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Creed Continue To Beat Back The Competition On Albums Chart

The third time turned out to be not so charming for Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 8. For three consecutive weeks, the latest installment in the hits-laden compilation series couldn’t occupy the #1 slot three of its predecessors (volumes 7, 6 and 4) have enjoyed, thanks to Creed’s Weathered, which will remain reigning king of the mountain on next week’s Billboard 200 albums chart. The band’s third album continues to meet staggering sales, moving more than 458,000 copies last week, according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (December 12). Weathered’s three-week total stands at more than 1.7 million.

Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 8 has nothing to be embarrassed about, however. The LP, featuring tracks by ‘NSYNC, Jennifer Lopez and Aaliyah, will land at #2 next week, with sales of more than 365,000 copies.

Holiday albums carry on their hot retail run, with Now That’s What I Call Christmas! arriving at #3, its highest position since it debuted on the chart seven weeks ago. Mannheim Steamroller’s new age Christmas Extraordinaire will also break new ground at #5, selling more than 241,000 copies, an increase of more than 80,000 from the week before. Further down the chart, Barbra Streisand’s Christmas Memories will jump seven places to #15, with a 45,000-copy inflation from last week’s figures.

The rest of next week’s top 10 finds Britney Spears’ Britney stepping up to #4 (selling more than 264,000 copies to crack the two-million mark); Garth Brooks’ Scarecrow slipping two places to #6 (241,000); Enya’s A Day Without Rain advancing two notches to #7 (195,000); Ludacris’ Word of Mouf, which debuted at #3 on this week’s chart, stooping to #8 (194,000); Nickelback’s Silver Side Up returning to the fold at #9 (178,000); and Pink’s Missundaztood marching ahead to bring up the rear at #10 (177,000).

Debuts won’t have a strong presence on next week’s chart, with only the compilation America: A Tribute to Heroes cracking the top 20. The double album, taken from the multi-channel telethon broadcast 10 days after the September 11 terrorist attacks (see “Springsteen, U2 Help Raise $150 Million For Victims’ Families”) and featuring contributions from U2, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Alicia Keys and Enrique Iglesias, lands at #17.

With first-week sales of more than 104,000, Limp Bizkit’s remix LP New Old Songs, with tweaked versions of “Nookie,” “Break Stuff,” “My Way” and others by beat mavens such as the Neptunes, Timbaland and P. Diddy, will touch down at #26; while no-longer consummate collaborator Nate Dogg’s second album, Music & Me, will bow in at #32 and South Bronx-born heavyweight MC Fat Joe enters at #37 with Jealous Ones Still Envy.

Mourning fans are giving the Beatles’ 1 renewed chart life, as the LP continues to bound toward the top in the wake of George Harrison’s death. In the two weeks following the guitarist’s passing, the album has gone from #146 to #57, its position on next week’s chart.

Weekly sales of top 40 albums were up last week from the previous week’s figures for all but Ludacris’ Word of Mouf, which experienced a loss of more than 87,000; Busta Rhymes’ Genesis, owning up to biggest top 40 loser after slipping 14 chart positions to #21 and a loss of more than 66,000 in sales; Kid Rock’s Cocky, steadily falling to #24 since its #7 debut just three weeks ago; Michael Jackson’s Invincible, which slides eight spots to #25; and the compilation The Concert for New York City, at #39 with more than 7,000 fewer sales.

Greatest-hits LPs comprise many of next week’s leading debuts. Outkast’s Big Boi and Dre Present Outkast, laced with hits such as “Rosa Parks,” “B.O.B.” and “Ms. Jackson” alongside three new songs, including new single “The Whole World,” paves the way for the new best-of bunch at #31. The double album Mariah Carey’s Greatest Hits will claim the #52 slot, while Ice Cube’s Greatest Hits will comes in at #54.

Other notable debuts on next week’s chart include Yolanda Adams’ Believe at #43, Mack 10’s Bang or Ball at #48, Cypress Hill’s Stoned Raiders at #64 and De La Soul’s AOI: Bionix at #136.

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