After missing a fourth straight week at Number One by a mere 6,000 copies a week ago, Alan Jackson's Drive whipped the competition to reclaim the top spot, selling 184,000 copies, according to SoundScan. For Jackson and Drive the return to Number One came courtesy of a sales surge of more than 30,000 units from the previous week, more than enough to push the album past 1 million copies sold.
Drive's sales push, and a boost for Creed's Weathered, which sold 144,000 copies behind a 30,000 sales increase from the previous week, knocked last week's Number One, Jennifer Lopez's J to tha Lo!, down to Number Three, with sales of 134,000. The Top Ten otherwise consisted of the usual suspects, with no new releases. Puddle of Mudd's Come Clean broke into the Top Ten for the first time in its twenty-five weeks of release, with sales of 82,000 and Enrique Iglesias' Escape returned at Number Ten, also with sales of 82,000.
Although debuts were few and far between (Chris Isaak's Always Got Tonight was the only new release in the Top 100, Number Twenty-four with sales of 57,000), the week showed promise. Only four albums in the Top Fifty (J to tha Lo!, Barry Manilow's Ultimate Manilow, the Totally Country compilation and Lil' Bow Wow's Doggy Bag) didn't register higher sales from the previous week, possibly marking the end of the winter sales doldrums. The top seven records on the charts also managed to tally six-figure sales, the most so far in 2002.
Nas' Stillmatic passed the 1 million sales mark, nine weeks after its release. And on a sad note, Waylon Jennings' Greatest Hits stormed onto the charts at Number 160. In the wake of the country legend's death last week, the album scored a sales spike from 1,000 copies a week before, to nearly 11,000.
As for next week, Jackson doesn't look to have much competition at the top. By punk standards, Joey Ramone's posthumous release, Don't Worry About Me, should make a strong showing, but isn't likely to knock its way into the Top Ten.
This week's Top Ten: Alan Jackson's Drive; Creed's Weathered; Jennifer Lopez's J to tha Lo!; Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory; Nickelback's Silver Side Up; Ludacris' Word of Mouf; Barry Manilow's Ultimate Manilow; Pink's Missundaztood; Puddle of Mudd's Come Clean; and Enrique Iglesias' Escape.