Eminem curtain call: ‘Encore’ back at No. 1

Holiday spurs albums sales

Eminem’s “Encore” enjoyed an encore last week, returning to the top of the Nielsen SoundScan chart of the nation’s bestselling albums.

“Encore,” which had been No. 1 a month ago, saw a 36% increase in sales to 430,000 copies sold in the week ended Sunday. Week before, the disc was No. 3.

One of the biggest jumps percentagewise in the top 10 belonged to Usher’s “Confessions” (LaFace/Zomba), which spiked 33%, moving 316,000 copies. It went to No. 6 from 9, hitting a cume of 7.9 million.

“Confessions,” which sold nearly 1.1. million copies in its first week, is the bestselling album of 2004, with Norah Jones’ February release, “Feels Like Home” (Blue Note), a distant second at 3.8 million.

“Encore” (Interscope), which was rush released Nov. 12, and Kenny Chesney’s “When the Sun Goes Down” (BNA) are the only other 2004 releases that will top 3 million in sales. Nielsen SoundScan will release final figures next week.

Final four days of Christmas shopping resulted in bumps of at least 10% for nearly every title in the top 50.

Vol. 17 of “NOW That’s What I Call Music!” (Capitol) held on to the No. 2 slot, selling 356,000 copies and pushing its cume past 2.2 million.

U2’s “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” (Interscope) rose two places to No. 3, selling 350,000 units and passing the 2 million-sold mark as well. Green Day’s “American Idiot” (Reprise) returned to the top 10, selling 282,000 copies (a 39% jump) and sliding in at No. 9.

Mannie Fresh, a member of rap duo Big Tymers, debuted at No. 59 as his frosh effort, “The Mind of Mannie Fresh” (Cash Money/Universal), sold 70,000 albums.

Last week’s No. 1, Tupac’s “Loyal to the Game” (Amaru/Interscope), fell to No. 13 on sales of 219,000.

Sales were up 17.5% from the previous week and 4.4% over the same week last year. Sales for the year are only 1.4% ahead of 2003.

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