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Chris Cornell, Tom Morello and company’s Out of Exile left everyone in the dust this week with a rawkin’ total of 266k. The battle was for the #2 slot.
ROCK IS ALL THE RAGE AT RETAIL
Audioslave becomes the Fifth Straight Rock Act to Make a Chart-topping Bow
For the fifth week in a row—or every week since Mariah Carey made her #1 bow on April 19—a rock artist has topped the charts. First came Bruce Springsteen, then Nine Inch Nails, who passed the baton to the Dave Matthews Band (#7 this week), who handed off to System of a Down, and now comes the latest recipient of the Rock’s Not Dead trophy, Audioslave.

Chris Cornell, Tom Morello and company’s Out of Exile (Interscope/Epic) left everyone in the dust this week, locking in the #1 position on the HITS Top 50 Albums chart with a rawkin’ total of 266k.

The battle was for the #2 slot, which was eventually won by Geffen rapper Common, whose Kanye West-produced album, Be, racked up 189k units, just 12k more than Mariah’s The Education of Mimi (Island/IDJ), which is turning out to be one of 2005’s most consistent sellers, along with 50 Cent, whose Shady/Aftermath/Interscope frigate sails into the #9 spot this week. But we digress.

As it turned out, #3 Mariah bested last week’s breakout champs, American/Columbia’s System of a Down, whose Mezmerize did the typical rock drop of 63% from last week’s thunderous 465k, putting them slightly behind the comeback diva at 1712k. Behind System at #5 was last week’s runner-up, DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith, who lassoed another 120k.

Now we come to an unfolding story, as Gorillaz’s Demon Days (Virgin) debuts at #6 off 96k, just as single “Feel Good Inc.” starts to really kick in, with airplay and that ubiquitous iPod roller-skating commercial combining to put the single on the fast track toward smashville. The fourth and final Top 10 bow is Wind-up band Seether, who latched on to #8 on just south of 83k.

Gwen Stefani rounds out the Top 10, giving Interscope three entries and UMG six.

Two other debuts just missed the first tier, as Marquez Houston’s Universal LP came in at #12, and Young Gunz’s Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/IDJ set was right behind it at #13.

Next week’s biggest debut looks to be Epic’s Oasis, with a shot at 100k, meaning Mariah has a shot to reclaim her throne.

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