U2 Knocks Eminem Off Top

Rockers score Number One debut after aggressive promo campaign

December 1, 2004 12:00 AM ET

U2 have snatched the top spot from Eminem this week, with How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb selling a massive 840,000 copies -- far outselling the debut week of its predecessor, 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind (428,000). Eminem took the two spot, with a strong third week performance of 471,000 units sold.

Rounding out the Top Five are blockbuster country compilations Shania Twain's Greatest Hits and Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2, each climbing two places to take Number Three (384,000) and Five (331,000), respectively. Destiny's Child's comeback album, Destiny Fulfilled, however, slipped two spots to Four (337,000).

No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani's solo debut, Love, Angel, Music, Baby, opened at the Seven spot (309,000) this week, while American Idol winner Fantasia's first effort, Free Yourself, debuted at Number Eight (240,000). And although Lil Jon's Crunk Juice has already fallen seven spots to Number Ten (196,000) in its second week, the king of crunk set a record for independent album sales in its first (363,000). Meanwhile, the much-delayed release of Nirvana's three-disc box set of rarities, With the Lights Out, debuted just inside the Top Twenty, at a respectable Number Nineteen (106,000).

Losers this week include St. Louis rapper Chingy, whose much-hyped Powerballin' has already plummeted thirteen spots from its Number Ten debut to Twenty-Three (87,000), while the other much-touted hip-hop effort, Fabolous' Real Talk, has fallen in its third week all the way to Fifty-Three (39,000). Former American Idol Ruben Studdard's sophomore effort, I Need an Angel, was also a disappointment: It hit the charts at Twenty (96,000), a huge drop from the debut of his last album, 2003's Soulful, which took the top spot with 416,000 copies sold. Studdard's sales were no doubt hurt by his cancellation of all promotional appearances this week due to exhaustion.

Next week, another former Idol's follow-up will be put to the test, as Kelly Clarkson returns with Break Away.

This week's Top Ten: U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb; Eminem's Encore; Shania Twain's Greatest Hits; Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled; Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2; Now That's What I Call Music! 17; Gwen Stefani's Love, Music, Angel, Baby; Fantasia's Free Yourself; Snoop Dogg's R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece; Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz' Crunk Juice.


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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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