Shaggy's Hotshot has proven to be just that. Unceremoniously dumped by his label after his 1997 album Midnite Lover failed to capitalize on the breakthrough of 1995's Boombastic, Shaggy was something of a longshot when Hotshot was released thirty-two weeks ago. But Hotshot has proved that singles-driven albums can still be made in an age where first-week sales are regarded as the yardstick for success. The album took six months to reach SoundScans' top spot, and has politely stepped aside for big-splash debuts, the Dave Matthews Band's Everyday and Jennifer Lopez's J.Lo. But Hotshot's two singles, "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel," have wedged the album snugly into the Top Five. And when the bombastic wave of these new releases recedes, Hotshot has been there with consistent sales of 200,000-plus copies, to reclaim the Number One position, as it did this week, just pushing its way to the front with sales of 209,767, according to SoundScan. Everyday was second, moving 199,405 copies.
With those numbers, Eric Clapton's Reptile didn't stand a chance. Though Clapton's collaboration with B.B. King, Riding With the King, enjoyed a Number Three debut last year, with sales close to 200,000, his latest solo outing managed a less impressive 101,583 copies sold, to land at Number Five. Clapton wasn't the only newcomer to the Top Ten, as a pair of R&B rookies, Tank and Jaheim saw strong first week sales for Force of Nature (Number Seven) and Ghetto Love (Number Nine), respectively. March has proven to be the antidote for the sluggish number of big-selling releases in 2001, as Hotshot, Dido's No Angel and Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, which crept in at Number Ten, were the only albums in the Top Ten that were more than three weeks old.
Other Top 100 debuts from last week include Daft Punk's Discovery (Number Forty-four), Our Lady Peace's Spiritual Machines (Number Eighty-one) and Trick Pony's Trick Pony (Number Ninety-one). Semisonic will have to try and capture some single-driven lightening if they wish to repeat the success of their Feeling Strangely Fine, which was propelled by "Closing Time." Their latest, All About Chemistry, bowed in at Number 103.
Don't look for too much excitement next week. New releases by the Toadies and the Old 97's look to be the strongest offerings from the world of rock & roll, and neither poses a threat to the Top Ten. But The Brothers soundtrack, which features new material from Snoop Dogg, Dave Hollister and others, and Trick Daddy's Thugs Are Us could shake things up a bit.
This week's Top Ten: Shaggy's Hotshot (209,767 copies sold); the Dave Matthews Band's Everyday (199,405); Aerosmith's Just Push Play (126,430); Dido's No Angel (106,462); Eric Clapton's Reptile (101,583); Eve's Scorpion (99,413); Tank's Force of Nature (97,896); DJ Clue's The Professional: Part 2 (91,459); Jaheim's Ghetto Love (79,836); and Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (78,415).