Chicks Soar to No. 3 on Charts

Live Album Debuted Last Week

The Dixie Chicks’ Top of the World Live jumps to No. 3 on Billboard’s country albums chart, following its first full week of release. While most albums arrive in stores on Tuesdays, the Chicks released the 2-CD set on Friday, Nov. 21. In the previous issue of Billboard, which tracked sales through Nov. 24, the Chicks debuted at No. 16.

Meanwhile, Toby Keith remains at No. 1 on the albums chart with Shock’n Y’all, followed by Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits Volume II and Some Other Stuff. Kenny Chesney’s All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan reaches a high watermark at No. 4, followed by LeAnn Rimes’ Greatest Hits at No. 5.

Keith’s Unleashed sits at No. 6, followed by Shania Twain’s Up!, Martina McBride’s Martina, Reba McEntire’s Room to Breathe and Rascal Flatts’ Melt. Meanwhile, Keith’s 20th Century Masters collection jumps from No. 58 to No. 31, one spot ahead of the double album Elvis: Christmas Peace.

Johnny Cash makes an especially strong showing this week. American IV: The Man Comes Around lands at No. 12, and his new 5-CD box set Unearthed bows at No. 33. Other Cash titles include The Essential Johnny Cash at No. 44, his 20th Century Masters collection at No. 47 and Christmas With Johnny Cash at No. 62.

On the singles chart, Keith’s “I Love This Bar” holds its No. 1 rank for the fifth week although the number of spins did not increase. Thus, there will probably be a new No. 1 next week — perhaps George Strait’s “Cowboys Like Us,” currently at No. 2. Rascal Flatts’ “I Melt” dips to No. 3, followed by Chesney’s “There Goes My Life” at No. 4. Chesney’s new studio album has been scheduled for Feb. 3, 2004.

At Nos. 5 and 6, Montgomery Gentry’s “Hell Yeah” and Pat Green’s “Wave on Wave” are on the way out of the Top 10, with Chris Cagle’s “Chicks Dig It” falling a notch to No. 7. Brooks & Dunn’s “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl,” Lonestar’s “Walking in Memphis” and Rodney Atkins’ “Honesty (Write Me a List)” each move up one spot to round out the Top 10. This is Atkins’ first Top 10 hit though he’s nowhere to be found on the album chart.

Twain leads the women, with “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face” at No. 14. Only two other women — Terri Clark and Jo Dee Messina — are ranked in the Top 25. In fact, looking at the Top 40 singles, only seven are from females. But there’s hope: Carolyn Dawn Johnson’s “Simple Life” leaps from No. 53 to No. 41. Also, the Twain/Alison Krauss & Union Station remake “Coat of Many Colors” arrives at No. 57, and Rimes’ “This Love” debuts at No. 58. However, the week’s highest debuts belong to men: Chesney’s “All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan” at No. 53 and Clay Walker’s “I Can’t Sleep” at No. 55.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.