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Jud
12-01-2004, 11:18 AM
U2's 'Bomb' Explodes At No. 1

U2 earns its sixth No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week with "How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." The Interscope set nearly doubled the band's previous best SoundScan era sales week (1991-present), moving 840,000 U.S. copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In 2000, the Irish quartet's Grammy-winning "All That You Can't Leave Behind" entered at No. 3 on sales of 428,000 copies; the set has a to-date total of 4.2 million.

U2 ends the two-week chart reign of labelmate Eminem's "Encore" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), which drops to No. 2 on a 46% tilt to sales of 471,000 copies. As previously reported, U2 also terminated the rapper's three-week stint at the top of the U.K. album chart, where "Atomic Bomb" landed at No. 1 after an international Nov. 22 release on Island.

The album's arrival was heralded by first single "Vertigo," which is featured in Apple Computer's iPod/iTunes TV commercial. The track spent four weeks atop Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks list, where it holds this week at No. 3. Additionally, the band made a series of high profile appearances in the week leading up to the album's release, including a performance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" and an unannounced free outdoor show in New York.

U2, which first went to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with 1990's "The Joshua Tree," has a worldwide sales total of more than 120 million, according to Interscope.

Another highly anticipated Interscope release lives up to the hype this week as Gwen Stefani's "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" scores a bigger opening week than any No Doubt record ever has. Fueled by the pop radio hit "What You Waiting For?," the singer's solo debut bows at No. 7 on sales of 309,000 copies.

Thanksgiving week sales pricing by selected retailers fueled a 65% boost for Shania Twain's Mercury Nashville greatest hits compilation to sales of 384,000 copies and a 5-3 jump. Fellow country star Toby Keith also makes a two position leap to No. 5 with his DreamWorks Nashville/Interscope greatest hits set on a 50% increase to 331,000 units.

Destiny's Child slips in between them with a two-slot drop to No. 4 as sales of "Destiny Fulfilled" (Sony Urban Music/Columbia) slid 32% to 337,000 copies.

The unofficial start to the holiday shopping season also give the 17th installment of "NOW That's What I Call Music!" (Sony BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol) a push, as a 68% sales gain to 319,000 prompts an 8-6 move on the chart.

Falling short of prior "American Idol" stars, third season winner Fantasia's solo J debut, "Free Yourself," enters at No. 8 on sales of 240,000 copies. First season winner Kelly Clarkson, as well as second season winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken, opened in the top slot with larger sales weeks.

Studdard's second album, contemporary gospel album "I Need An Angel" (J) also debuts this week, taking the No. 20 position with 96,000 copies. His debut set, "Soulful," entered at No. 1 with 417,000 copies last year and has sold 1.8 million to date.

Rounding out the top 10, Snoop Dogg's ""R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece" (Doggystyle/Geffen/Star Trax) falls 6-9 on a 9% decline to 203,000, while Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz' "Crunk Juice" (TVT) plummets 3-10 on a 46% fall to 196,000.

Boosted by his Nov. 24 NBC prime time concert special "Tim McGraw: Here and Now," the country superstar's "Live Like You Were Dying" (Curb) saw a 192% sales spike to 180,000 copies The set moves 24-13 on The Billboard 200 and 5-3 on the Top Country Albums tally.

Creed's "Greatest Hits," the first Wind-Up release from the band following its breakup earlier this year, opens at No. 15 on sales of 158,000. The band's final studio album, 2001's "Weathered," debuted at No. 1 with 887,000 and has sold 6.3 million to date.

Jessica Simpson snares the second largest Nielsen SoundScan week of her career with "Rejoyce: The Christmas album" (Columbia) moving 152,000 copies to open at No. 16. While the singer's "In This Skin" opened with 64,000 copies in 2003, a special edition release this year posted a 159,000-unit week and boosted the set to a No. 2 peak on The Billboard 200. A Thanksgiving week sales increase of 178% to 31,000 for the same release prompts a 125-64 rebound on the chart.

At No. 19, the Nirvana boxed set "With the Lights Out" (Geffen) rounds out the top 20 debuts. With 106,000 copies, the set notched the biggest sales week for any box since Garth Brooks' "The Limited Series," which opened at No. 1 with 372,000 units in 1998.

Additional debuts this week include Alison Krauss + Union Station's "Lonely Runs Both Ways" (Rounder, No. 29), Evanescence's "Anywhere But Home" (Wind-Up, No. 39), Kenny G's "At Last... The Duets Album" (Arista, No. 40), the Diplomats' "Diplomatic Immunity" (Roc-A-Fella, No. 46) and the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" soundtrack (Warner Bros., No. 50).

Overall U.S. album sales were up 27% over the previous week at 19.5 million units, but down about 5% from the same week last year. Sales for 2004 are beating those of last year by about 2.9% with 565 million units.


-- Margo Whitmire, L.A.


http://www.billboard.com/bb/daily/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000728821

Jud
12-01-2004, 02:22 PM
Rockers score Number One debut after aggressive promo campaign



U2 have snatched the top spot from Eminem this week, with How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb selling a massive 840,000 copies -- far outselling the debut week of its predecessor, 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind (428,000). Eminem took the two spot, with a strong third week performance of 471,000 units sold.
Rounding out the Top Five are blockbuster country compilations Shania Twain's Greatest Hits and Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2, each climbing two places to take Number Three (384,000) and Five (331,000), respectively. Destiny's Child's comeback album, Destiny Fulfilled, however, slipped two spots to Four (337,000).

No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani's solo debut, Love, Angel, Music, Baby, opened at the Seven spot (309,000) this week, while American Idol winner Fantasia's first effort, Free Yourself, debuted at Number Eight (240,000). And although Lil Jon's Crunk Juice has already fallen seven spots to Number Ten (196,000) in its second week, the king of crunk set a record for independent album sales in its first (363,000). Meanwhile, the much-delayed release of Nirvana's three-disc box set of rarities, With the Lights Out, debuted just inside the Top Twenty, at a respectable Number Nineteen (106,000).

Losers this week include St. Louis rapper Chingy, whose much-hyped Powerballin' has already plummeted thirteen spots from its Number Ten debut to Twenty-Three (87,000), while the other much-touted hip-hop effort, Fabolous' Real Talk, has fallen in its third week all the way to Fifty-Three (39,000). Former American Idol Ruben Studdard's sophomore effort, I Need an Angel, was also a disappointment: It hit the charts at Twenty (96,000), a huge drop from the debut of his last album, 2003's Soulful, which took the top spot with 416,000 copies sold. Studdard's sales were no doubt hurt by his cancellation of all promotional appearances this week due to exhaustion.

Next week, another former Idol's follow-up will be put to the test, as Kelly Clarkson returns with Break Away.

This week's Top Ten: U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb; Eminem's Encore; Shania Twain's Greatest Hits; Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled; Toby Keith's Greatest Hits 2; Now That's What I Call Music! 17; Gwen Stefani's Love, Music, Angel, Baby; Fantasia's Free Yourself; Snoop Dogg's R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece; Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz' Crunk Juice.



ALEX MAR
(Posted Dec 01, 2004)
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/6652573/u2?pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=single1

Steve F
12-01-2004, 03:16 PM
Thanksgiving week sales pricing by selected retailers fueled a 65% boost for Shania Twain's Mercury Nashville greatest hits compilation to sales of 384,000 copies and a 5-3 jump.

Excellent!HEY1 I hope she can keep it goin'.;)

Steve