The Red Hot Chili Peppers smoked the chart this week, selling 443,000 copies of their ninth studio album, Stadium Arcadium, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This marks the funk-rock outfit's first-ever Number One debut, and a remarkable feat with a double-disc album that costs more than twenty dollars. The Chili Peppers also may have had a helpful boost from Ticketmaster, which gave ticket buyers for their late-summer North American tour an option to purchase the album.
Following in not-so-close second place was former 98 Degrees man (and ex-"Newlywed") Nick Lachey, who sold 172,000 units of his post-Jessica Simpson effort, the aptly titled What's Left of Me. This is a huge accomplishment for Lachey, considering his 2003 solo debut, SoulO (get it?), peaked at a weak Fifty-One.
While Lachey fancies himself a soul man, it was a big week for genuine R&B artists. The slickly suited-up guys of Jagged Edge earned their fourth Top Ten album in less than a decade, as their self-titled release hit Number Four (115,000). Veteran crooners the Isley Brothers saw their latest, Baby Makin' Music (for real), bow at Number Five (111,000). And white soul songstress Teena Marie also helped the R&B cause, moving 44,000 copies of Sapphire to land at Number Twenty-Four for her second-highest debut.
But modern rock lives on. Last week's chart-toppers Tool saw their new album, 10,000 Days, sell a strong 157,000 CDs in its second week, earning the band a Number Three slot. And last week's Number Two, Pearl Jam's critically acclaimed self-titled album, dropped just five spots to Number Eight (86,000).
There was a healthy dose of classic rock in the Top Twenty, as well. Bruce Springsteen's We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions is still selling strong, down just two spots to Number Eleven (71,000). Paul Simon's Brian Eno-produced Surprise sold 61,000 CDs to bow at Number Fourteen, and Neil Young's angry, politically charged Living With War followed close behind at Number Fifteen (60,000). Would Young's numbers have been higher had the veteran rocker not taken the bold move of streaming the entire album online for free before its release?
Meanwhile, it was bummer time for Alaskan singer-songwriter Jewel, whose latest offering, Goodbye Alice in Wonderland, said buh-bye in just its second week out, dropping seventeen spots to Twenty-Five (43,000). Queens hip-hop duo Mobb Deep's Blood Money did the same, falling twenty-five spots to Twenty-Eight (39,000).
Other strong debuts this week came from buzzed-about, genre-bending duo Gnarls Barkley -- DJ/producer Danger Mouse and rapper Cee-Lo -- whose St. Elsewhere sold 50,000 copies to land at Number Twenty. And Scottish pop outfit Snow Patrol made their highest U.S. chart position ever, with their fourth studio album, Eyes Open, which bowed at Number Thirty-Four (36,000).
Next week, watch out for Cam'ron's latest, Killa Season, and Christina Milian's So Amazin'. But the question remains: Where will the Raconteurs -- helmed by White Stripes frontman Jack White and Brendan Benson -- land on the chart with their debut, Broken Boy Soldiers?
This week's Top Ten: Red Hot Chili Pepper's Stadium Arcadium; Nick Lachey's What's Left of Me; Tool's 10,000 Days; Jagged Edge's Jagged Edge; the Isley Brothers' Baby Makin' Music; Rascal Flatts' Me and My Gang; High School Musical: The Original Soundtrack; Pearl Jam's Pearl Jam; Now That's What I Call Music! 21; James Blunt's Back to Bedlam.
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