April 26, 2006

Country trio Rascal Flatts still No. 1 on charts

By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Country trio Rascal Flatts earned a
third week at No. 1 on the U.S. pop album charts Wednesday,
during a quiet period in which rock band Dresden Dolls logged
the top debut at No. 42 and Rod Stewart re-entered the charts
at No. 58 following an appearance on "American Idol."

Rascal Flatts topped the Billboard 200, as well as
Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, with "Me and My Gang"
(Lyric Street Records), which sold 143,000 copies in the week
ended April 23, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Its haul stands
at more than 1.2 million units.

The 21st volume of the hits compilation "NOW That's What I
Call Music" (BMG/Zomba/EMI/UME) inched up one place to its
previous high of No. 2 with 130,000 units. Its total rose to
757,000 units, also after three weeks.

Walt Disney Records' soundtrack to the Disney Channel
musical "High School Musical" was also up one, to No. 3, with
116,000 copies in its 15th week. The former chart-topper is the
year's top-selling album with 1.7 million units to date. It's
the first time a soundtrack has been the year's best-seller at
this stage of the game since 1998, when "Titanic" moved 7.4
million in the first four months.

After a No. 2 debut last week, Toby Keith's "White Trash
With Money" (Show Dog) fell to No. 4 with 109,000 copies.
Rapper T.I.'s "King" (Atlantic) held at No. 5 with 86,000, and
maintained its lead on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap
Albums for a fourth week.

Rounding out the top 10, Tim McGraw's "Greatest Hits Vol 2:
Reflected" (Curb) climbed one to No. 6 with 59,000 copies,
while English balladeer James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam"
(Atlantic) rebounded three spots to No. 7 (54,000). Canadian
singer/songwriter Daniel Powter's self-titled Warner Bros.
album held at No. 9 in its second week with 47,000, and Pink's
"I'm Not Dead" (LaFace/Zomba) fell two to No. 10 with 42,000 in
its third week.

Dresden Dolls' sophomore Roadrunner album "Yes, Virginia"
arrived at No. 42 with 19,000 units. Veteran punk act NOFX's
"Wolves in Wolves' Clothing" (Fat Wreck Chords) opened at No.
46 with 18,000 units. The Drive-By Truckers' "A Blessing and a
Curse" (New West) bowed at No. 50 with 17,000 copies, easily
surpassing the rock act's prior high-water mark on the chart,
when "The Dirty South" spent a week at No. 147 in September

Stewart's "Thanks for the Memory: The Great American
Songbook, Vol. IV" (J Records) re-entered the Billboard 200 at
No. 58 with 38,000 copies after being absent since early last
month. Its predecessor, "Stardust: The Great American Songbook,
Vol. III," also re-entered at No. 113 for its first appearance
since November 2005.

At 9.14 million units, overall CD sales were down 22% from
the previous week and down 12% compared to the same week a year
ago. Sales for 2006 were down less than 1% compared to 2005 at
172.5 million units.