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"John Mayer has obviously given his fan base the record that they were waiting for. This is a great second effort with a terrific set-up."
——Jerry Suarez, Virgin Entertainment
HEAVIER THAN EVER!
John Mayer Bows at #1 With Sophomore Aware/Columbia Album, WB's Seal Debuts Top 5
Sophomore jinx? What sophomore jinx?

Grammy winner John Mayer proves the second time’s the charm, as his new Aware/Columbia album, Heavier Things, bows at the top with 300k-plus in sales, thanks to impressive airplay for the first single, "Bigger Than My Body."

Virgin Entertainment’s Jerry Suarez rushed back from the cancelled Ben-Jen wedding to say: "John Mayer has obviously given his fan base the record that they were waiting for. This is a great second effort with a terrific set-up."

Returning WB soul crooner Seal was the week’s other big story, with a #5 debut for his long-awaited and cleverly titled Seal IV, riding high on the single, "Waiting for You," which is being used as the theme to the NBC promotional campaign for the last season of Friends.

Added Suarez: "We didn’t know what to expect from Seal after such a long time away. We are thrilled with the first-week sales. He obviously still has a strong connection with his audience."

The rest of the Top Five included Buena Vista/Hollywood’s Hilary Duff (#2); Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson(#3) and Columbia’s Beyoncé (#4). Star Trak/Arista’s Neptunes (#6), DTP/Capitol’s Chingy (#7), Geffen ‘s Mary J. Blige (#8), Wind-up’s Evanscence (#9) and Bad Boy/Universal’s Bad Boys II soundtrack (#10) round out the Top 10.

The late singer/songwriter Warren Zevon might be dead, but his Artemis album, The Wind, moved 44-13 this week, with a whopping 125% rise in sales. American’s Johnny Cash also experienced a sales surge after passing away last week, with his album re-entering the charts at #21. Atlantic/Atl. G. pop-rockers Matchbox Twenty was up #45-37, with a 22% increase in sales.

Other Top 50 newcomers included Jive rapper E-40 (#12), Columbia’s veteran metal outfit Iron Maiden (#15), RCA Nashville cowboy Clay Walker (#18), Sony Soundtrax’s The Fighting Temptations soundtrack (#32), Island rock god Andrew W.K. (#44), Epitaph vet punks Pennywise (#47) and RCA Texas bluesmen ZZ Top (#48).

Next week, look for chart debuts from IDJ's DMX with a great shot at #1 and around 250k, Virgin's A Perfect Circle, Universal/Motown's Erykah Badu and Beat Club/Interscope's Bubba Sparxxx.

Also, Super Tuesday looms on Sept. 23, with Flip/Geffen’s Limp Bizkit, RCA’s Dave Matthews, Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback, Shady/AM/Interscope’s Obie Trice and Arista’s OutKast all streeting and flirting with the 300k mark. Meanwhile, R. Kelly’s greatest hits package on Jive could do 200k, while Universal’s Murphy Lee and Epic’s Fuel are headed for 100k-150k out of the box. Retailers, start your cash registers.

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