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"It was a great week of new releases."
——Jerry Kamiler, Trans World

SHOCK TREATMENT

Sarah, Now, Sheryl, Rule, P.O.D Bow in Top 10, but DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith Goes #1
Hey, at least someone’s profiting from this Iraqi war thing aside from Bush and his pals.

DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith is riding that patriotic sentiment all the way to the top of the charts with a #1 debut and 580k in first-week sales for his Shock’N Y’All. Ain’t America great?

One of five other newcomers to the Top 10, Arista’s Sarah McLachlan returned after a six-year absence to a hearty Afterglow and a #2 bow.

The rest of the debuts came from Columbia/CRG’s Now Vol. 1,987,765 (#3), A&M/Interscope’s Sheryl Crow (#4), Murder Inc./IDJ’s Ja Rule (#6) and Atlantic/Atl G’s P.O.D. (#8).

Trans World’s Jerry Kamiler, a closet Bill O’Reilly fan, enthused: "It was a great week of new releases. A very strong debut from Toby Keith. And I thought that was a spectacular number from Sarah McLachlan, who hadn’t been around for a long time. Now 14 had a fabulous week, easily outselling the last one, which is a plus. Sheryl Crow did extremely well for a greatest hits package—and a left-winger to boot."

Arista’s OutKast (#5), J RecordsRod Stewart (#7), RCA’s Clay Aiken (#9) and Def Jam South/IDJ’s Ludacris (#10) are the holdovers in the Top 10, where BMG and UMG had four apiece.

Other chart newcomers include Capitol’s Coldplay CD/DVD hybrid (#11), Island/IDJ’s Bon Jovi (#12), J Records’ Wyclef Jean (#22), Desert Storm/Elektra/ EEG’s Fabolous (#23), Capitol’s Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band greatest hits (#24), Lost Highway/IDJ’s Ryan Adams (#25), RCA Nashville’s Martina McBride (#33), Jive’s Too Short (#38) and Walt Disney RecordsCheetah Girls soundtrack to the Disney Channel show (#48).

Among those gaining more than 20% in first-week sales, OutKast was up an impressive 24%, heading a group which boasted Buena Vista/Hollywood’s Hilary Duff (+31%), Arista Nashville’s Alan Jackson (26-15, +96%, experiencing post-CMA love), Motown’s Michael McDonald (+53%), WB’s Linkin Park (+41%), Wind-up’s Evanescence (+20%), Blue Note’s Norah Jones (+43%), DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (+63%), Capitol’s Coldplay (42-32, +33%) and Columbia/CRG’s Harry Connick Jr. (+34%).

This Friday, 50 Cent’s G-Unit/Shady/Aftermath/ Interscope posse G-Unit goes head-to-head against Roc-A-Fella/IDJ’s Jay-Z, with the two battling the Amaru/Interscope 2Pac soundtrack (which came out today) for next week’s #1 record, while Arista’s Pink, Reprise’s Josh Groban and Atlantic/Atl G’s Kid Rock will also be in the hunt.

Added Kamiler: "The macro decision to move a release date and get a record to the street ASAP because it’s being pirated is the right thing to do. Hey, anyone know where I can download that Paris Hilton video?"

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