Spears' debut sales figure falls a million shy of matching 'N Sync's unprecedented first-week sales for No Strings Attached, but it's still the second biggest debut of all time (or at least since SoundScan began keeping careful track of album sales ten years ago). Or, alternately, it's the biggest debut ever for a solo artist, male or female.
Meanwhile, coming in at a distant second, with sales of 225,973, was Pearl Jam's Binaural. That's a long way's off from their 1993 commercial peak with Vs. (which sold 950,000 units its first week, the SoundScan record until Garth Brooks topped it with his million-plus first week sales of Double Live five years later). Still, selling close to a quarter of a million albums in a week ain't bad for a band that shuns videos and most other forms of publicity like the plague.
Debuting just below Pearl Jam at No. 3, with sales of 186,997, was the album I Got That Work by Cash Money rap duo Big Tymers (a.k.a. Mannie Fresh and Brian "Baby" Williams). Whitney Houston's double disc Greatest Hits entered at No. 5 (157,768 copies), leaving 'N Sync -- previously eight weeks at No. 1 -- sandwiched in at No. 4, with sales of 174,605.
Other debuts included Phish's Farmhouse (No. 12), DJ Quick's Balance & Options (No. 18); the Temptations' Earresistable (No. 54); MxPx's Ever Passing Moment (No. 56); Carly Simon's Bedroom Tapes (No. 90); and the A-Teens' Abba Generation (No. 100).
As for next week, anything goes. Will Spears fend off Matchbox Twenty and Eminem for a second week at No. 1? Will Pearl Jam stand strong in the Top 10 or take a hard fall down the chart, a la Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis? Will Limp Bizkit and Co. break stuff up with The Family Values Tour 1999? And what about Don Henley, back with his first solo album in ten years, Inside Job?
From the top, it was Britney Spears' Oops!...I Did It Again (1,319,193 copies sold); Pearl Jam's Binaural (225,973); Big Tymers' I Got That Work (186,997); 'N Sync's No Strings Attached (174,605); Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits (157,768); Music From and Inspired by Mission: Impossible 2 (111,306); Sisqo's Unleash the Dragon (110,640); Santana's Supernatural (105,630); Creed's Human Clay (101,779); and Joe's My Name Is Joe (96,915).
(May 25, 2000)