This just in: The good people of the United States of America love the Beatles. Leading SoundScan’s gaudy pre-Christmas-week album sales chart, the Fab Four moved a whopping 1.25 million copies of “1,” the new collection of the band’s twenty-seven No. 1 hit singles.
The mark is the fifth highest in the decade-long history of SoundScan, trailing only ‘N Sync’s No Strings Attached (2.4 million), Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP (1.7 million), Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue (1.5 million) and Britney Spears Oops!…I Did It Again (1.4 million). Not bad for a six-week-old release of thirty-plus-year-old songs by a band who broke up shortly after our president graduated from college.
1 was just the beginning in a music-shopping frenzy that saw fifty-eight titles (including David Gray’s White Ladder!) sell more than 100,000 copies and every album in the top thirty except Charlotte Church’s Dream a Dream sell more copies than it did the previous week. Bumping Church out of the top ten was Snoop Dogg, whose Tha Last Meal album came in at No. 9. Lil’ Wayne had the only other top-fifty debut with Lights Out (No. 24; 204,617).
This week’s Top 10: The Beatles’ 1 (1,258,667 copies sold); Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue (724,067); Now That’s What I Call Music! 5 (688,339); Creed’s Human Clay (572,987); Shaggy’s Hotshot (470,560); Limp Bizkit’s Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (430,081); Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits (428,705); Britney Spears’ Oops!…I Did It Again (404,708); Snoop Dogg’s Tha Last Meal (397,238); ‘N Sync’s No Strings Attached (368,166).