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POP ALBUMS

The chart gets rock solid

May 22, 2003|Robert Hilburn | Times Staff Writer

Marilyn Manson took advantage of a slow sales week to return to the top of the U.S. album chart Wednesday for the first time since the "Mechanical Animals" album reached No. 1 in the fall of 1998.

The provocative rock band's "Golden Age of Grotesque" sold 118,000 copies during its first week in stores -- the lowest sales figure to capture No. 1 since February, when the Dixie Chicks' "Home" took over No. 1 after selling just 104,000 copies. That figure represented a return to No. 1 for the album, which was released last fall and sold 780,000 copies in its first week in stores.

Manson's hold on the top spot is likely to be short. Two new rock releases -- Staind's "14 Shades of Grey" and the Deftones' self-titled collection -- are both expected to sell in the 200,000 range in their first week, based on their fast starts Tuesday, retailers said.

The albums are all part of an impressive showing for rock 'n' roll on the chart. New releases by two other rock groups -- Cold and Third Eye Blind -- entered the chart this week at No. 2 and No. 12, respectively. Cold's "Year of the Spider" sold 106,000 copies while Third Eye Blind's "Out of the Vein" sold 63,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me," No. 6 on the chart, sold another 88,000 copies last week to push its total to 5.9 million.

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