Let the fall buying season begin. With four albums entering the Top 10 and eight new albums in the Top 20, music stores are flooded with red-hot records. That should come as no surprise. Rife with superstar releases, the period from late September to the end of the year has traditionally been the music industry's strongest season for sales.
This year, Mariah Carey kicks off the fourth quarter sweepstakes. To nobody's surprise, her Butterfly, debuts at No. 1, selling 235,000 copies during the week ending September 21, according to SoundScan. The week's other Top 10 debuts go to rapper Busta Rhymes' When Disaster Strikes (which came in at No. 3) and Christian rockers Jars of Clay's Much Afraid (No. 7). Aqua's Aquarium moves up to No. 10 from No. 15.
From the top, it's Butterfly, followed by LeAnn Rimes' You Light Up My Life-Inspirational Songs (which sold 205,000 copies); When Disaster Strikes (165,000); Master P's Ghetto D (124,000); Puff Daddy's No Way Out (119,000); Fleetwood Mac's The Dance (103,000); Much Afraid (100,000); Jewel's Pieces of You (91,000); Trisha Yearwood's (Songbook) A Collection of Hits (90,000), and Aquarium (90,000).
The other acts to debut in the Top 20 are rapper Mack 10 (No. 13), R&B singer Usher (No. 14), the R& B-oriented soundtrack to Soulfood (No. 16), country duo Brooks & Dunn (No. 17), and comedian Adam Sandler (No. 18).
Retailers and labels are thrilled with the influx of hit records. The only downside is that, in order to make room for the new, several older acts are paying the price on the sales chart. Rock acts are taking some of the hardest hits. Oasis' Be Here Now drops from No. 2 to No. 26 in just four weeks' time. Fellow English rockers Radiohead watch their critically acclaimed OK Computer fall from No. 91 to No. 142 -- a whopping 51 spots -- in just seven days. Among the week's other casualties: the Foo Fighters' The Colour & the Shape (No. 48 to No. 75); Meredith Brooks' Blurring the Edges (No. 52 to No. 113), and the Verve Pipe's Villains (No. 74 to No. 152). After 28 weeks on the Top 200, U2's Pop falls off the chart altogether.