.

Norah Tops the Charts

Grammy noms push pop-jazz album to Number One

January 15, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Forty-six weeks have passed since Norah Jones' Come Away With Me crept into record stores, making few immediate ripples. But during the spring, record labels -- desperate to combat sagging sales -- offered up a lower retail price for releases like Come Away With Me and John Mayer's Room for Squares. In the case of the latter, the gamble was a success. In the former, an overwhelming success: Jones' record climbed into the Top Fifty in May, the Top Twenty in August and the Top Ten in September. Though the album just missed being one of 2002's ten best sellers, a handful of Grammy nominations have given Come Away With Me legs when the rest of the big sellers have tired. This past week, nearly a year after its release, the album moved 108,000 copies, according to SoundScan, to reach Number One.

Much of the dialogue surrounding Come Away With Me has focused on which nametag it should bear: jazz, pop, torch, vocal, etc. Perhaps it isn't "jazz" cut from the cloth of Miles Davis (or even Ella Fitzgerald), but whatever one says about Jones' album, like the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack a year ago, it ain't like anything else that has topped the pop charts in a good long while.

Come Away With Me was the lone bit of news in a predictably lousy week of album sales. It was also the only record to top six-figure sales for the week, with Jennifer Lopez's This Is Me . . . Then pulling up at Number Two with sales of 89,000. Last week's chart topper, the 8 Mile soundtrack, fell to Number Five with sales of 75,000. For the most part, the rest of the Top Ten from last week just traded chairs, with Missy Elliott's Under Construction the only newcomer (climbing from Number Eleven to Number Eight with sales of 58,000). Unlike last week, there were a few debuts. Country newcomer Aaron Lines sold 13,000 copies of his debut, Living Out Loud at Number Sixty-eight. And new records by the Exies and Joe Nichols also found their way into the Top 200.

Having found its way to Number One, Come Away With Me might actually get to enjoy the slot for a little while. Release schedules for the major labels continue to be thin, with the upcoming Grammy Awards the biggest event on their dockets.

This week's Top Ten: Norah Jones' Come Away With Me; Jennifer Lopez's This Is Me . . . Then; Avril Lavigne's Let Go; the Dixie Chicks' Home; 8 Mile soundtrack; Justin Timberlake's Justified; Shania Twain's Up!; Missy Elliott's Under Construction; Aaliyah's I Care 4 U; and Christina Aguilera's Stripped.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com