Lee Greenwood’s return from Nowhereville has proved to be a bellwether, as this week’s charts are painted in red white and blue. The compilation God Bless America, wrapped in a cover image of Old Glory, dropped in at Number One in its first week of release, with sales of 180,984, according to SoundScan. It was a can’t-miss collection, pulling together Celine Dion’s take on the title track and fourteen other songs from the Sony/Columbia attic that offer some post-September 11th inspiration. With a lineup including Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Billy Gilman, Frank Sinatra, Gloria Estefan and Bill Withers, the collection seems to have a little something for everyone.
The singles charts even better reflects the surge of patriotism. The re-release of Whitney Houston’s “The Star Spangled Banner” sits on top, while Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” (Number Two), Aaron Tippin’s “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly” (Number Four), Elvis Presley’s “America the Beautiful” (Number Eight), LeAnn Rimes’ “God Bless America” are just a few of the star-spangled anthems that have soared up the charts.
As for the rest of the album chart, after logging forty-seven weeks in the top fifty, Enya’s Day Without Rain finally put up big enough numbers to top Ja Rule and Jay-Z, and the album’s 169,032 copies sold was good enough for Number Two. The rest of the Top Ten didn’t look too terribly different, with Ozzy Osbourne’s Down to Earth the only newcomer and Andrea Bocelli’s Cieli Di Toscana scratching at the door at Number Eleven.
The big Top Ten story is Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory. The album celebrated its first birthday this week with strong legs and a sturdy grip on the Top Ten. The album has been one of the year’s most consistent sellers, dropping as far as the forties in January, but working back into the top twenty-five into the spring. By July, Hybrid Theory was nipping at the Top Ten and has spent nearly ever week since inside. And the album’s sales are as strong as ever, consistently above or near 100,000 as we head towards the always sales-friendly holiday season. With sales of 3.7 million to date, the album looks like a lock as one of the five best selling discs of 2001.
Besides Ozzy, strong chart debuts included John Mellencamp’s return to stripped-down roots rock, Cuttin’ Heads (Number Fifteen); Mr. Cheeks’ John P. Kelly (Number Thirty-three); the ‘N Sync-tinged soundtrack to On the Line (Number Thirty-six); Lit’s Atomic (Number Thirty-seven); and New Order’s Get Ready (Number Forty-two).
Next week should mark a hip-hop return to the top spot, as DMX’s The Great Depression arrived in record stores this week. The album is the chart-topping rapper’s first in two years, after he released a trio of recordings between 1998 and 1999. Fan hunger should be high, and Enya should get used to looking up at Number One.
This week’s Top Ten: God Bless America (180,984 copies sold); Enya’s Day Without Rain (169,032); Ja Rule’s Pain Is Love (158,010); Ozzy Osbourne’s Down to Earth (152,538); Nickelback’s Silver Side Up (126,380); Totally Hits 2001 (115,814); Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory (114,404); Jay-Z’s The Blueprint (105,593); Usher’s 8701 (104,428); and Alicia Keys’ Songs in A Minor (92,082).