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"It was another great week of releases as the fourth quarter seems to have started in earnest."
——George Deahl, Hastings
HILLBILLIES TOP HILARY
Flatts, Duff Lead Group of Top 10 Newcomers That Includes Ciara, The Used, Marilyn Manson
Hooray for Hollywood Records.

Just in time for Michael Eisner’s farewell party, Buena Vista Music Group chief Bob Cavallo’s label scores a historic 1-2 finish this week, with Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts and Hilary Duff debuting at the top of the HITS album chart.

They were two of five newcomers to the Top 10, nine in the Top 15 and 12 in the Top 25, with LaFace/ZLG’s Ciara (#3), Reprise’s The Used (#6) and Interscope’s Marilyn Manson greatest hits (#9) leading the way.

HastingsGeorge Deahl took time out from coaching Dick Cheney for his debate to boast: "It was another great week of releases as the fourth quarter seems to have started in earnest. Five records debuted in our Top 10 as Rascal Flatts, Hilary Duff, Ciara, The Used and Marilyn Manson all had big first weeks. It’s almost enough to get me to put off selling Amway products in our stores."

The rest of the Top 10 consists of holdovers like Reprise’s Green Day (#4), Fo’ Reel/Universal’s Nelly Suit (#5) and Sweat (#7) albums, Concord’s still-strong Ray Charles (#8) and Curb’s Tim McGraw (#10).

Other newcomers include S-Curve/EMC’s Joss Stone (#11), Geffen’s Talib Kweli (#13), Vector/Flavor Unit/A&M’s Queen Latifah (#14), Matador’s Interpol (#15), Nonesuch/Atlantic/Atl. G’s Brian Wilson SMiLE album (#17), Virgin’s Guerilla Black (#21), Def Jam/IDJ’s Shawnna (#23), Timb Bomb’s Social Distortion (#29), Roadrunner/IDJ’s MTV2 Headbangers Ball Vol. 2 (#37), Interscope’s Keane (#41) and Concord’s Barry Manilow (#44).

Added Deahl, showing he can definitely read our charts: "There were also some other notable debuts, including Josh Stone, Interpol, Guerilla Black, Brian Wilson and Social Distortion."

Big gainers for the week are led by Geffen’s Shark Tale soundtrack which, helped by the film’s #1 box office opening, was up 25% at #42, and Blackground/ Universal’s JoJo (#43), up 9%. Epic/Sony Nashville’s Gretchen Wilson (#22) and Epic’s Garden State (#34), both up 7%, and A&M/Interscope’s Black Eyed Peas (#33) and RCA/RMG’s Velvet Revolver (#36) each experiencing a 6% growth.

Next week, look for LaFace/ZLG's repackaged Usher album, with four new tracks, including "My Boo," with Alicia Keys, to challenge for the top spot with MCA Nashville’s George Strait and Epic’s Good Charlotte.

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