Clay Aiken's 'Measure of a Man' remains #1 in U.S. with sales of 225,000 units
By Wade Paulsen, 10/29/2003
Debuting at #1 ... great. Remaining at #1 over both a Rod Stewart and an Eagles debut ... even better.
Billboard reports that American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken's debut CD, Measure of a Man, held on to the top spot on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Album Sales chart (which is also the Billboard 200 chart) for the second straight week, with sales of 225,000 units for the week ended October 26. Although Clay's second-week unit sales dropped by almost two-thirds from the first week, they were still more than enough for the RCA album to fend off the debut of Rod Stewart's As Time Goes By: The Great American Songbook II on RCA's sister label J Records (212,000 units), which placed second, and the Eagles' 2-CD The Very Best of the Eagles, on Warner (162,000 units), which was third.
Since the Rod Stewart CD features a much-hyped duet with Cher and is a sequel to his platinum album from last year, and since the Eagles' previous greatest-hits album is one of the all-time best sellers, with total unit sales on LP (!), 8-track (!!), cassette and CD of 28 million units, Clay's continued reign at #1 comes as somewhat of a surprise. Two-week sales of Clay's album now stand at 838,000 units, making its platinum certification (for sales of 1,000,000 units) in November a certainty.
However, it looks like Measure of a Man will fail to gain the top spot on the Nielsen SoundScan Canadian Album Sales chart, according to Jam! Showbiz. Celine Dion's French-language CD 1 filles & 4 types held onto first place for the second straight week with sales of 19,300 units; Rod Stewart debuted with sales of 18,200; and Clay fell to sales of 14,600 -- which was a smaller percentage decline than in the U.S., but large enough to make Clay's chances of reaching #1 north of the 49th parallel very doubtful.
Next week's big new releases are another greatest hits package, REM's In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003, and the Strokes' Room on Fire. Whether Clay can turn in a third week at #1 is questionable, considering the competition. Then again, two weeks at #1 in the U.S. during the holiday release season was unexpected by anyone except for Clay himself and the "Clay-mates." It looks like Clay may have been correct when he described his support as "a revolution."