It was the King over the Stones by a nose this week.
RCA Records’ collection of Elvis Presley’s 30 No. 1 singles squeaked past a similar compilation from rock legends the Rolling Stones, hanging on to the top spot despite a second-week sales decline of more than 30%.
“Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits” sold just short of 337,000 units in its sophomore sesh, according to data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. That’s 27,000 north of the debut performance by the Stones’ “Forty Licks” career retrospective (Virgin).
Time may be on their side, however: The Stones’ ongoing soldout U.S. tour should help the supergroup keep cash registers humming at retail — a promotional tool that Elvis, for obvious reasons, can’t take advantage of.
But RCA parent Bertelsmann has other plans. Conglom earlier this week took the wraps off a planned hourlong TV special, to air in about a month, aimed at keeping sales of “Elv1s” buoyed through the Christmas season. Show, called “Elvis Lives,” will feature appearances from U2’s Bono, Britney Spears, Sheryl Crow and Dave Matthews, among others.
Also putting RCA on the board this week was a greatest-hits collection from the smash reality show “American Idol.” Release, which features tracks from such would-be superstars as Justin Guarini, Kevin Bassinson and winner Kelly Clarkson, landed at No. 4, selling 146,000 copies.
West Coast rapper Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner grabbed the third spot with his fourth studio effort, “Man vs. Machine” (Loud/Sony). The Dr. Dre protege’s latest disc, which includes guest spots from Dre, Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg, shifted 156,000 units.
Debuting in seventh place was “The Young & the Hopeless” (Epic), the second album from radio-friendly punk-pop act Good Charlotte. “Hopeless” scanned more than 117,000 copies in its first week out.
Also bowing high in the rankings were “Twisted Angel” (Curb) from country chanteuse LeAnn Rimes at 12, “Live in Paris” (Verve) from sultry jazz vocalist Diana Krall at 18 and “Floetic” (DreamWorks) from female hip-hop duo Floetry in the 19th spot.
California alt-rock act Incubus logged the biggest gain of the week, jumping almost 80 spots to 58 thanks to a special edition of “Morning View” (Epic) New release, which sells for the same price as the original CD, offers an extra DVD disc of musicvideos and other content — a growing trend among marketers seeking to boost sales of developing artists.
That tack also worked wonders for “Is This It,” the RCA debut from Gotham indie-rock stars the Strokes. Album climbed 83 places to 73 — on a sales gain of 117% — following the release of its own special edition with DVD.
Next week’s main contender will be “Bounce” (Universal), the latest record from New Jersey arena-rockers Bon Jovi. U Music got the greenlight to release the record on Monday, after a judge denied an injunction request from a netco suing the label over its online marketing schemes for “Bounce.”