Alan Jackson inadvertently bumped himself out of the Top 10 this week when his new album debuted at the top of Billboard’s country albums chart. Like Red on a Rose sold almost 150,000 copies in its first week of release to premiere at No. 1, but his platinum gospel album, Precious Memories, slipped to No. 11 after 31 weeks on the chart.
On the country singles chart, Josh Turner follows up the No. 1 success of his recent single, “Your Man,” with the second chart-topper of his career — “Would You Go With Me.”
Jackson didn’t single-handedly push his gospel album out of the Top 10. He got a little help from the Killer — Jerry Lee Lewis — who made a strong return to the country chart with Last Man Standing: The Duets, a collection featuring collaborations with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Toby Keith, Kris Kristofferson, Kid Rock, Don Henley, Neil Young, John Fogerty, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen and several others.
With Like Red on a Rose at the top, Kenny Chesney’s Live: Live Those Songs Again and Rascal Flatts’ Me and My Gang slip to second and third place, respectively, as Lewis debuts at No. 4. The arrival of Jackson and Lewis cause four titles to fall two places each — Carrie Underwood’s Some Hearts (No. 5), Turner’s Your Man (No. 6), Trace Adkins’ Dangerous Man (No. 7) and Tim McGraw’s Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (No. 8). The Wreckers’ debut album, Stand Still, Look Pretty, follows at No. 9, and the Dixie Chicks close out the Top 10 with Taking the Long Way.
Turner holds the top slot on the country singles list, but Heartland’s indie label success story, “I Loved Her First,” climbs one more notch to No. 2. Last week’s No. 1 — George Strait’s “Give It Away” — slides to No. 3. Holding steady in fourth and fifth place respectively are “Building Bridges” (Brooks & Dunn’s collaboration with Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill) and “Every Mile a Memory” (the first single from Dierks Bentley’s upcoming album). Keith Urban’s “Once in a Lifetime” remains particularly vibrant, climbing to No. 6 after just seven weeks on the chart.
But Underwood logs the greatest chart gain of the week as she sees “Before He Cheats” bound from No. 11 to No. 7. At No. 8, Chesney is still on the rise with “You Save Me.” Two recent No. 1 singles continue their decline, with the Wreckers’ “Leave the Pieces” falling to No. 9 and Steve Holy’s “Brand New Girlfriend” to No. 10.
Strait claims the highest-debuting single of the week. “It Just Comes Natural,” the title track of his new album, enters the chart at No. 30. Other singles debuting this week include Faith Hill’s “Stealing Kisses” (No. 58), Trent Willmon’s “So Am I” (No. 59) and John Anderson’s “If Her Lovin’ Don’t Kill Me” (No. 60).
Aside from Jackson and Lewis, the only other album debuting this week is soul music legend Solomon Burke’s country album, Nashville, featuring several special guests, including Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin.