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One of 2003’s most dramatic success stories belongs to Wind-up band Evanescence, which has been passing the competition in recent weeks like Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France, and now finds itself at #3
BAD BOYS II GOES FOUR-FOR-FOUR
A Light Week for New Releases,
But Several Albums Show Staying Power
Hot summers traditionally mean cold sales, and this week’s HITS Top 50 Albums chart provides proof the dog days of August are upon us. 

Still, we choose to remain upbeat. By holding down the #1 spot for four consecutive weeks, Bad Boy/Universal’s Bad Boys II becomes the most chart-dominant soundtrack album since Titanic, way back in the good ole ’90s—the 1990s, that is. Another collection, UTV’s Now 13, continued shadowing Bad Boys II, holding onto the second slot for the third week in a row. Unfortunately, BBII was the only album to sell north of 100k on the week, but UMG continued to rule the top of the charts, claiming four of the Top 10.

One debut—Curb’s Wynonna—broke into the Top 10 at #8, although its 54k sales total was nothing to write home about.

One positive is the handful of albums that continue to sell relatively healthy numbers, no matter how lousy things are. One of 2003’s most dramatic success stories belongs to Wind-up band Evanescence, which has been passing the competition in recent weeks like Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France, and now finds itself at #3. The debut solo effort from Columbia/CRG’s Beyonce has legs every bit as toned as the singer herself, with the album continuing to kick butt at #4. An even more recent release that continues to generate heat is DTP/Capitol rapper Chingy, still strong at #5.

In the evergreen department are Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s 50 Cent (released 2/6/03; #7-6), Blue Note landmark Norah Jones (2/26/02; #9-7, +8%), Capitol’s Coldplay (8/27/02; #17-15) and Daylight/Epic/ERG’s Good Charlotte (10/1/02; #23-18).

Moving into the Top 10 was WB’s Linkin Park (#12-10, after quietly passing 2.5 million), right behind Murder Inc./IDJ’s Ashanti at #9.

Just missing the Top 10 was J Records crooner Luther Vandross (#18-11), on a hefty 18% uptick, while showing new life from a second single was Flip/Elektra/EEG’s Staind, which moved up 15 slots to finish #13 (also up 18%). Other double-digit increases were registered by Universal’s American Wedding soundtrack (33-17, +21%) and BNA’s Kenny Chesney (40-32, +10%). Chart newcomers included Hollywood’s Freaky Friday soundtrack (#29) and the late Celia Cruz on Sony Discos (#49), while Elektra/EEG’s ascendant Jason Mraz broke into the Top 50 at #47.

This is the eighth week of the year that saw less than 10 million units sold. Fortunately, we’re about to climb out of this black hole, starting next week, with Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson best-of, followed in the coming weeks by DreamWorksAlien Ant Farm (8/19), Geffen’s Mary J. Blige (8/26) and Aware/Columbia’s John Mayer (9/9). So hang in there. 

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