Limp Bizkit has joined pop's exclusive "first-week million" club, as its latest album sold 1.05 million copies during its first week in the stores, according to SoundScan figures.
Though the irreverent rap-rock group's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water" fell short of an early retail projection of 1.3 million, its total was the sixth-highest first-week figure since SoundScan began monitoring U.S. record sales in 1991. The record of 2.4 million was set in March by 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached."
Limp Bizkit's last album, "Significant Other," sold approximately 640,000 during its first week in the stores in the summer of 1999 and is now at the 6.5 million figure in the U.S. Thanks to the interest generated by the band's new album, "Significant Other" showed renewed life last week, moving up 12 spots to No. 43 on the sales list.
There had been suspicion in the record industry that the 1.3 million projection by Best Buy was high because the chain's figures, normally quite reliable, might be skewed high because the chain sold the album at $9.98, compared to $11.99 to $14.99 elsewhere.
Best Buy's decision to sell the album for nearly $2 below the wholesale cost is being hotly debated in the industry because it marks the first time a major retailer has deeply discounted the advertised price on a high-profile album since the industry reached a settlement last May with the Federal Trade Commission in a price-fixing lawsuit.
Limp Bizkit had an easy lead over the week's No. 2 seller, rapper Ja Rule, whose "Rule 3:36" sold about 177,000 copies. The only other newcomer in the Top 10 this week is Atlanta rapper Ludacris, whose "Back for the First Time" checks in at No. 4.
Christina Aguilera's "Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" continues to top the nation's singles chart.
New and Notable
Badly Drawn Boy, "The Hour of Bewilderbeast," XL/Beggars Banquet. This debut album of sophisticated techno-age folk recently won Britain's prestigious Mercury Music Prize. It's winsomely charming yet deeply affecting. (Steve Hochman)
R.L. Burnside, "Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down," Epitaph/Fat Possum. The 73-year-old former sharecropper expands on the boogie-meets-B-boy sound of 1998's "Come On In." It's a rare treat to find a blues album that actually flirts with new ideas and makes them work. (Marc Weingarten)
Everlast, "Eat at Whitey's," Tommy Boy. Everlast concludes with a prayerful elegy and infuses the album with a stern sense of morality, but that's not to say this is a no-fun affair. No matter the themes, there's always a groove. (S.H.)
Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek, "Reflection Eternal," Rawkus/Priority. Kweli is a top-tier lyricist whose commentary shows keen insight and inspires soul-searching. Even though this debut album tries to spread positivity, it's never preachy. (Soren Baker)
The Wallflowers, "Breach," Interscope. In the best of his new songs, leader Jakob Dylan moves forward as a writer, writing about alienation, the disorienting sensation of fame and following in his famous father's footsteps. (R.H.)