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"The Springsteen album really caught the mood of the nation, as evidenced by a phenomenal first week, which started strong and never let up. Columbia’s superb campaign really made everybody aware the record was out there."
——HMV’s Jeff Davidson
RISING ON THE CHARTS
The Kids Reanimate Linkin Park, While the Grown-ups Get Reanimated by an Old Favorite
A half million Bruce Springsteen fans can’t be wrong.

The new Boss proved to be every bit as connected to his audience as the Old Boss. Springsteen’s new Columbia/CRG album, The Rising, reuniting him with the E Street Band, sold a scorching 532k—the biggest one-week tally of Bruce’s 30-year career, more than twice his previous high, 1995’s greatest hits collection, which bowed at #1 with 250k.

Of course, this remarkable debut was fueled by intensive TV exposure the week of release (see related story). But at the heart of the present phenomenon is the enduring bond between Americans and an artist they see as one of their own. Springsteen’s new album offers solace to all of us affected, either directly or indirectly, by the events of Sept. 11, and buyers have responded.

HMV’s Jeff Davidson was duly impressed, as he took time out from viewing the Anna Nicole Smith show to say: "The Springsteen album really caught the mood of the nation, as evidenced by a phenomenal first week, which started strong and never let up. Columbia’s superb campaign really made everybody aware the record was out there."

At the same time, another generation of Americans is embracing one of its own, as WB rap-rockers Linkin Park’s remix album also rocketed beyond the experts’ projections to bow at #2 with 280k in first-week sales. Not bad for a sequel, huh?

Added Davidson: "The fact that a remix album could do those kinds of numbers speaks to the strength of this band’s fan base, which rivals Anna Nicole Smith’s bust size."

Rise/Columbia R&B diva Amerie’s All I Have (#9) and Island/IDJ vet metallers Def Leppard’s X (#10) also crashed the Top 10 this week, proving the marketplace’s increasingly eclectic bent.

Fo’ Reel/Universal rapper Nelly, Epic’s Now Vol. 10 and Aftermath/Interscope hip-hop bad boy Eminem round out the Top Five, while DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#6), RCA’s Dave Matthews Band (#7) and Arista’s Avril Lavigne (#8) remain ensconced in the Top 10.

Just outside the Top 10, Blue Note/Virgin’s Norah Jones continues her upward climb at #14, with a 14% rise in sales, while Enjoy/Universal surf folkie Jack Johnson also shows a double-digit increase as he cracks the Top 30.

Reprise’s industrial-strength Filter (#27), Astralwerks’ technodiva Beth Orton (#31) and LAC/Elektra rapper Knoc-Turn’al (#46) also made the Top 50.

Next week, Slip-n-Slide/Atlantic’s Trick Daddy, Loud/Columbia’s Project Pat, Def Jam South/IDJ’s Scarface and Universal’s double-CD XXX soundtrack top the list of chart-bound releases.

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