Metallica channeled its anger into a No. 1 bow on the album charts despite opening with a shortened sales week, eclipsing the band’s nearest rival — Atlantic Records’ Jewel.
The San Francisco Bay Area foursome shifted nearly 418,000 units of their latest disc, “St. Anger” (Elektra), between June 5 and Sunday, according to SoundScan data. Group moved up the album release to thwart digital piracy and lost two days of sales in the process.
Taking the silver medal was Jewel’s fourth studio album, “0304” (Atlantic). Release, which marks an unusual foray into the world of dance pop for the folk pop singer, scanned a healthy 144,000 records in its debut frame. It was the biggest bow of her career.
The one-two punch marked one of Warner Music’s best sales weeks to date; the major claimed market share of more than 27% on current releases (those out less than a year) for the week. Also making the top 10 from the WMG stable was three-disc Led Zeppelin set “How The West Was Won” (Atlantic), which slipped to ninth after bowing on top last week.
Also cracking the top 10 was alt rock act Train. Its third full-length disc, “My Private Nation” (Columbia), sold just under 87,000 units in its first pass on the charts, landing at No. 6. One spot was Tennessee country pop act Lonestar, which scanned 86,000 copies of its “Greatest Hits” package (BNA).
A compilation chronicling the latest installment of punk rock/extreme sport-themed Warped Tour managed to crack the top 50, landing at No. 21. Album, which features material from such Warped regulars as NOFX and Less Than Jake, sold 39,000 discs.
Also hitting the upper echelons were “In the Pursuit of Leisure” (Atlantic) from pop rockers Sugar Ray at No. 29 with 32,000 discs sold and John Mellencamp’s “Trouble No More” (Columbia), a collection of songs from the first half of the 20th century, also scanning 32,000 units.
Next week’s chart derby is shaping up to be a closely fought one. Metallica will log its first full week with “St. Anger,” which should continue to enjoy strong sales. Meanwhile, fans of Luther Vandross are snapping up copies of his latest CD, “Dance With My Father” (J). R&B star has commanded the attention and concern of fans after he fell seriously ill earlier this year.
Finally, the latest release from British alt rock gods Radiohead, “Hail to the Thief” (Capitol), is another strong contender for the top five.