For the past three weeks Staind's Break the Cycle has been the cycle to break. But so far there have been no takers, as the album sold 244,698 copies in its third week in stores, according to SoundScan, for its third consecutive Number One appearance. Of this year's debuts, only Now That's What I Call Music! 6 has managed to hold onto the top slot for as long, and only Shaggy's Hotshot, a holdover from 2000 has put together a longer string of weeks at Number One.
Staind's continued reign didn't come easy. Radiohead, who scored a Number One debut last October with Kid A, made a fight of it. The band's fifth album, Amnesiac, scanned 231,469 copies in its debut week (nearly 25,000 more than Kid A) to land just shy of Break the Cycle. This marks only the third time this year that the top two slots have been occupied by rock & roll bands (Staind and Tool were One and Two two weeks ago, and the Dave Matthews Band and Aerosmith occupied the top two spots for a week in March). Rock's chart-topping run should continue next week, as Blink-182's Take Off Your Pants and Jacket and Sugar Ray's Sugar Ray look to dethrone Break the Cycle.
The rest of the Top Ten was fluttering with action. Free City by Nelly's St. Lunatics debuted in the same position as the rapper's Country Grammar did last year, but the crew's debut fell a good 55,000 copies short of Grammar's first-week tally. Jessica Simpson's Irrestible topped 100,000 copies for a Number Six debut, and Turk's Young and Thuggin' crept in at Number Nine, while Destiny's Child's Survivor and the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge, both benefited from sales spikes, the latter moving 45,000 more copies than it did the previous week. Paired with 35,000 units in sales growth two weeks ago, the album has handily shot past 500,000 copies and is the first genuine soundtrack hit of 2001, a year in which the soundtracks for Coyote Ugly and O Brother Where Art Thou? -- both released last year -- have fared the best.
Other debuts were plentiful in the Top Fifty, including the hip-hop-powered soundtrack to The Fast and the Furious, featuring new material from Ja Rule (Number Thirteen); Lucinda Williams' Essence (Number Twenty-eight); Trisha Yearwood's Inside Out (Number Twenty-nine); the soundtrack to Tomb Raider (Number Thirty-three); and the Cult's Beyond Good and Evil (Number Thirty-seven).
Despite Staind's success, Y2K1 is still seeking its first genuine sales monster. A year ago this week, Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP, Britney Spears' Oops!...I Did It Again and Kid Rock's History of Rock each sold more copies than Break the Cycle. In fact, the top five from this time last year chalked up 1.5 million in sales that week alone, a half million more than this week's crop. And one can dispute the merits of the first-week sales yardstick, but for the time being, we're stuck with it; they're the chart equivalent of the home run. And while the 700K-plus debuts from Staind and Dave Matthews were indeed dingers, compared to Eminem's 1.8 million, Britney's 1.3 million and 'N Sync's 2.4 million (all of which were released prior to this point last year), they hardly warrant the tape measure.
This week's Top Ten: Staind's Break the Cycle (244,698 copies sold); Radiohead's Amnesiac (231,469); St. Lunatics' Free City (196,261); the Moulin Rouge soundtrack (179,784); Destiny's Child's Survivor (173,648); Jessica Simpson's Irresistible (119,665); Now That's What I Call Music! 6 (97,693); Tool's Lateralus (93,441); Turk's Young and Thuggin' (89,497); and Missy Elliott's Miss E . . . So Addictive (87,168).