Paisley and Hill Still Top the Heap

But All the Excitement Is on the Album Side

For the second straight week, Brad Paisley’s Time Well Wasted holds the high ground on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, while Faith Hill’s “Mississippi Girl” keeps the pinnacle perch on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks tally. But there’s a lot of traffic headed their way, including seven new albums and three singles.

The big muscle on the album side is Trick Pony, whose R.I.D.E. bounds into the No. 4 spot its first week out. Neal McCoy’s That’s Life makes it bow at No. 8, followed by Delbert McClinton’s Cost of Living at No. 14, Sawyer Brown’s Mission Temple Fireworks Stand at No. 47, Shane Owens’ Let’s Get on It at No. 65 and Stoney Larue’s The Red Dirt Album at No. 70. This Is Americana 2, a various artists collection, comes in at No. 73.

Within the Top 5 album slots, Hill’s Fireflies holds at No. 2, Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today stays at No. 3 and Keith Urban’s Be Here sticks at No. 5. Toby Keith’s Honkytonk University remains at No. 6 while Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life drops from its long-time highpoint of No. 4 to No. 7. The good news, though, is that the group’s album has gone platinum (meaning record stores have ordered a million copies). With McCoy at No. 8, Gretchen Wilson’s Here for the Party follows at No. 9 and Keith’s Greatest Hits 2 at No. 10.

Except for Paisley’s, every other album that first charted last week has succumbed to gravity. Chris LeDoux’s Anthology, Volume 1 slips from No. 20 to No. 32, Rodney Crowell’s The Outsider from No. 37 to No. 48 and Hanna-McEuen’s Hanna-McEuen from No. 42 to No. 64. Randy Rogers Band’s Live at Billy Bob’s Texas, which debuted at No. 62, and Jimmy Dale Gilmore’s Come On Back, which entered at No. 67, have dropped off entirely.

The bestselling album on the charts is Alan Jackson’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2. It has sold 6 million copies during its 89 weeks on the chart.

In the singles division, Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Something Country” moves into the No. 2 spot from its No. 4 niche last week. Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was” (a former No. 1) holds at No. 3. Sara Evans’ “A Real Fine Place to Start” zips to No. 4 from No. 7. And Tim McGraw’s “Do You Want Fries With That” edges to No. 5 from its previous high of No. 6.

Paisley’s “Alcohol” appears to have peaked at No. 5 and now slumps at No. 6. Sugarland must also be gnashing its collective teeth. The trio’s “Something More” came oh so close to the top — hanging at No. 2 for weeks — but has plummeted to No. 7. Van Zant’s “Help Somebody” clings to No. 8 for its third week. Montgomery Gentry’s “Something to Be Proud Of” stays at No. 9 for its second week. Craig Morgan glides into No. 10 from No. 12 with his “Redneck Yacht Club.”

Worth keeping an eye on is Luke Stricklin’s gee-whizzer, “American by God’s Amazing Grace,” which marches from No. 55 to No. 50 in its fourth week on the charts.

The new singles this week seem to have moseyed rather than leaped onto the chart. They are Big & Rich’s “Comin’ to Your City” (No. 52), Trick Pony’s “Ain’t Wastin’ Good Whiskey on You” (No. 54) and Shania Twain’s “Shoes” (No. 57). Returning to the charts at No. 55 is Hill’s “Like We Never Loved at All,” a tune that reached No. 51 during its first foray.

Of last week’s five new entries, two moved up and three dropped down or off. The risers are Cross Canadian Ragweed’s “Fightin’ For” (climbing from No. 49 to No. 45) and Blake Shelton’s “Nobody but Me” (up from No. 51 from No. 60). Jamey Johnson’s “The Dollar,” however, tumbles from No. 50 to No. 53, while Darryl Worley’s “I Love Her, She Hates Me” and Brice Long’s “Anywhere but Here” both vanish. Worley’s plunge into the void may have something to do with the fact that his label, DreamWorks, is closing shop. Have they forgotten?

Be back here next week for more heartaches by the numbers.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to