Top 10: The aptly titled Let's Get Ready, the latest from rapper Mystikal, comes roaring out of the gate, selling 330,663 copies and easily scoring the No. 1 slot on the album sales charts. Scrambling behind at No. 2 is apple-cheeked quartet 98 Degrees, sending 276,343 copies of Revelation home with the fans. Last week's No. 1, Music, by Madonna, dips to No. 3, with sales of 212,084. Nelly's Country Grammar racks up another 172,962 copies sold to continue an impressive run and hang at No. 4, while Bad Boy rap artist Shyne — who'll be in court in January facing three counts of attempted murder — enters at No. 5 with his eponymous debut, selling 159,852 copies.
Rounding out the Top 10, Creed's Human Clay, now entering its second year on the charts, is at No. 6, with sales of 127,050, and makes a cute couple cuddling up next to Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP at No. 7, with sales of 108,506. 13-year-old rapper Lil' Bow Wow's Beware of Dog sells 101,397 to enter at No. 8; speaking of things that bark, Who Let the Dogs Out by the Baha Men clings to No. 10 by selling an additional 93,821 units. Holding strong at No. 9 for the third week in a row is 3 Doors Down, foisting 96,744 copies of The Better Life on the world.
What Goes Up … : After debuting at No. 1 two weeks ago, LL Cool J's latest drops out of the Top Ten — but just barely; with sales of 93,630, G.O.A.T. comes within 200 copies of the Baha Men's sales.
After weeks atop the charts, both Britney and 'N Sync finally fall from grace (well, relatively speaking). Spears' Oops! … I Did It Again sells 93,161 to land at No. 12, while Justin, Joey, et al., come in at No. 14, selling yet another 84,247 copies of No Strings Attached.
Other folks moving further down the spiral: The Barenaked Ladies Maroon drops from No. 15 to No. 19, selling 60,103; Boyz II Men's Nathan Michael Shawn Wayna goes from No. 13 to No. 20 (57,851 copies); and the new greatest-hits set from George Strait slips from a No. 7 debut last week down to No. 21 (51,809 copies).
Notable Debuts: There are plenty of impressive debuts outside of the Top 10, too. Equestrian outlaw Kenny Chesney's Greatest Hits premiers in the No. 13 slot, selling 85,069 copies. John Michael Montgomery's brand-new Brand New Me bows at No. 15 (76,013 copies sold), while Aaron Carter's teeny-bopper set, Aaron's Party, follows at No. 16, with sales of 68,653. Kudos also to Soulfly's Primitive (in at No. 32), Mark Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia (No. 60), and the Black Eye Peas sophomore effort, Bridging the Gap (No. 67).
As reported on Wall of Sound earlier today, five of Pearl Jam's double-disc European concert bootlegs sell well enough to crack the Top 200 in the first week of release, making the Seattle band the first act to have more than two titles debut on the chart simultaneously.
Leaps and Bounds: The horrors of going back to school have obviously kicked in for the disgruntled youth of the nation — either that, or the approach of Halloween has consumers excited about anything in a scary mask. Regardless, Slipknot's self-titled CD makes a miraculous jump of 80 notches up the chart, from No. 153 last week all the way to No. 73, selling 19,690 copies.
The classic rock cornucopia that is the Almost Famous soundtrack climbs another 26 spots, from No. 69 (huh-huh, he said "69") to No. 43, with sales of 31,511 units. Dido's debut may be No Angel, but it has wings — and as 28,811 copies fly out the door, it ascends another 10 notches, from No. 57 to No. 47.
CyberSales: Does anybody go to record stores anymore? Seems like a lot of people preferred to purchase music from the comfort of their own homes last week; all 10 of the best-selling albums on the Internet sold more than 1,000 units. Madonna's Music topped the list with 3,448 copies, but the real surprise was acclaimed songwriter John Hiatt. His all-acoustic set Crossing Muddy Waters only debuted at No. 110 on the regular album charts, but it sells 1,791 in cyberspace, putting it at No. 5 on the Internet chart.
Three other new titles boast strong Internet sales in the first week of release, too: Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia (2,554 copies) at No. 2, 98 Degrees' Revelation (2,011) at No. 4, and David Bowie's triple-disc retrospective Bowie at the Beeb (1,120) at No. 9.
The Great Taste of Dirt: Bringing up the rear this week? The No. 200 slot goes to the quadruple-disc Jimi Hendrix box set The Jimi Hendrix Experience, down 60 places from last week's No. 140 position. But something tells us Jimi's not too bent out of shape about the decline in sales, just 6,285 copies total.