hit the top ten, but Limited Series is the first of its kind to go to No. 1 since Bruce Springsteen's Live, 1975-1985 did it twelve years ago. (That means Brooks' is the first boxed-set to hit No. 1 since the more accurate sales data of SoundScan was instituted in 1991.) Given the fact that the singer's last studio album, Sevens, came out just six months ago and has already sold nearly five million copies, you wonder if he could release a spoken word record these days and watch it go platinum. Of course, it didn't hurt that Limited Series was "priced to sell," going for between $30 and $40 in many stores, a fraction of what a normal six-CD set sells for.
Brooks had plenty of stiff competition too, dethroning the Dave Matthews Band from the top spot, as well as beating out big new records by Leann Rimes, Tori Amos, rapper Fiend (yet another star player from Master P's camp) and a TV soundtrack to the Nineties' answer to Mary Tyler Moore: Ally McBeal.
From the top it was Limited Series, followed by the Dave Matthews Band's Before These Crowded Streets (selling 201,000 copies); the soundtrack to City of Angels (169,000); Leann Rimes' Sittin' on Top of the World (157,000); Tori Amos' From the Choirgirl Hotel (153,000); the soundtrack to Titanic (150,000); the soundtrack to Ally McBeal (144,000); Fiend's There's One in Every Family (136,000); Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love (108,000); and the Backstreet Boys' self-titled release (91,000).
Making room for the week's five big debuts, were recent records by Big Punisher, Savage Garden, George Strait, and Faith Hill, which all dropped out of the top ten.