Nelly Back on Top

Springsteen bounced from Number One

August 21, 2002 12:00 AM ET

After a two week break, Nelly's Nellyville returned to the top of the charts, replacing Bruce Springsteen's The Rising after its fourteen-day run. Nellyville sold 183,000 copies, according to SoundScan, putting the album at Number One for six of its eight weeks of release. Nellyville also held off The Eminem Show, which climbed to Number Two on a 6,000 copy sales increase (to 179,000). The Rising's sales slipped to 167,000, and left the album just 50,000 copies shy of breaking the 1 million mark.

The week's biggest newcomer was James Taylor's eagerly awaited October Road, which jumped in at Number Four with sales of 154,000. But debuts peppered the Top Fifty. After nine albums and fifteen years, R&B singer Keith Sweat looked to start anew with Rebirth; and the album did just fine selling 58,000 copies at Number Fourteen. Nickel Creek's self-titled debut took a year to sell 50,000 copies, en route to its current tally of more than 700,000. The acoustic trio's latest, This Side, moved 51,000 in its first week for a Number Eighteen bow. Snoop Dogg's new venture with MCA got off to a strong start as he and the Doggy Style All-Stars sold 49,000 copies of their debut record (Number Nineteen), and Slum Village, another Detroit hip-hop export, sold 47,000 copies of Trinity (Past, Present and Future) to debut one slot lower.

There was little else to report from the charts. For the most part, sales sagged again, with The Eminem Show, XXX, System of a Down's Toxicity and Nappy Roots' Watermelon, Chicken and Gritz and Norah Jones' Come Away With Me, the only albums inside the Top Fifty to enjoy sales boosts.

Next week should provide more of the same -- a handful of newcomers, including Sleater-Kinney, the Black Crowes -- who should jump into the Top Fifty or Top 100. But don't expect a major shake-up at the top.

This week's Top Ten: Nelly's Nellyville; Eminem's The Eminem Show; Bruce Springsteen's The Rising; James Taylor's October Road; Avril Lavigne's Let Go; Now That's What I Call Music! 10; Toby Keith's Unleashed; Linkin Park's Reanimation; XXX soundtrack; and Scarface's The Fix.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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