Even though their chart placements are high, neither hard rock act could match the first-week sales totals of their previous albums. For Staind, "Gray" falls well short of the 716,000 units "Break the Cycle" sold in its first week in summer 2000. The set, which has moved close to 5 million copies to date, was buoyed by the success of singles "Outside" and "It's Been Awhile." The latter spent 16 weeks atop Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks tally.
Even though "14 Shades of Gray" may be off to a much slower start, its first radio cut, "Price to Pay," has already breached the top-10 of Billboard's Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts.
The Deftones didn't suffer quite as steep a first-week sales decline with their latest. The group's 2000 album "White Pony" entered at No. 3 on the strength of 178,000 copies sold, and has moved about 1.06 million units to date. Retailers are counting on the Deftones album to be a steady seller throughout the coming months, as the band will be on the road with Metallica and Limp Bizkit on the Summer Sanitarium tour. The single "Minerva" is a top-10 hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.
This is the second week in a row that two major rock acts have debuted in the top-3 on The Billboard 200. Last week, Marilyn Manson's "The Golden Age of Grotesque" (Nothing/Interscope) and Cold's "Year of the Spider" (Flip/Geffen/Interscope) arrived at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively. Both plummet on the chart after suffering major second-week sales dips: "Grotesque" falls 1-21 on 62% drop from 118,000 to 45,000 copies; while "Spider" careens 3-29 on a 64% decline from 101,000 to 37,000 copies.
50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" (Shady/Interscope) is down 2-5, but suffered only a 5% sales dip to 102,000 copies. The Maverick/Warner Bros. soundtrack to "The Matrix Reloaded" drops one to No. 6 after a minor 2% sales decline to 94,000 copies.
Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" (Blue Note/Capitol) experienced a 5% slip to sales of 83,000 copies and the Grammy-winning set falls one to No. 7. The Disney soundtrack to "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" holds steady at No. 8 with 77,000 copies sold, on par with its previous week's total.
The Universal debut from rapper/producer David Banner, "Mississippi: The Album," enters at No. 9 on sales of 76,000 copies. The hip-hop artist, a member of the duo Crooked Lettaz, has received massive promotion on MTV2, and first single, "Like a Pimp" featuring Lil' Flip, is a top-40 hit on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
"The Very Best of Cher" (Geffen/MCA/Warner Bros.) rounds out the top-10. The hits package gained about 3% as it notched sales of 74,000 copies, but Banner's arrival forces it down one rung.
Ricky Martin's "Almas Del Silencio" (Sony Discos) sets a new record for the best SoundScan week by a Spanish-language album. The release sold 65,000 copies and arrives on The Billboard 200 at No. 12. The previous high was set in 1997 by Luis Miguel's "Romances" (WEA Latin), which opened with 57,000 units to enter at No. 14.
In a big week for new releases, a number of albums debut inside the top-30. The latest from Weird Al Yankovic, "Poodle Hat" (Volcano), enters at No. 17 with sales of 50,000 copies. Mixtape artist DJ Kayslay arrives at No. 22 with "The Streetsweeper: Vol. 1" (Columbia). The album features rhymes by Eminem, Cam'ron, Nas, and 50 Cent, among others.
"Transform," Powerman 5000's long-awaited DreamWorks follow-up to "Tonight the Stars Revolt," enters at No. 27 on 39,000 copies sold. Close behind at No. 28 is the latest Radioactive/MCA album from Live, "Birds of Pray," which moved 38,800 copies.
Venerable Southern rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd reemerges with a new record deal with indie Sanctuary and snares one of its strongest chart entries in years. "Vicious Cycle" arrives at No. 30 with 35,000 units. The group's 1999 set "Edge of Forever" (CMC) entered at No. 96, while "Twenty" landed at No. 97 in 1997.
Along with Billboard's many other charts, The Billboard 200 will be posted tomorrow (May 29) on Billboard.com.