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On the Charts: All the Solo Ladies Rule as Taylor Swift Returns to Number One

December 17, 2008 11:30 AM ET

The Big News: Solo women artists rule the SoundScan chart this week with Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Beyoncé locking down the one, two and three spots, respectively — while albums from Guns n' Roses and the Killers continue their sales slide in their third weeks (to 25 and 29). Spears' reign at Number One lasted only one week as Taylor Swift's powerful Fearless sold another 248,000 copies to Circus' 200,000. With no big name Christmas albums (like Josh Groban's Noel last year) Fearless appears to be the go-to stocking stuffer for parents who don't want to give the gift of Spears' "If You Seek Amy." Nickelback's Dark Horse is making the slow march towards big numbers by moving up to four and the Twilight soundtrack rounded out the top five with 131,000 copies sold.

Debuts: In what was probably the worst week for debuts in 2008, no first-weekers cracked the Top 10. Musiq Soulchild's On My Radio and Common's Universal Mind Control slotted at 11 and 12, respectively.

Last Week's Heroes: Despite falling to second place, Spears' Circus moved closer to platinum with a total of 706,000 copies sold in two weeks. Nine of last week's Top 10 remained there, with only Akon's Freedom dropping down from seven to 18. Next week, we'll find out if Fall Out Boy and Folie a Deux can muster up enough sales to unseat Taylor Swift.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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