News Segment


June 16, 2004

How appropriate: Velvet Revolver is number one with a bullet.

A full year after officially announcing its lineup of Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland, Guns N’ Roses members Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Slash and Wasted Youth’s Dave Kushner, rock’s latest supergroup has finally dropped its debut disc, Contraband, and not even the year’s top album could hold Revolver back.

The long-coming Contraband finished last week by selling 256,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures Wednesday, to unseat Usher’s Confessions.

Currently on its first national tour, Velvet Revolver faced countless hurdles over the past year as Weiland’s drug problem resurfaced. He was ordered into rehab for six months, and then after checking out too early, he was sent back in January. In April, authorities in California finally cleared the singer to tour, and Velvet Revolver kicked off its first road outing last month in St. Louis.

With Velvet Revolver firing away on top, Confessions slipped out of the top chart perch for only the third week of the past 12. Dropping to number two, Confessions sold another 171,000 copies, down 23,000 from the week previous. Avril Lavigne’s Under My Skin, which temporarily dislodged Usher from the top two weeks ago, followed at three with 121,000 copies.

The week’s two other Top 10 bows were both compilations. Charting at seven was 311’s Greatest Hits ’93-03 selling 63,000. The disc features two previously unreleased new songs, 14 of the band’s catalog faves and the recent radio hit “Love Song.”

The 46-track 2004 Warped Tour Compilation followed at eight with 61,000. The double-disc set, available most places for under $10, features groups like Pennywise, NOFX, Pepper, and New Found Glory, all participants on this year’s touring punk fest, which kicks off June 25 in Houston.

The rest of the Top 10 were repeat offenders: Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party at four, Prince’s Musicology at five, Hoobastank’s The Reason at six, D12 World at nine and Slipknot’s Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses clowning it up in the 10 spot.

The country trio SHeDAISY–featuring sisters Kassidy, Kelsi and Kristyn Osborn–opened strong with its third album, Sweet Right Here, selling 42,000 discs at 16. Marc Anthony’s Spanish-language album Amar Sin Mentiras (Love Without Lies) did solid business, moving nearly 35,000 copies at 26. Like it or not, Anthony’s disc no doubt benefits from the publicity surrounding his recent surprise marriage to Jennifer Lopez.

Alt-queen PJ Harvey, who’s currently touring through Europe, sold 33,000 copies of her seventh album, Uh Hu Her, to open at 29. Gospel performer Fred Hammond followed at 35 with Somethin’ ‘Bout Love selling 28,000 copies.

And Bad Religion’s politically charged new album, The Empire Strikes First, sold 27,000 copies to squeak inside Billboard’s Top 40 at 40.

Other noteworthy debuts included the Corrs’ Borrowed Heaven at 51, Calling’s Two at 54, Punk-O-Rama Vol. 9 at 67, Sonic Youth’s Sonic Nurse at 70, and KISS axe man Gene Simmons’ solo release A**Hole at 86. My Chemical Romance, a New Jersey rock group that tops Billboard’s Heatseekers chart this week, followed at 103 with Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge.

Rounding out the new debuts, the X-ecutioners–the first deejay collective ever signed to a major label–spun in at 118 with Revolutions, while the Cowboy Junkies saddled up at 127 with One Soul Now.

Lastly, thanks to last week’s Tony Awards, the original cast recording of Wicked cracked the charts at 140, selling more than 8,000 copies–nearly double its previous week numbers. The production, which is a witch-driven prequel to The Wizard of Oz, won two trophies among its 10 nominations.

David Jenison courtesy of E! Online