News Segment


June 1, 2005

Like the Audioslave album title says, rock music is finally out of exile.

The band’s sophomore release, Out of Exile, has become the sixth rock album in a row to debut at number one on Billboard’s album chart in as many weeks. Since Mariah Carey lost the top spot to Rob Thomas’ Something To Be on Apr. 26, Bruce Springsteen’s Devils & Dust, Nine Inch Nails’ With Teeth, Dave Matthews Band’s Stand Up, System of a Down’s Mezmerize and now Audioslave’s Out of Exile each took turns at number one. So much for rumors that rock is dead.

Out of Exile moved 263,000 copies for the week ended Sunday, according Nielsen SoundScan.

Despite being such a high-profile group–i.e., Rage Against the Machine’s instrumentalists (guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk) fronted by Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell–Audioslave’s 2002 self-titled debut never got higher than number seven on the charts. In its opening week, the disc faced stiff competition from Shania Twain, Matchbox Twenty, Ja Rule, and Now That’s What I Call Music! releases.

For the new album, the band took its show on the road for some big gigs, becoming the first U.S. rock act to play Cuba and days later shutting down Hollywood Boulevard last month for a gig on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. The group has also created something of a stir by including songs from both the Soundgarden and Rage catalogs in recent live sets.

Coming in at a strong number two was Common with his Kanye West-produced album Be selling nearly 185,000. The socially aware rapper, previously named Common Sense, is best known for the hits “Like Water for Chocolate” and “The Light.” His last album, 2002’s experimental Electric Circus, peaked at number 47 in its opening week.

The Gorillaz’s long-awaited second album, Demon Days, sold 107,000 copies to open at six. For the new disc, lead Gorilla Damon Albarn (Blur) recruited DJ Danger Mouse to replace Dan “The Automator” Nakamura. The album opened strong thanks to the hit single (and iPod commercial track), “Feel Good Inc.”

Rounding out the Top 10 bows, South African rock band Seether landed Karma & Effect at number eight with 82,000 copies.

Meanwhile, for Mariah Carey, the voice is indeed back. The Emancipation of Mimi remains one of the year’s steadiest sellers, moving another 179,000 copies, up 6,000, to hold the three spot. Last week, she scored her 16th number one single on Billboard’s Hot 100 with “We Belong Together”–only the Beatles (with 20) and Elvis Presley (with 18) have more. And, according to early tracking numbers, Carey is poised to reclaim the top slot with Mimi ahead of Oasis’ new Don’t Believe the Truth.

The rest of the Top 10 were all familiar faces: System of a Down’s Mezmerize at four, Toby Keith’s Honkytonk University at five, Dave Matthews Band’s Stand Up at seven, Il Divo’s self-titled at nine, and Gwen Stefani’s Love, Angel, Music, Baby in the 10 spot.

On its (unlucky) 13th week of release, 50 Cent’s The Massacre finally slipped out of the Top 10, falling to 11.

Also just missing the Top 10 were R&B singer Houston Marques, who sold 65,000 copies of Naked at 13, Roc-A-Fella rappers Young Gunz, who sold 59,000 copies of Brothers from Another at 15, and the rap group Pretty Ricky, who sold 56,000 copies of Blue Stars to open at 16.

B.G.’s Heart of tha Streetz followed at 21, while the Nelly-led The Longest Yard soundtrack trailed at 22. Indie rockers the Alkaline Trio scored big with Crimson at 25.

Other noteworthy bows included the Wallflowers’ Rebel, Sweetheart at 40, Sleater-Kinney’s The Woods at 80, Motown Remixed at 86, Collective Soul’s From the Ground Up at 129, Nikka Costa’s can’tneverdidnothin’ at 157, and Bruce Dickinson’s Tyranny of Souls at 180.

Here’s a recap of last week’s Top 10 albums, per Nielsen SoundScan:

1. Out of Exile, Audioslave
2. Be, Common
3. The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey
4. Mezmerize, System of a Down
5. Honkytonk University, Toby Keith
6. Demon Days, Gorillaz
7. Stand Up, Dave Matthews Band
8. Karma & Effect, Seether
9. Il Divo, Il Divo
10. Love, Angel, Music, Baby, Gwen Stefani

Courtesy of