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"It was another FANTASTIC week at our stores. In fact, WE HAVE 10 RECORDS IN THE TOP 10 THIS WEEK!!!"
——anonymous retailer
A DOG OF A WEEK
Bad Boys II and Now 13 Dominate a Weak Field as Retailers Look to Jump-Start Q4 Slate
You know it’s the summer doldrums when the front page story in the Calendar section is on boredom.

There’s no point in sugarcoating it, people—this week’s chart sucks eggs. The bad news is that next week’s chart will also suck. The good news—yes, there’s some good news—is that a bunch of potential hit albums are coming out next month. So help is on the way, but for the time being, we’re all hanging on by the skin of our teeth.

A couple of records are selling—for starters, Bad Boy/Universal’s soundtrack to the hit movie Bad Boys II, which remained at #1 for the third straight week, and UTV’s Now 13, which stayed at #2, where it debuted last week—although each moved fewer units than a week ago. In fact, they’re the only two albums that sold more than 100k this week.

Now, this is where we generally drop in a quote from the retail sector—but if you think there’s a retail dude willing to go on record with some inane comment about how terrific business has been, you’re obviously on crack. We could make one up, of course: "It was another FANTASTIC week at our stores. In fact, WE HAVE 10 RECORDS IN THE TOP 10 THIS WEEK!!!" But we wouldn't stoop that low.

The only debut to show signs of life was Elektra/EEG R&B trio LSG (Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill), which came onto the chart at #6. DreamWorks’ dance-pop duo JS (#29) and Universal’s American Wedding soundtrack (#33) were the other chart newcomers.

Wind-up coed rockers Evanescence, who climbed from #10-4 on a 13% increase, DTP/Capitol rapper Chingy (#9-5, off only slightly at 7%) and Blue Note’s Norah Jones (#13-9, +7%) comprised the week’s other feel-good stories.

Enjoying their summer lease on Top 10 real estate are Columbia/CRG’s Beyoncé (#3), Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s 50 Cent (#7) and Murder Inc./IDJ’s Ashanti (#8), while Interscope’s Mya extended her stay to two weeks, as she nabbed the #10 spot.

Others showing some sales stickiness included WB rap-rockers Linkin Park (#15-12, +3%), Maverick’s maturing Michelle Branch (#18-13, -2%), WSM’s ageless Cher (#20-14, +9%), classy Capitol band Coldplay (#22-17, +5%), DreamWorks Nashville red-white-and-blue-neck Toby Keith (#21-19, flat), Desert Storm/Elektra’s Fabolous (#40-34, +10%) and Atlantic’s Matchbox Twenty (#50-39, +19%).

Next week? Let’s just hope we’re here to tell you about it.

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