Chicks Back Home at No. One

Country trio ousts Norah from the charts

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The Dixie Chicks' Home, a chart-topper upon its release last year, has proven quite a resilient record, reaching Number One again with sales of 104,000, according to SoundScan. And its sales, after twenty-three weeks of release, have handily topped 4 million copies.

Though Norah Jones and her Come Away With Me were bumped from the top, the record still tallied a strong 101,000 copies. Mary Star of the Sea the debut record by Billy Corgan's Zwan is one of the year's first big debuts, though its sales of 90,000 are a bit off of the first week number for the Pumpkins' swan song, 2000's Machina/The Machines of God, which also arrived on the charts at Number Three, but with 75,000 more buyers in its pocket.

Zwan wasn't the week's only debut. Contemporary Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman entered the charts at Number Twelve with All About Love, which sold 51,000 copies. And even though Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban's Mambo Sinuendo, a collection of Cuban-flavored instrumentals, would seem a challenging sell, it moved 17,000 copies to come in at Number Fifty-two.

Next week should be particularly interesting, as 50 Cent's highly touted Get Rich or Die Tryin' was moved up from February 11th to a February 6th because tracks have been leaked onto the Internet. As with last year's The Eminem Show, the album will have an abbreviated first week in stores (Thursday through Sunday) by SoundScan's yardstick. That said, the album will likely have more momentum than any new offering thus far in 2003.

To that end, last week, a joke was made here about the 20,000 copies that 50 Cent's Guess Who's Back? scanned. The album was incorrectly identified as his major-label debut, and not the independent release that it is. Needless to say, the 30,000 copies it moved over the most recent sales period (at Number Twenty-eight) is a strong achievement for an independent release, and suggests that the rapper's real major label debut, Get Rich, will make even more substantial ripples.

This week's Top Ten: the Dixie Chicks' Home; Norah Jones' Come Away With Me; Zwan's Mary Star of the Sea; Avril Lavigne's Let Go; Jennifer Lopez's This Is Me . . . Then; the Chicago soundtrack; Kid Rock's Cocky; Shania Twain's Up!; Missy Elliott's Under Construction; and the 8 Mile soundtrack.