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"I’m really thrilled with the opening week for The White Stripes. They really surpassed even my expectations."
——Hastings’ Mike Fuller
RACING STRIPES!!!
Linkin Park remains #1 and 50 Cent Is #2, but the Big Story Is the #6 Debut for V2’s Buzz Duo
If you see a pink Elephant on this week’s charts, you’re not just feeling the effects of last night’s hangover.

V2’s ex-husband-and-wife duo The White Stripes, the subject of unprecedented critical kudos, including a rare five-star Rolling Stone review, stampeded onto the chart this week atop their fourth album, Elephant, scoring a #6 bow while selling just south of 120k. This building, multifaceted story represents a true triumph for compelling indie rock and a perfectly executed label game plan—and they’re just getting started.

HastingsMike Fuller says a "Seven Nation Army" couldn’t hold back Stripes fans from storming retail: "I’m really thrilled with the opening week for The White Stripes. They really surpassed even my expectations. Hey, ya think they need a bass player? I’m available."

WB’s Linkin Park, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope’s 50 Cent, Capitol’s Now 12, Epic’s Celine Dion and Blue Note’s Norah Jones are at #1-5, respectively, with only the superstar rapper and the Canadian diva switching places from last week’s Top Five.

A greatest-hits collection from WB icon Cher was the other newcomer to the Top 10, entering at #7, with 111k sold, making it the last of seven albums selling more than 100k this week. Wind-up’s Evanescence, Epic’s Chicago soundtrack and Jive’s R. Kelly complete the Top 10.

Other chart newcomers were Capitol’s Chris Cagle (#17), Virgin’s Robbie Williams (#30), Geffen artist Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses soundtrack (#41) and the re-entry of Virgin’s Ben Harper (#50).

Albums showing sales gains include VP/Atlantic’s Sean Paul (+8%, #12), Epic’s Good Charlotte (+1%, #22), Jive’s Justin Timberlake (+3%, #23), DreamWorksA.F.I. (+4%, #26), DreamWorksThe All-American Rejects (+3%, #28), Fo’Reel/Universal’s Nelly (+9%, #39) and Atlantic’s Matchbox Twenty (+2%, #42).

Next week, retailers prepare for a religious epiphany, as Republic/Universal’s Godsmack sends sales heavenward.

Added Fuller: "Hey, I’m a believer. We were real strong on their last record, and looking forward to doing the same with this one. Is it OK if I take the Lord’s name in vain just this once?"

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