May 3, 2006

Rockers Godsmack, Springsteen suffer lower sales

By Jonathan Cohen and Keith Caulfield

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Boston metal band
Godsmack ruled the U.S. pop charts with its latest release
Wednesday, while Bruce Springsteen suffered sharply lower
first-week sales for his new disc.

Godsmack's "IV" (Universal) sold 211,000 copies, in the
week ended April 30, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan.
The band's previous full-length, "Faceless," opened at No. 1
with almost 267,000 copies in April 2003.

Springsteen's "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions"
(Columbia) opened at No. 3 with 149,000 copies, barely a year
since "Devils & Dust" debuted at No. 1 with 222,000 copies.

Since 1987's "Tunnel Of Love," six of Springsteen's last
seven studio collections have entered the chart in the top
three, the lone exception being the No. 11 entry of "The Ghost
Of Tom Joad" in December 1995.

Ahead of Springsteen, rock quintet Taking Back Sunday's
"Louder Now" (Warner Bros.) bowed at No. 2 with 158,000 units.
The act's 2004 Victory swan song, "Where You Want To Be," bowed
at No. 3 with 164,000.

R&B vocalist Avant arrived at No. 4 with "Director"
(Geffen), which sold 123,000 copies. Rihanna's sophomore Def
Jam album, "A Girl Like Me," followed with 115,000 in its first

After three weeks at No. 1, country trio Rascal Flatts' "Me
and My Gang" (Lyric Street/Hollywood) slid to No. 6 with
111,000 copies. Disney's "High School Musical" soundtrack
dropped three to No. 7 with 106,000, while the 21st installment
in the "NOW! That's What I Call Music" series fell six to No. 8
with 98,500.

The Goo Goo Dolls debuted at No. 9 with their newest Warner
Bros. album, "Let Love In" on sales of 83,000. The band's
previous effort, "Gutterflower," opened at No. 4 in April 2002
with 101,000. Rounding out the top 10 was Andrea Bocelli's
"Amore" (Decca), which shot up from No. 25; the artist was the
guest star on last week's "American Idol."

Christian crossover group MercyMe narrowly missed matching
its previous high-water mark on The Billboard 200 as "Coming Up
To Breathe" bowed at No. 13 with 58,000 copies. Its previous
set, "Undone," arrived at No. 12 in 2004 with 56,000 units.

New at No. 17 was Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris' "All
the Roadrunning" (Warner Bros.) with 47,000 copies. It's the
best sales week for either singer since Nielsen SoundScan began
tracking data in 1991.

British act The Streets, the vehicle for rapper Mike
Skinner, debuted at No. 68 with "The Hardest Way To Make an
Easy Living" (Vice).

At 9.51 million units, this week's total album sales were
up 4.1% from last week's tally of 9.1 million, but down 10%
from the same week in 2005 (10.5 million).