HITS Daily Double
"It’s an absolutely staggering record, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that fans have responded to it so enthusiastically."
—-Steve Barnett, Columbia Records chairman


New Album Goes #1, Young Dro. Jessica Simpson, Method Man, The Roots Bow in Top 10
The Times are apparently not a-changing after all.

Bob Dylan’s new critically acclaimed Columbia Records album Modern Times is his first to top the charts since 1976’s Desire, representing the longest span between #1 albums of any living artist. It was also #1 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, #2 in Germany, Austria and Sweden and #3 in the Netherlands and U.K., where its 55k sold marked the one-week record for any Dylan album in that country.

Columbia Chairman Steve Barnett says everybody must get stoned and listen to the disc: “It’s an absolutely staggering record, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that fans have responded to it so enthusiastically. This extraordinary artist remains at the peak of his artistry, vitality and cultural impact. Now, will you please pass that bong?”

Dylan isn’t the only story, though. Grand Hustle/Atlantic rapper Young Dro, a protégé of fellow Atlanta hip-hop icon T.I., bowed at #3, just behind Bad Boy/Atlantic’s Danity Kane, last week’s #1, with 104k in sales.

Epic’s Jessica Simpson (#4), Def Jam/IDJ’s Method Man (#8) and new labelmates The Roots (#9) are the other Top 10 debuts, with holdovers including RCA’s Christina Aguilera (#5), Walt Disney’s Cheetah Girls 2 soundtrack (#6), LaFace/ZLG’s OutKast (#7) and Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback (#10).

Among the other chart newcomers are Jive/ZLG veteran rapper Too Short (#14), Columbia’s Crossfade (#31), Roadrunner/IDJ’s Hatebreed (#32), RCA’s Ray LaMontagne (#33), Show Dog Nashville/Universal’s Broken Bridges soundtrack featuring Toby Keith (#38), Atlantic’s reggaeton superstar Tego Calderon (#42) and Arista/RMG’s Paula Deanda (#50).

Custard/Atlantic’s James Blunt re-enters the Top 20 at #18 after picking up a Moonman for Best Male Video.

A&M/Interscope’s Snow Patrol shows a 54% increase, leading the double-digit gainers, moving #48-35. Others posting impressive jumps include VMA winners/performers Panic! at the Disco (#28-20, +29%), WB’s Red Hot Chili Peppers (#27-23, +17%), Epic’s The Fray (#33-27, +17%, riding high on their Grey’s Anatomy TV promo), Universal Republic’s Hinder (#17-12, +16%), Disney’s High School Musical (#30-26, +15%) and Nickelback (+12%).

This week, Columbia’s Beyonce, Epic/Interscope’s Audioslave and Sanctuary Music Group’s Iron Maiden top the list of new releases and should each debut in the Top 10 next week.