We may all be stars now, as Marilyn Manson sings on his band's new single, "The Dope Show," but Manson is this week's brightest star by far.
Manson's Mechanical Animals, the follow-up to the wildly controversial 1996 album Antichrist Superstar (perhaps the Christian Coalition's least favorite record of all-time), touched down as the country's No. 1 album for the week ending September 20, according to SoundScan, selling 223,000 copies its first week in stores. The album knocked off hip-hop's Lauryn Hill from the top spot, where she had been residing for three weeks.
Mechanical Animals finds Manson trading in the goth rock whips and leather jock straps in favor of glam-style androgyny, complete with plastic-breasted suit. The evolving shock value, combined with Manson's downright catchy radio hit "The Dope Show," (not to mention Manson's much-talked about T&A performance on MTV's VMA show two weeks back) powered Mechanical Animals to No. 1.
Two other albums made Top Ten debuts for the week: Hootie and the Blowfish's Musical Chairs came in at a surprisingly strong No. 4, while the hip-hop soundtrack to the Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker action flick Rush Hour debuted at No. 7.
Meanwhile, Hole's closely watched Celebrity Skin held its own during its second week in stores, dropping, but just barely, from No. 9 to No. 10. (Celebrity Skin's producer Michael Beinhorn also worked on Mechanical Animals, which may explain why each record shares a glossier pop sound than did previous records by both artists.) That same commercial staying power did not save rapper Canibus however. His debut, Can-I-Bus, which hit stores the same week as Celebrity Skin, plunged from No. 2 to No. 22.
From the top, it was Mechanical Animals, followed by The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (selling 194,000 copies); the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty (111,000); Musical Chairs (110,000); 'N Sync (108,000); the Barenaked Ladies' Stunt (92,000); the Rush Hour soundtrack (89,000); The Backstreet Boys (84,000); the Brian Setzer Orchestra's Dirty Boogie (80,000); and Celebrity Skin (79,000).