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Dave Matthews Band: Consistent seller in a hectic market*

June 10, 2009 |  3:02 pm


Even in this ever-shifting, depressed music business climate, there are still some consistencies. 

As long as there is a Dave Matthews Band, there shall be new CDs full of cocktail-party-friendly rock 'n' roll, complete with ample room for soloing. Furthermore, each of those albums will be good to sell somewhere around 400,000 copies in its first week in stores, as the band's loyal, stadium-filling audience hasn't shown any signs of abandoning it. 

The latest, "Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King," is no different. The RCA album opened with 424,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's right in the band's sweet spot, as Billboard notes that this is the fifth-straight studio effort from the act to debut with sales north of 400,000. It's a little off from what the band sold in its opening week in 2005, when "Stand Up" landed with 465,000 in its first week and went on to sell 1.47 million copies.  

Eminem's "Relapse" has racked up 962,000 sales in three weeks of release. The Aftermath/Interscope effort sold another 141,000 for the weekend ending June 7. Following the rapper's much-ballyhooed appearance on the MTV Movie Awards, the album suffered a 33% sales dip.

Nevertheless, in less than a month Emimen has now topped the sales of U2's "No Line on the Horizon" (Interscope), which is at No. 69 with 918,000 sold. He's also on the verge of toppling a top-10 staple in Lady Gaga, whose "Fame" (Cherrytree/Interscope) is at No. 8 and has sold 994,000 in its more than 30 weeks of release.

As for this week's other newcomers, there's lots of veteran rock artists making their presence known.
Alt-rock survivors 311 landed at No. 3 with "Uplifter" (Volcano), the band's first album since 2005. Billboard tells us that it's the band highest chart position, but its lowest first-week sales total since 1995.It sold 60,000 copies.  Elsewhere, Taking Back Sunday enters at No. 7 with the Warner Bros. effort "New Again," which sold 48,000 copies in its first week. 

Rock supergroup Chickenfoot, featuring former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, as well as Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Joe Satriani, entered at No. 4 with its self-titled debut. The album sold 52,000 copies in its first week.

Rancid earned another top-20 debut, even if the band isn't putting up Green Day-like numbers these days. The group's latest for Hellcat/Epitaph, "Let the Dominoes Fall," bows at No. 11 after selling 33,000 copies. Billboard reports that the band's 2003 effort "Indestructible" bowed at No. 15 with 51,000 copies sold.

But not everyone is suffering a decline. Country rocker Ryan Bingham has the best sales week of his career with "Roadhouse Sun" (Lost Highway), which bowed at No. 65 after selling just under 8,000 copies. His 2007 debut "Mescalito" has sold 38,000 copies to date, but had three weeks where it sold around 1,000 copies apiece.

Next week, look for the Black Eyed Peas to make a big impact with "The E.N.D." (Interscope). The act has the No. 1 song on the U.S. singles chart with "Boom Boom Pow."

--Todd Martens

Photo credit: AP

*Updated: An earlier version of this post incorrectly labeled the Dave Matthews Band's "Stand Up" as 'Stood Up." Additionally, the initial charts provided to Pop & Hiss from Nielsen SoundScan were incorrect. Originally, it was noted that Chickenfoot entered at No. 6. Additional sales date moved Chickenfoot up to No. 4.