You can attribute the success of Shaggy's Hotshot to the abysmal crop of new releases unleashed thus far in 2001. But while a month and a half of new releases has provided a mere contender (Jennifer Lopez's J.Lo), one must also give credit where credit is due. Hotshot held its Number One slot on the SoundScan charts for the second straight week and enjoyed its fifth consecutive week with a sales increase (albeit a somewhat wimpy 100 copies). But the numbers are still strong: Hotshot's 245,778 copies sold was enough to top the next best offering, the Beatles' 1 by almost 100,000 copies.
The remainder of the Top Ten -- for that matter the Top 200 -- proved to be fairly snoozy. The Save the Last Dance soundtrack (Number Three), Ja Rule's Rule 3:36 (Number Five), Dido's No Angel (Number Six) all held their positions from last week, while Lenny Kravitz's Greatest Hits and Sade's Lovers Rock returned to the Top Ten, along with newcomer Crazy Town's Gift of Game, ousting Dream's It Was All a Dream (and a short one at that) and Now That's What I Call Music Vol. 5.
Don't look to any of last Tuesday's new releases to make a run towards the top. The week's highest debut goes to the various artists compilation, 2001 Grammy Pop Nominees at Number Twenty-nine and Diamond Rio's One More Day at Number Thirty-six, both of which bested Rod Stewart's Human, which landed at Number Fifty. That's not to say the week wasn't without a few sales surprises. In addition to a Crazy Town's jump and the band's subsequent entrance into Top Tendom, the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack also proved to be a little engine that could, moving up to Number Nineteen. The T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack (featuring Allison Krauss, Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris, among others) has become something of a mini-phenomenon with sales of nearly 240,000 to date. At $16 a pop that averages out to something along the lines of $4 million, which in a battle of substance (great tradition-minded music) vs. style (half-baked film), rivals the film's box office take.
Is help on the way? A magic 8-ball would offer a "not likely." A side project and two formerlys -- To Record Only Water for Ten Days by John Frusciante (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stephen Malkmus by Stephen Malkmus (formerly of Pavement) and Firestarr by Fredro Starr (formerly of Onyx) -- are among the top offerings released Tuesday with eyes on cracking the Top 200 next week; but unless you're fond of the long shot, don't look for any of the three to land in double-digit territory. A crystal ball might be the better sphere-of-choice, as we're still weeks away from the release of the Dave Matthews Band's Everyday and Run-D.M.C.'s Crown Royal. But by mid-March, the hip-hop machinery should kick in, as a release from Cappadonna leads a potential spring onslaught from his Wu-Tang brethren, D-12 ready their debut, and DJ Clue, Redman and others try to shake up winter doldrums.
This week's Top Ten: Shaggy's Hotshot (245,778 copies sold); the Beatles' 1 (151,778); Save the Last Dance (151,450); Jennifer Lopez's J.Lo (134,355); Ja Rule's Rule 3:36 (97,959); Dido's No Angel (93,872); Lenny Kravitz's Greatest Hits (91,349); Sade's Lovers Rock (90,374); Ludacris' Back for the First Time (87,948) and Crazy Town's Gift of Game (82,152).