Brooklyn-born rapper Jay-Z’s latest LP, “Blueprint,” led a torrent of new releases at the top of the album charts this week as America’s record buyers continued to shop despite Sept. 11’s terrorist attacks.
The Island/Def Jam release flew off shelves last week, shifting nearly 427,000 units, according to data compiled by SoundScan. Sales of “Blueprint” were powered by the near-ubiquity of its first single, “H.O.V.A. (Izzo),” on both urban radio and music television.
Island/Def Jam’s chart dominance continued in the latest session with Nickelback’s “Silver Side Up,” which came in at No. 2 with 178,000 copies sold. “Silver Side Up” marks IDJ’s second major success through its joint venture with hard-rock indie Roadrunner. The first was shock-metal act Slipknot, which opened in third place earlier this month with “Iowa” selling nearly 255,000 records.
Archetypal singer-songwriter Bob Dylan made a formidable showing this week with “Love and Theft” (Columbia), opening at fifth with nearly 134,000 sold.
Also high on the debut list were “Ghetto Fabolous” (Elektra), by rapper Fabolous, at No. 4, and “Satellite” (Atlantic), from alt-metal outfit P.O.D. (Payable on Death), at No. 6.
Coming in just behind the San Diego metalers in seventh place was Mariah Carey with the long-delayed soundtrack to her new film “Glitter.” The album – Carey’s first to be released on Virgin Records following her split with Sony – sold 116,000 copies. Both the record and the film were postponed this summer following Carey’s hospitalization for a mental and physical breakdown.
The onslaught of new releases pushed most of last week’s top performers further down the ranks: “Toxicity” (Columbia), from System of a Down, slipped to No. 11 from No. 1, as sales fell by more than half from its debut week to 99,000.
One exception to the chart freefallers was indefatigable R&B diva Alicia Keys, whose J Records release “Songs in A Minor” fell just one spot to No. 3, with sales of 161,000 albums. “Songs” has scanned more than 2.3 million units to date.
Also making respectable bows on the latest chart were “Worship” (Zomba) from gospel crooner Michael W. Smith at 20, “Face 2 Face” (Arista) from producer-songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds at 25, “God Hates Us All” (American) from thrash pioneers Slayer at 28, “Rockin’ the Suburbs” (Epic) by Ben Folds at 42 and “Funk Odyssey” (Epic) from Jamiroquai at 44.
Rockers Live, redneck rapper Bubba Sparxxx, Macy Gray, and Tori Amos should shake up the top 20 again next week.