After weeks of speculation about which guys with guitars were going to bring rock back to the top of the charts -- the Hives, Strokes, Vines -- it's one of rock & roll's elder statesmen who gave the genre a blockbuster. Bruce Springsteen's The Rising sold 239,000 copies in its second week of sales, according to SoundScan, for its second straight week at Number One. The tally gives Springsteen three quarters of a million units sold in two weeks, and a seller that might not be in the same league as hip-hop titans like Nelly's Nellyville (2.5 million copies sold) and The Eminem Show (4.5 million), but nevertheless one that dusts any rock album this year that wasn't released by the Dave Matthews Band.
Speaking of Nelly, he's become something of the hip-hop equivalent of Smash Mouth, a soundtrack to the summer. After seven weeks of sales, Nellyville is holding tight at Number Two. Its sales, 208,000 last week, continue to drop, but at a considerably less acute rate than typical releases. The 208K it scanned last week, was only a decrease of 36,000. With Springsteen's sales receding at a faster rate, Nelly even stands a decent chance to leap back into the Number One spot next week.
In addition to Eminem and Nelly's continued success, all four of the chart's biggest newcomers were hip-hop, or hip-hop-related albums. Former Geto Boy Scarface's The Fix jumped in at Number Four with sales of 160,000; Trick Daddy's Thug Holiday was Number Six with sales of 130,000; the half-hip-hop/half-rock XXX soundtrack nearly hit the Top Ten, at Number Eleven with sales of 76,000; and Project Pat's Layin' Da Smack Down bounced in at Number Twelve with sales of 68,000.
Next week's chart entries are not likely to shake up the chart. James Taylor's October Road represents for the vets, while Bright Eyes' Lifted goes to bat for youthful indie rock.
This week's Top Ten: Bruce Springsteen's The Rising; Nelly's Nellyville; Eminem's The Eminem Show; Scarface's The Fix; Now That's What I Call Music! 10; Trick Daddy's Thug Holiday; Linkin Park's Reanimation; Toby Keith's Unleashed; Avril Lavigne's Let Go; and the Dave Matthews Band's Busted Stuff.