Dixie Chicks New CD, Taking The Long Way, Breaks Records

The Dixie Chicks’ new album, “Taking The Long Way” has debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, breaking their own record.

As Taking The Long Way debuts at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 best-selling albums chart this week, with first week’s sales of 525,829, the Dixie Chicks have become the first female group in chart history to have three albums debut at #1, breaking the record the Chicks established in 2002 when the group’s last studio album, Home, debuted at #1 and made them the first female group ever to have two albums debut at #1.


Taking The Long Way arrives in the midst of an incredible media blitz surrounding the Dixie Chicks, who were honored with a profile on CBS’s “60 Minutes” and appeared on the cover of Time magazine an unprecedented two times in May. The group was featured in a five-part series of interviews, culminating with an SRO live concert at New York’s Bryant Park on Friday, May 26, on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The Dixie Chicks will sit down for an in-depth interview on “Larry King Live” tonight, Wednesday, May 31.

Now records for “female group” are somewhat dubious, much like Brooks & Dunn’s numerous achievements as “vocal duo.” Those are very small categories and there’s not much competition currently or historically in either.

Still, having three consecutive albums debut at #1 is an impressive enough achievement. Even more so considering how much the Chicks alienated their fan base three years ago with a series of derogatory comments about a then-wildly popular President Bush.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Fersboo says:

    Funny, they couldn’t get any singles to break 30 on the charts but the album comes in at #1. It must have been the constant crying they’ve done over the last month or so.

  2. Mac says:

    Something is really wrong here.

    Just last week I link from Drudge to a story saying that the two singles from this album weren’t even charting???

    The story on Drudge said that one single debuted at something pathetic like… 36 and then dropped out of sight, and the second one PEAKED at 48 and dropped off.

    It was a music industry page that Drudged linked to… so… not like it was conjecture.

    The story went on to say that they are finding it almost impossible to get airplay ANYWHERE.

    They’ve apparently tried to change their image from “Country” to “Southern Rock” and it’s not working out very well. The “country” music stations are all but refusing to play the new album because (a) It’s not country (b) It’s still not viewed as patriotic and (c) it stinks.

    The “rock” stations don’t want to play it because it’s not really rock.


    How in the HECK did they get the album to chart at #1??

  3. jwb says:

    Because Drudge is a huge liar? He also tried to spin that “Crashing the Gate” was a miserable flop when it was selling through its third printing.

    Drudge just makes things up, sometimes.

    Anyway, the single “Not Ready to Make Nice” is currently #1 on iTunes’ Country list. People have to be willing to pay $0.99 to put it there.

  4. Bithead says:

    Actually, Drudge was telling the truth.
    What we have here is a number of people who couldn’t care less about the music making a political statement by buying disks which will sit collecting dust once they get one spin.

    And there’s part of the issue; They’re being charted in Country groupings, and yet have no country FANS. If they were to be charted within the niche of people who are actually BUYING their stuff rock/pop… ‘alternative’… they’d not even show up.

  5. Pug says:

    Reba must really be bummed, not to mention Toby Keith. Good for the Dixie Chicks. One silly remark, followed by a frenzy of right-wing jingoistic chest thumping, followed by the ban issued by big-time Bush contributor Clear Channel and where do they end up? Numero uno.

    The Dixie Chicks should refuse to ever let their music be played on Clear Channel again. Screw Clear Channel. They’ve already told country fans to go screw themselves.

  6. anjin-san says:

    With Bush’s political fortunes rapidly circling the bowl, his few remaining supporters have nothing better to do then resort to chick bashing. How the mighty have fallen…

  7. Fersboo says:

    Isn’t the difference in tenor & tone between pro- & anti- Dixie Chicks remarkable?

  8. CalDevil says:

    Bithead is right about the singles tanking, while the CD still sells enough to debut at #1 – although Billboard only credits the Chicks with 526,000 units.

    However, the debut week sales of the Chicks’ current CD are significantly lower than their last CD release (“Home”) 3+ years ago. According to Billboard, Home sold 48% more than this CD in its debut week.

    This is all the more notable in light of the “incredible media blitz” highlighted in the label’s press release.

    To put this in perspective, how many have heard of the band Tool?

    How many saw their Larry King interview or the live Tool concert on Good Morning America or their fawning USA Today or Time Magazine cover stories?

    No one? Guess that’s because none of those things happened for Tool.

    But even without 1% of the PR/Marketing blitz bestowed upon the Chicks, Tool managed to outsell the Chicks (564k to 520k per Billboard)when their most recent CD debuted 3 weeks ago.

  9. anjin-san says:


    You have a point. Pro chicks types are worried about the future of the country and anti’s are pissed because they dared to exercise free speech.

    Personally, I think they are a mediocre band, but I am glad they are standing up for what they believe in..

  10. McGehee says:

    Isn�t the difference in tenor & tone between pro- & anti- Dixie Chicks remarkable?

    As in, Anjin-san is pro-Chicks? Highly instructive.

  11. Bithead says:

    Revealing, indeed.

  12. CalDevil says:

    Personally, I used to enjoy the Chicks (fairly innocuous pop country by a trio of well trained musicians), but can’t separate their idiocy from their music. And from listening to tracks on the new CD, apparently neither can they.

    Oddly, this is the only act I feel this way about. I still love Streisand’s music even though she acts like a lunatic. Chrissie Hynde openly rooted for Saddam on the eve of the war and I still listen to the Pretenders.

    It’s not that the Chicks attacked the president. I think that most of the CDs and downloads I’ve purchased in recent months are by artists who embrace the “impeach Bush” position.

    Rather, the Chicks come off more as wannabe Bush haters than the genuine article. I don’t hold it against Streisand or Sean Penn or Alec Baldwin or Susan Sarandon when they attack Bush or say stupid (IMO) things. They seem genuine in their beliefs and I can easily separate their politics from their talents.

    The Chicks’ actions always stuck me as a poorly executed career move. Like they got bored with country and wanted to move on to greener pastures (can you say, crossover?).

    Well, they did get a lot more famous outside of the country world, but years from now (unless they dramatically change course) they likely will be remembered, if at all, only because of the media event and not their art. I’d say they’ll end up regretting their actions down the road.

  13. According to The Southern Belle Handbook one is from where one is born, even if one left the hospital in a U-haul. A quick Googling shows that George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut. The State of Connecticut even put up signs.

    Therefore Mr. Bush is not from Texas he’s from Connecticut and that makes him a Connecticut Yankee and not a Texan. I don’t care how many years he lived here in Texas, or that he owned a MLB team, or that he owns that ranch in the Hill Country, or that he spent six years in Austin as Governor, he is still not from Texas. The only Presidents of the United States who were actually from Texas were Dwight David Eisenhower and Lyndon Baines Johnson. So The Dixie Chicks should have said they were embarassed that people thought that that Connecticut Yankee in the White House was from Texas.

    Great-Great-Granddaughter of an officer in the 2nd Texas Cav (1863-1865)

  14. Bithead says:


    Anyuone who takes FMac tunes and give’s them a country slant is looking for crossover territory, at the outset.

  15. Stormy70 says:

    The Chicks insulted their fans, and consider themselves too intelligent for country fans. Fine, but the days of 10 million plus album sales are over for the Dixie Chicks. This band had mega sales before Natalie Mains opened her mouth. I find it ironic, because I was going to buy every album they had out at the time, but they turned me off with the whole “Free Speech” martyr act. I still am turned off by the media blitz bitching about free speech, when all they did was suffer a hit in the free market. Why should I pay for their music when the free speech of the band ruins the tunes? Country radio stations tried spinning the Chicks, but listeners complained and so off they go. I bet they get the anti-Bush vote for the Grammies this year, though. It won’t be with a mega-selling album, in any case.

  16. anjin-san says:

    Bit & McGhee,

    Yep, it instructs you that I am in favor of free speech.

  17. Mac says:

    Because Drudge is a huge liar?

    Actually – any who has ever attached to Drudge’s site knows that he very rarely posts anything of his own, he just hot-links to the rest of the world.

    And if you took the time to read the original comment I said that he linked to a music industry periodical.

  18. McGehee says:

    Yep, it instructs you that I am in favor of free speech.

    Except when the speaker disagrees with you, as we’ve seen with your fixation on violent fantasies.