Evanescence tops chart with third disc

Evanescence, the goth band from Arkansas, sold 447,000 copies of their third studio album “The Open Door” in the week ended Sunday to debut at No. 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Band’s last disc, “Fallen,” released in 2003, was one of the strongest sellers of the decade. Album, which peaked at No. 3 after debuting at No. 7, spent two years in the top 200 and has sold 6.6 million copies.

Disc also heightened the awareness of the band’s label, Wind-up Records, as more than the company that signed Creed. “The Open Door” is the first Wind-up album to debut at No. 1 in territories outside of the U.S., topping charts in Japan, Australia, Germany, Greece and Switzerland.

In a week of five debuts in the top 10, “Door” far outdistanced the No. 2 finisher, the Killers’ “Sam’s Town.” Las Vegas rock act’s sophomore disc on Island sold 315,000 copies. Band debuted at No. 1 this week in the U.K. and is on a 15-city U.S. tour.

George Strait, who has nearly 30 albums under his belt, opened at No. 3 with “It Just Comes Natural” (MCA Nashville). Selling 232,000 copies, it’s his 12th consecutive nonarchival release to make it into the top 10.

Beck’s “Information” (Interscope) sold 99,000 copies to open at No. 7. His last album, “Guerro,” opened at No. 2, selling 162,000 in March 2005.

“The Makings of Me” (J), the first album in three years from Monica, debuted at No. 8 on sales of 93,000. Her last album, “After the Storm,” debuted at No. 1, selling twice as many copies.

Atlantic rock act Jet sold 51,000 copies of soph effort “Shine On.” Disc opened at No. 16.

Chris Young’s self-titled RCA disc sold 36,000, good enough to make it the bestselling debut by a male country artist this year. Album debuted at No. 22.

One slot lower was the electronically partnered recordings of Ray Charles singing in the ’70s with the Count Basie Band swinging in the ’00s. Concord Records release “Ray Sings, Basie Swings” sold 36,000.

Other debuts included Fred Hammond’s “Free to Worship” (Verity), which selling 31,000 to hit No. 29; the Decemberists’ “Crane Wife” (Capitol), 26,000 (No. 35); gospel compilation “Wow Hits 2007″ (Sparrow), 23,000 (No. 39); Robin Thicke’s “Evolution of Robin” (Interscope), 20,000 (No. 45); and rapper SPM’s “When Devils Strike” (Dope House), which also sold 20,000 (No. 46).

Last week’s No. 1, Ludacris’ “Release Therapy” (Def Jam) fell to No. 6 on a sales slide of 64%, selling 113,000 for the week.

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