After one of the weakest album release weeks of 2003, the P.
Diddy-organized soundtrack to Bad Boys II earned its third
straight visit to Number One, selling 156,000 copies, according to
SoundScan. Bad Boys held off another various artists
collection, Now That’s What I Call Music! 13, which sold
114,000 copies at Number Two.
No other record registered six-figure sales, as Beyonce’s
Dangerously in Love moved up two slots to Number Three
with sales of 88,000 and Evanescence’s Fallen continued to
fare well against a feeble field, moving from Number Ten to Number
Four with sales of 79,000.
The charts weren’t without a handful of newcomers. R&B
supergroup LSG — featuring Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat and Johnny
Gill — sold 66,000 copies of their second album, LSG2 at
Number Six. JS’s R. Kelly-produced debut, Ice Cream,
jumped in at Number Thirty-three with sales of 28,000, and the
late, great Celia Cruz made a strong showing at Number Forty with
Regalo del Alma. As a matter of fact, Cruz’s passing last
month prompted a minor chart coup, as her Exitos Eternos
suddenly appeared on the chart at Number Ninety-five (with sales of
12,000) and her Hits Mix jumped from Number 142 to Number
106, selling 10,000 copies.
There was little else of note happening on the charts, though
Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head warrants mention.
Propelled by successful videos for “The Scientist” and “Clocks,”
the album sits at Number Eighteen, returning to the Top Twenty just
three weeks shy of its one-year anniversary.
Next week looks to offer little relief. New albums by Smash
Mouth and Blues Traveler should make solid, if modest, debuts, as
both bands have reliable constituencies whittled down from their
late-Nineties sales peaks. Once again, Evanescence are positioned
to make an outside bid at Number One, as Fallen continues
to enjoy sporadic sales spikes, while Bad Boys II and
Now 13 continue to see their sales erode. One newcomer,
Robert Randolph, has been earning fans the old-fashioned,
grassroots way. His studio debut, Unclassified, will chart
next week and reveal whether Randolph and his Family Band have
tapped the jam-band culture in a manner closer to the Dave Matthews
Band (strong album sales paired with strong concert draw) or Phish
(strong concert draw with weaker retail clout).
This week’s Top Ten: Bad Boys II soundtrack; Now
That’s What I Call Music! 13; Beyonce’s Dangerously in
Love; Evanescence’s Fallen; Chingy’s
Jackpot; LSG’s LSG2; 50 Cent’s Get Rich or
Die Tryin’; Ashanti’s Chapter II; Mya’s
Moodring; and Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me.