Gretchen Wilson, Sheryl Crow Are Tops on the Chart

Tough-talking country gal's sophomore CD beats rocker's "Wildflower"

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Country bad girl Gretchen Wilson's sophomore album, All Jacked Up, sold 264,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, to debut at the top of the chart this week. This is about 40,000 more than her 2004 debut, Here for the Party, which rode the success of the tough-talking single "Redneck Woman" to multiplatinum status. At Number Two (140,000), is Sheryl Crow's fifth studio album, Wildflower, in a slightly weaker showing than that of the rocker's last effort, 2002's C'mon, C'mon, which moved 40,000 more CDs to also place second.

In a week packed with strong debuts, Three 6 Mafia are next up: the latest from the Dirty South rap clique, The Most Known Unknown, sold 115,000 CDs to come in at Number Three. And diva Toni Braxton's fifth studio album, Libra, came in at Number Four, with 114,000 units moved, to become her fourth Top Five record. This is a significant lift for the Nineties R&B powerhouse, whose last effort, 2002's More Than a Woman, came in at Number Thirteen.

Lil' Kim's fourth album, The Naked Truth, sold 109,000 copies, marking a respectable comeback for the recently incarcerated hip-hop diva. This is still more than 50,000 fewer copies than her last effort, 2003's La Bella Mafia. And Sean Paul's third effort, The Trinity, opened at Number Seven (107,000). This is a step up for the dancehall artist, whose 2002 effort, Dutty Rock, peaked at Number Nine.

Meanwhile, hip-hop superstar Kanye West's sophomore effort, Late Registration, stuck to the Top Five. The album, which sold more than 1 million copies in its first weeks out, slipped just two places to Number Five (110,000). Last week's Number One, Chicago metal act Disturbed's Ten Thousand Fists, dropped seven spots to Number Eight (92,000); while last week's Number Two, New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi's Have a Nice Day, also dropped seven places, to Number Nine (89,000). And chart mainstay Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business fell two spots to Number Ten, with yet another 78,000 CDs sold.

Further down the chart were a handful of other remarkable debuts: Neil Young's latest studio album -- and his first effort since surgery for a brain aneurysm earlier this year -- Prairie Wind, recorded in Nashville, sold 72,000 CDs to debut strong at Number Eleven. Finnish goth-rockers H.I.M.'s latest, Dark Light, managed to move 46,000 copies to open at a career-high Number Eighteen. And singer-songwriter Ryan Adams saw Jacksonville City Nights, the second installment of his 2005 country-tinged album trilogy, bow at Number Thirty-Three (31,000).

Sliding down the slippery slope this week are Dirty South rapper David Banner's latest, Certified, which fell fast -- from Number Six to Number Twenty-One (41,000) in just its second week out. And Houston MC Paul Wall's major-label debut, The People's Champ, Number One just two weeks ago, dropped eight more places to Number Seventeen (47,000). But the biggest drop this week was Coheed and Cambria's Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness: The alt-metal act's breakthrough third effort plummeted from a Number Seven debut to a lame-duck Forty-Four (25,000).

Next week, Canadian rockers -- and perennial chart heavyweights -- Nickelback look to bounce Wilson from the top with their fifth album, All the Right Reasons. Glasgow art rockers Franz Ferdinand return with You Could Have It So Much Better. While their 2004 self-titled debut peaked at Number Thirty-two, relentless hype and performances at multiple awards shows and festivals guarantee a stronger showing. Here's hoping Fiona Apple's much-delayed -- and now also much-hyped -- third effort, Extraordinary Machine, delivers in sales. And watch My Morning Jacket's latest, Z, give the Louisville, Kentucky, indie band their highest chart debut ever.

This week's Top Ten: Gretchen Wilson's All Jacked Up; Sheryl Crow's Wildflower; Three 6 Mafia's The Most Known Unknown; Toni Braxton's Libra; Kanye West's Late Registration; Lil' Kim's The Naked Truth; Paul Sean's The Trinity; Disturbed's Ten Thousand Fists; Bon Jovi's Have a Nice Day; Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business.