EMINEM'S latest album has proved to be quite an "Encore," sales-wise.
In an era when pop loyalty seems especially fleeting, Eminem's CD sold 870,730 copies last week, giving it a nine-day total almost identical to the impressive 1.6 million registered by his 2002 blockbuster, "The Eminem Show."
Both albums were rush-released to stores by Interscope Records in hopes of combating widespread downloading and piracy. In the case of "The Eminem Show," the collection sold 284,534 copies over a three-day weekend and then sold 1,321,799 in the next six-day reporting period. The nine-day total: 1,606,333.
With "Encore," Eminem sold 710,880 copies in its first weekend, making its nine-day total 1,581,610, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Eminem's strong week denied Destiny's Child from claiming the No. 1 spot with the high-profile trio's first formal album since "Survivor" in 2001. The CD, "Destiny Fulfilled," sold 497,000 copies last week.
The rest of the top 10 positions were held, in order, by Lil Jon & East Side Boyz, Clay Aiken (a new album of Christmas songs), Shania Twain, Snoop Dogg, Toby Keith, Vol. 17 of the "Now That's What I Call Music!" compilation series, Usher and Chingy.
Even with the dramatic showing, however, Eminem has little chance of catching Usher's "Confessions" album in the race for the year's biggest-selling album. The R&B package has sold 6.8 million copies since its release in March.
The year's other top sellers are Norah Jones' "Feels Like Home" (3.6 million), Kenny Chesney's "When the Sun Goes Down" (2.7 million), Evanescence's "Fallen" (2.5 million) and Kanye West's "The College Dropout" (2.4 million).
"Encore," however, could eventually pass "Confessions" if it maintains the pace of "The Eminem Show," which is past the 9-million mark. Two new greatest-hits packages entered the Top 30: Pearl Jam at No. 16 and Neil Young at No. 27.
Among the artists slipping down the charts this week: Britney Spears' greatest-hits package (No. 4 to No. 12), Ja Rule (No. 7 to No. 20), Fabolous (No. 6 to No. 23) and New Edition (No. 12 to No. 39).
The Beatles' four-CD box set, "The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1," sold 37,000 copies at a list price of nearly $70 to enter the chart at No. 35.