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"Bruce continues on with a very strong second week. It’s heartening to see just how the nation as a whole has reacted to this record."
—— Hastings’ Mike Fuller
NEW CHART BOSS IS THE SAME AS THE OLD BOSS
Springsteen Continues Rising Above Competition
It’s the dead of summer, the calm before the storm, the darkness before the dawn, a stitch in time saves nine, all’s well that ends well… And Columbia/CRG’s Bruce Springsteen, who just commenced his SRO tour with the E Street Band, is still born to run, as The Rising spends its second consecutive week at #1.

And he could conceivably stay there for a few more weeks, with the Aug. 27 release of the hotly anticipated album from labelmates the Dixie Chicks the only surefire new competition on the horizon.

HastingsMike Fuller took time out from moonlighting as a cabana boy to hand us a towel and a remark: "Bruce continues on with a very strong second week. It’s heartening to see just how the nation as a whole has reacted to this record."

This week, Springsteen’s sales totals were off by a little more than 50%, but the album’s 245k was still enough to beat out Fo’ Reel/Universal St. Louis rapper Nelly, who dropped just 11%, with 210k in sales.

Gangsta rappers were responsible for three of the week’s top chart debuts, with Def Jam South/IDJ’s Scarface at #4, Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic’s Trick Daddy #7 and Loud/Columbia’s Project Pat bowing at #12.

Added Fuller: "Scarface, Trick Daddy and Project Pat all fared very well in first-week sales." Yo Mike, if you’re not busy, could you help out George W. with this economy thing?

Aftermath/Interscope’s Eminem, still going strong at #3 with a mere 3% drop-off, and last week’s #2, WB’s Linkin Park, now #5, round out the Top Five.

The week’s other top debut was Universal’s XXX soundtrack, which roared in at #11 on the heels of the film’s impressive $45 million-plus opening-week box office take.

Fuller piped in: "The XXX soundtrack got a big boost from the movie opening." Hey, you don’t get this kind of analysis in Billboard.

Aware/Columbia/CRG’s John Mayer (19-17) and Enjoy/Universal’s Jack Johnson (29-23) continued to show upward movement (and positive sales gains) in a generally flat marketplace.

Next week’s chart entries will likely include Doggystyle/MCA’s Snoop Dogg Presents…Doggystyle Allstars, Elektra’s Keith Sweat, Columbia/CRG’s James Taylor, Barak/Priority/Capitol’s Slum Village and DreamWorksSparta, not necessarily in that order.

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