Peppers pop at last

Chili Peppers, Lachey take top sales spots

After 22 years of recording albums, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have finally snagged a No. 1.

The two-CD “Stadium Arcadium” (Warner Bros.) took the top slot on sales of 442,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan. More than 10% of those sales — 46,000 — were digital. Warners and iTunes had been pre-selling the album for a month, connecting pre-sales with the option to purchase concert tickets before the general public.

RHCP’s last album, 2002’s “By the Way,” reached No. 2; “Californication” (1999) and “BloodSugarSexMagik” (1991) reached No. 3. “Stadium Arcadium” also debuted at No. 1 in 16 other countries, including the important sales territories of Germany, Japan and the U.K.

The Peppers start their corresponding tour May 30 in Barcelona and hit North America from Aug. 11 through Nov. 5.

“Stadium Arcadium” was one of seven new albums in the top 20.

At No. 2, Nick Lachey, the former member of 98 Degrees, sold 172,000 copies of his sophomore effort “What’s Left of Me” (Jive). Lachey’s first solo disc, “SoulO,” made it to No. 51, but that was prior to his life being documented by the tabloids as his marriage to Jessica Simpson fell apart.

R&B vocal group Jagged Edge sold 115,000 copies of “Jagged Edge” (Columbia) to land at No. 4, one slot ahead of the Isley Brothers’ “Baby Makin’ Music” (Def Jam Def Soul Classics). Disc is Jagged Edge’s fifth; it is their fourth in a row to make it into the top 10. The last studio release from the Isleys, “Body Kiss” in 2003, was their first No. 1 album in 28 years.

Two Warner Bros. rockers in their 60s, Paul Simon and Neil Young, opened at Nos. 14 and 15. “Surprise,” which Simon made with Brian Eno producing, sold 61,000 copies; Young’s rush-released “Living With War” sold 60,000. “War” was released digitally on May 2 and sold 1,500 copies that week as well.

Gnarls Barkley, the neo-soul band led by rapper-singer Cee-lo Green and DJ Danger Mouse, arrived at No. 20 as their debut, “St. Elsewhere” (Downtown/Atlantic), sold 50,000. Early digital sales of 4,000 were tallied the week before.

Other debuts included Teena Marie’s “Sapphire” (Cash Money/Universal) selling 44,000 (No. 24); Snow Patrol’s “Eyes Open” (A&M) selling 36,000 (No. 34); Korn’s “Live & Rare” (Epic) selling 22,000 (No. 51); and “Best of Chris Isaak” (Warner Bros.) at No. 54 on sales of 21,000.

Last week’s No. 1, Tool’s “10,000 Days” (Volcano), sold 157,000 and dropped to No. 3; No. 2 Pearl Jam saw their first disc for J Records slide to No. 8 on sales of 86,000; and last week’s No. 3 album, Mobb Deep’s “Blood Money” skidded to No. 28 on sales of 39,000.

Mother’s Day helped pump sales of James Blunt’s “Back to Bedlam” (No. 10, 71,000 sold); Andrea Bocelli’s “Amore” (No. 12, 70,000); Alan Jackson’s “Precious Memories” (No. 17, 58,000); and Barry Manilow’s “Greatest Songs of the ’50s” (No. 27, 40,000).

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