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"Elvis has another great week, and I see no reason that he won’t see the same sales curve as the Beatles did over the holidays. It was a sensational setup, and it’s paying off in a big way."
——Jerry Suarez, Virgin Entertainment Group
ROCK ON A ROLL!!!
Bon Jovi, Tom Petty and Chevelle Make Top 10 Bows, but the King’s Still on the Throne

Elvis is alive and well and living at the top of this week’s album chart—for the third week in a row.

If death can’t stop him, how can any mere mortal? Without breaking a sweat (he hasn’t perspired since August 1977), Nicolas Cage’s father-in-law withstood a serious challenge from Island/IDJ living rockers Bon Jovi to earn another hunka hunka album sales and land at #1 on HITS Top 50. Not far behind were Virgin’s ageless, reportedly still-breathing-hard Rolling Stones, slipping only slightly from last week’s #2 bow to take the #3 spot.

Virgin Entertainment Group’s Jerry Suarez put his suspicious mind to work and came up with the following: "Elvis has another great week, and I see no reason that he won’t see the same sales curve as the Beatles did over the holidays. It was a sensational setup, and it’s paying off in a big way. Bon Jovi had a terrific debut, actually doing better numbers than his last record. The Stones are going to keep reaping the rewards of being out on the road. Now, will you excuse me while I get my ya-yas out?"

With WB veterans Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at #9 and Epic newcomers Chevelle bowing strong at #14, this turned out to be a robust week for rockers of all ages and demographics.

Suarez, known around the office as the "Tattooed Love God," agreed: "Epic has yet another big rock record in Chevelle. And with Mudvayne on the way, that trend should continue. Hey, wanna see my nipple rings?"

Bookended in the Top 10 by rock at the top and the bottom were the usual suspects: Arista’s Avril Lavigne (#4), Fo’ Reel/Universal’s Nelly (#5), Open Wide/Columbia/CRG’s Dixie Chicks (#6), Aftermath/Interscope’s Eminem (#7) and RCA’s American Idol: Greatest Moments (#8). Odd man out was Capitol’s curiously named Keith Urban, not a rapper or a rocker but a country star, who galloped into the #10 spot.

Double-digit sales increases were registered by 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban (35-17), up 73%; MCA’s Brown Sugar soundtrack (31-28), with a 21% hike; Columbia/CRG’s James Taylor (30-29), rising 14%; and BNA’s Kenny Chesney (44-40), 12% higher than the week before.

Also making chart bows this week were Interscope’s Jurassic 5 (#15), RCA’s Heather Headley (#34), Jive’s Jennifer Love Hewitt (#35) and Epic’s Ben Folds (#48).

Next week, it’s time to make room at the top for WB country crossover queen Faith Hill and Def Jam/IDJ hip-hop superstar LL Cool J.

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