Faith Yields to Brad, Toby Bows to Faith

Country Charts Welcome Six New Albums, Five Fresh Singles

You win some; you lose some. Faith Hill’s Fireflies falls from its perch at the top of the Billboard country albums chart this week to be replaced by Brad Paisley’s Time Well Wasted. Lessening the hierarchical blow, however, is the fact that Hill’s current single, “Mississippi Girl,” simultaneously bounces to the No. 1 slot on Billboard‘s country singles chart, dislodging Toby Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was,” which had held the peak position for six consecutive weeks.

Albums — other than Paisley’s — that are making their chart debut this week are Chris LeDoux’s Anthology, Vol. 1, coming in at No. 20; Rodney Crowell’s The Outsider, bowing at No. 37; Hanna McEuen’s Hanna McEuen, entering at No. 42; Randy Rogers Band’s Live at Billy Bob’s Texas, arriving at No. 62; and Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s Come On Back, checking in at No. 67.

New singles include Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “Fightin’ For” (ringing the bell at No. 49); Jamey Johnson’s “The Dollar” (No. 50); Darryl Worley’s “I Love Her, She Hates Me” (No. 56); Brice Long’s “Anywhere but Here” (No. 59); and Blake Shelton’s “Nobody but Me” (No. 60).

Falling in behind Paisley’s album are Hill’s Fireflies at No. 2; Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today, which retains its No. 3 spot; Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life, still holding at No. 4, its high point to date; and Keith Urban’s Be Here, which drops from No. 2 to No. 5. All the Top 5 albums, save Sugarland’s, have gone No. 1. Rounding out the Top 10, in descending order, are Keith’s Honkytonk University, Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party, Keith’s Greatest Hits 2, Jason Aldean’s self-titled debut and George Strait’s Somewhere Down in Texas.

The recently observed 28th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death may have had something to do with the energizing of the album Elvis: Ultimate Gospel, which rises from No. 59 to No. 52, despite having already spent 74 weeks on the charts.

There are no stratospheric leaps or precipitous falls on the singles side, although it’s worth noting that it took only 15 weeks to drive “Mississippi Girl” to the summit. Sugarland’s “Something More” occupies the No. 2 niche for the fourth frustrating week. Keith’s long-dominant “As Good As I Once Was” slides to No. 3. Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Something Country” idles at No. 4 for its third week, as Paisley’s “Alcohol” also spends its third week at No. 5. The movement is so turgid you’d think they were going through airport security.

Equally stuck in chart limbo are Tim McGraw’s “Do You Want Fries With That,” lodged at No. 6 for three weeks; Sara Evans’ “A Real Fine Place to Start,” spending its third week at No. 7; and Van Zant’s “Help Somebody,” frozen at No. 8 for its second week. The news is better for Montgomery Gentry’s “Something to Be Proud Of,” as it moves from No. 12 to No. 9. Rascal Flatts’ “Fast Cars and Freedom,” a former No. 1, now stands at No. 10.

Other noteworthies includes Wilson’s “All Jacked Up,” which regresses from No. 10, its high point to date, to No. 11; Trisha Yearwood’s “Georgia Girl,” now at No. 15 after having languished at No. 18 for two weeks; Trace Adkins’ “Arlington,” which drops from its high-water mark of No. 16 to No. 18; Urban’s “Better Life,” up three notches from last week to No. 19 after only six weeks on the charts; and Rascal Flatts’ “Skin (Sarabeth),” vaulting from No. 35 to No. 27.

In its fourth week, Joe Nichols’ “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” vamps from No. 40 to No. 34, while Alan Jackson’s “USA Today” bounds from No. 49, where it entered last week, to No. 43.

Of the 75 albums on the charts, 23 have scored a No. 1. There are only three current and former No. 1 titles on the 60-slot country singles chart.

Can you feel the excitement?