Brooks & Dunn Bounce Brad and Faith

Four Potent New Singles Clock In

In a savage barrage of shoulders, knees and elbows, Brooks & Dunn have creamed the competition. B&D’s new album, Hillbilly Deluxe, dislodges the estimable Brad Paisley’s Time Well Wasted from the summit of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart while their “Play Something Country” topples toothsome Faith Hill’s “Mississippi Girl” from the high spot on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks listing.

All the media noise emanating from the release of Hillbilly Deluxe was no doubt instrumental in goosing the duo’s The Greatest Hits Collection II from No. 43 to No. 37. (This compilation, by the way, never made it all the way to the top, but it did go to No. 2.)

Cory Morrow’s Nothing Left to Hide is the only other new album coming on this week, but there are several re-entries. Four new singles have arrived, all with No. 1 prospects.

Conditions are pretty static within the Top 5 albums. Time Well Wasted drops back to No. 2. Hill’s Fireflies flutters from No. 2 to No. 3. Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today backs off from No. 3 to No. 4. However, Sugarland’s Twice the Speed of Life is exhibiting renewed power, striding back from No. 7 to No. 5. It is the only one among the Top 5 that has yet to make it to No. 1. Its previous high point was No. 4.

After debuting at No. 4 last week, Trick Pony’s R.I.D.E. plunges to No. 11. Delbert McClinton’s Cost of Living slumps from No. 14 to No. 27 its second week out. Its classmate, Sawyer Brown’s Mission Temple Fireworks Stand, drops from its initial perch at No. 47 to No. 65.

Pat Green’s Lucky Ones re-enters the chart at No. 41. So far, it has spent a total of 36 weeks on the Billboard rankings. Similarly making a comeback are Alabama’s Ultimate Alabama: 20 No. 1 Hits (No. 74) and Old Crow Medicine Show’s imaginatively titled O.C.M.S. (No. 75). Of the 75 albums on this week’s chart, 24 have hit No. 1.

There’s not a lot to gee-whiz about in the Top 5 singles, either. “Play Something Country” moves to No. 1 from No. 2. Sara Evans’ “Real Fine Place to Start” leapfrogs from No. 4 to No. 2. Toby Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was” holds steady at No. 3. Paisley’s “Alcohol” lurches from No. 6 to No. 4. And Tim McGraw’s comic cry of despair, “Do You Want Fries With That,” remains at No. 5.

Making their single chart entry this week are George Strait’s “She Let Herself Go” (No. 49); Reba McEntire’s “You’re Gonna Be (Always Loved by Me)” (No. 52); Sugarland’s “Stand Back Up” (No. 56); and Keith’s “Big Blue Note” (No. 57). Given the artists’ recent track records, these songs should have real staying power.

Montgomery Gentry’s “Something to Be Proud Of,” which continues its inexorable crawl toward the top, this week edges up from No. 9 to No. 6. Rascal Flatts” “Skin (Sarabeth)” vaults from No. 24 to No. 20. Joe Nichols’ “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” shimmies from No. 32 to No. 26. Alan Jackson’s sardonic “USA Today” moves from No. 41 to No. 35. Hill’s “Like We Never Loved at All” makes a mighty bound from No. 55 to No. 41. Big & Rich’s “Comin’ to Your City” strides from No. 52 to No. 42. And Shania Twain’s “Shoes” (one of those rare songs she and her husband, Mutt Lange, didn’t write) paces from No. 57 to No. 45.

Now to the bad news: After a determined four-week climb to No. 50, Luke Stricklin’s “American by God’s Amazing Grace” slides back this week to No. 58. Trick Pony’s “Ain’t Wastin’ Good Whiskey on You,” which entered last week at a modest No. 54, has, for the moment at least, dropped off the chart.

Anything else you’d like to know?

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