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"No Doubt turned out to be a tremendous surprise, but all our titles were up. With a variety of albums selling well, there was plenty to be thankful for."
——Kevin Hawkins, Tower Records

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!!

Jay-Z, Britney, Now 14 and Josh Groban in Top 5, as Korn and Hilary Duff Show Biggest Gains

Gwen Stefani is full of surprises, but no one expected her band No Doubt’s greatest hits collection on Interscope to end up #1 on the album charts in the middle of the Q4 rush.

Tower RecordsKevin Hawkins was as shocked as we were: "No Doubt turned out to be a tremendous surprise, but all our titles were up. With a variety of albums selling well, there was plenty to be thankful for, including the fact you guys will soon be going on vacation."

The original OC ska-punk-rockers beat back such formidable challengers as Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Jay-Z (#2), Jive’s Britney Spears (#3), Columbia/CRG’s Now 14 (#4) and 143/Reprise’s Josh Groban (#5).

The rest of the Top 10 was rounded out by DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#6), Epic’s Korn (#7), Buena Vista/Hollywood’s Hilary Duff (#8), G-Unit/Interscope’s G-Unit (#9) and Arista’s OutKast (#10), all logging more than 174k in sales.

"Hilary Duff and Korn were huge for us," said Hawkins, wondering where he could download the Paris Hilton video. "By the way, has anyone ever seen them in the same room at the same time?"

After No Doubt, the highest chart newcomer was Fo’ Reel/Universal’s Nelly remix album (#12), GM/Elektra hip-hop diva Missy Elliott (#14), Geffen’s Puddle of Mudd (#20), Columbia/CRG’s Dixie Chicks (#21), Geffen’s Counting Crows best of (#26), Interscope’s Enrique Iglesias (#27), TVT’s Lil’ Jon & the Eastside Boyz (#29), DreamWorks’ Nelly Furtado (#30), RCA’s American Idol holiday album (#34) and EMI’s That’s What I Call Xmas! 2 (#37).

The odd couple of Hilary Duff (23-8, +125%), thanks to MTV’s multiple showings of The Making of the Tour as well as the Lizzie McGuire DVD hitting stores, and Korn (22-7, +116%), which rebounded after its early Friday release resulted in some stock shortages, led the charge with triple-digit sales increases. Other strong upward moves were made by Columbia/CRG’s Harry Connick Jr. (32-23, +69%), RCA’s Clay Aiken (+56%), Columbia’s Beyoncé (47%) and Wind-up’s Evanescence (+42%).

Next week, it’s all about J Records chanteuse and Grammy winner Alicia Keys’ sophomore effort, The Diary of…, which is looking at between 500-600k in first-week sales after first-day reports came in on Wednesday.

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(Adele.)
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