Recount puts George Strait on top. SoundScan blames retailer reporting error for undercounting sales the country titan's new hits collection

By Gary Susman
Updated October 15, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

George Strait’s new CD is called 50 Number Ones, and it should have had a Billboard album chart position to match its title. Turns out this week’s chart was in error in giving Usher’s revamped Confessions the top spot and relegating the country titan’s hits collection to No. 2. Nielsen’s SoundScan, which tallies the chart based on sales counts, blamed the undercounting of Strait’s new release on a reporting error from a mass merchant. The initial count said that Strait’s release sold 330,500 copies upon its debut, compared to 336,000 for Confessions, re-released this week with additional tracks, new art, and a bonus DVD. After the recount, Strait came out ahead with sales of 343,000. Another chart error had initially ranked R.E.M.’s new release, Around the Sun, at No. 14, though its sales of 61,000 meant it deserved the No. 13 slot. Let’s just hope the November election count goes smoother than this.