No. 1 Present: Selling a whopping 1,258,667 albums during Christmas week, The Beatles prove that they are more popular than … well, the Backstreet Boys. The Fab Four's greatest hits collection, 1, was a hit with last-minute shoppers, selling more units than in any single week since its Nov. 14 release.
Not that the Backstreet Boys' Black & Blue didn't find a way into quite a few stockings — the boy band's disc moves 724,067 copies for a solid No. 2 finish.
Top Dogg: In a week with few new releases, Snoop Dogg's Tha Last Meal sells almost 400,000 to become the top new album on the list, checking into the Top 10 at No. 9.
In an apparent attempt to sabotage the success of the album, Snoop's former label, Death Row Records, posted all the songs from the album for free download on its Web site several weeks ago. The site asked fans to compare the songs to the material from Dead Man Walkin', which Death Row released over Snoop's objections in October. Death Row subsequently removed the files from its site, but fans seem to have voted with their pocketbooks: the Death Row album (which, admittedly, had less promotion) debuted at No. 24 when it was released and has since dropped off the charts.
Lil' Help From the Holidays: Rapper Lil' Wayne bows at No. 24, selling 204,000 copies of Lights Out for the second-highest debut of the week. The only other new album to chart is also a hip-hop release: Q-B's Finest, which includes new music from Nas, Capone, and Havoc of Mobb Deep, debuts at No. 90.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old rapper Lil' Bow Wow gets a holiday boost, jumping from No. 23 to No. 17 with Beware of Dog.
Solid Sellers: Aside from Snoop's entry — which bumps Charlotte Church's Dream a Dream to No. 23 — the remainder of the Top 10 holds solid. Now That's What I Call Music! 5, with hit songs from 'N Sync and Britney Spears, stays at No. 3; Creed's longtime top-seller Human Clay remains at No. 4; deep-voiced dancehall singer Shaggy sees Hotshot move up two slots to No. 5; Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water comes in at No. 6; Tim McGraw's Greatest Hits lands at No. 7; Spears' Oops! … I Did It Again finishes at No. 8; and 'N Sync's No Strings Attached comes in at No. 10.
Tough Market: With virtually every artist getting a boost in sales, it's a difficult chart to move up on — U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind inches up two spots to No. 18, while Sade's Lovers Rock climbs up a spot to No. 11, narrowly missing a reentry into the Top 10.
Many artists have the rare combination of increased sales but a lower chart position. The Baha Men see an increase of more than 90,000 units for Who Let the Dogs Out, but they still slip three spots to No. 14. Ricky Martin's Sound Loaded falls to No. 30, and K-Ci & JoJo slide nine spots to No. 42 — though in both cases their record sales surge.
Bottom Feeding: Though selling more than 20,000 copies of an album would ordinarily push it somewhere between No. 100 and No. 150, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Vol. 2 Collection clings to the bottom of the list at No. 200.