Alanis Morissette’s first album in three years, Under Rug Swept, rushed to the top of the charts in its first week of sales, moving 215,000 units, according to SoundScan, but the Number One was hard earned. After weeks of pathetic record sales, the Grammy Awards sent several old standbys racing up the charts. Album of the Year, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? broke into the top ten with a 300 plus percent boost in sales, selling 209,000 and nearly taking Number One. The album continues to be one of the most unlikely hits in recent years, a collection of old time music that surged past 4 million copies sold this week. Five-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys also returned to the upper regions of the charts, as Songs in A Minor more than doubled its sales from the previous week to 103,000 to climb from Number Twenty to Number Four. And U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind also did better than twice its previous week tally, selling 81,000 copies in its seventieth week of release.
Grammy wins weren’t a necessity, though. India.Arie, a multiple nominee, went home empty handed last week, but still saw sales of Acoustic Soul double to 67,000 and jump from Number Thirty-two to Number Fourteen. And Grammy performers didn’t enjoy as much of the windfall. Previous chart-topper Alan Jackson’s Drive fell from Number Three to Six, with sales holding tight to 96,000, and Pink and OutKast actually saw sales of their most recent releases decline after Grammy week. Only Mary J. Blige, who turned in one of the evening’s more lively performances, rode that appearance to a sales spike: No More Drama enjoyed a 10,000 unit boost to 60,000.
Debuts were peppered throughout the charts. Kylie Minogue, a British chart mainstay with little American presence since her late-Eighties remake of “The Loco-motion,” has finally repeated her success. Minogue’s Fever bowed in at Number Three with sales of 115,000. Cher also found her way into the Top Ten, as Living Proof, the follow-up to her comeback hit “Believe,” moved 82,000 copies for a Number Nine debut. Other Top Fifty debuts included the Xecutioners’ Built From Scratch (Number Fifteen, 67,000 copies sold); Christian boy band Plus One’s Obvious (Number Twenty-nine, 41,000); Kentucky rap ensemble Nappy Roots’ Watermelon Chicken and Gritz (Number Thirty-one, 37,000); and R&B singer Sharissa’s No Half Steppin’ (Number Forty-four, 29,000)
Next week’s lineup is anybody’s guess. Brandy’s Full Moon looks like the strongest contender to make a run at Number One, though should the Grammy wave prove big enough, O Brother could take advantage of sluggish sales and make a bid for Number One.
This week’s Top Ten: Alanis Morissette’s Under Rug Swept; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Kylie Minogue’s Fever; Alicia Keys’ Songs in A Minor; Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory; Alan Jackson’s Drive; Jennifer Lopez’s J to tha Lo!; Ludacris’ Word of Mouf; Cher’s Living Proof; and U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind.