HITS Daily Double
“Thanks, we needed that.”
——The record and retail industries


Retail Shows Signs of Life,
Thanks to a Big Country Star
As the summer nears its end, the record business is emerging, thanks to a pair of explosive chart debuts. One is from a country star and the other from an emerging emo icon.

Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson saw his Greatest Hits Volume II ride in with a tally north (pardon the expression) of 325k. Meanwhile, Dashboard Confessional (aka Chris Carrabba), an emerging star from a different world altogether, brings his emotion-charged pop to the mainstream via an impressive #2 start for his Vagrant-released/TVT-distributed/ Interscope-worked album. A third bow, Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s State Property, nailed down the #6 spot, with Beanie Sigel and company scoring sales of more than 65k. Said the record and retail industries: “Thanks, we needed that.”

After topping the charts for four consecutive weeks, Bad Boy/Universal’s Bad Boys II dropped slightly to #3. Wind-up’s Evanescence stayed solid at #4, while Columbia/CRG’s Beyonce had another strong showing, coming in at #5, with DTP/Capitol rapper Chingy not far behind at #7, followed by UTV’s Now 13, which slipped #2-8.

Another big story was Hilary Duff’s Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack (Walt Disney Records), which catapulted #28-9 off a whopping 87% boost, after the DVD of the hit film came out. That augurs well for the new Duff album, Metamorphosis, which hits next Tuesday (8/26) with 700k-plus on the street and the single “So Yesterday” storming Top 40. Top 10 perennial Norah Jones (Blue Note) did it again, coming in at #10.

The other standbys hung around, too, including Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s 50 Cent (#11), WB’s Linkin Park (#12) and Murder Inc/IDJ’s Ashanti (#15). Hollywood’s Freaky Friday soundtrack went 29-16, with a 23% rise in sales.

Other chart newcomers included UTV’s Lynyrd Skynyrd collection (#13), Razor & Tie’s Kidz Bop 4 (#14) and Roadrunner/IDJ’s heavy metal Freddy vs. Jason soundtrack (#19).

Double-digit increases were registered by TVT’s Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz (33-28, +11%), Universal’s 3 Doors Down (42-37, +17%) and Atlantic’s Matchbox Twenty (45-41, +14%). Elektra’s emerging troubadour Jason Mraz, who broke into the Top 50 last week, stuck around as his single continues to garner big spins at radio. Columbia’s Ataris, experiencing a similar, radio-powered upsurge, re-entered at #50.

Next week, the momentum continues with Star Trak/Arista’s Neptunes and Columbia/CRG’s Bow Wow, who’s no longer a lil’, but not quite a big.