Linkin Stay at Number One

White Stripes debut at Number Six

April 9, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Linkin Park's Meteora topped the chart for the second straight week. But the album sold 264,000 copies, according to SoundScan, a huge fall from the 810,000 it moved in its debut week. Week Two drop-offs are usually around fifty-percent, not sixty-seven.

Still, the quarter million records pushed the album past 1 million total sales and was more than enough to stay ahead of Number Two, 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', which sold 175,000.

The Top Ten featured a pair of musically disparate debuts. The White Stripes' Elephant fared quite well for an album that doesn't exactly lend itself to radio or easy categorization. The red and white nu-garage duo's fourth record, and first since striking a major-label deal, debuted at Number Six with sales of 126,000, just edging the equally image-conscious Cher, who dropped in at Number Seven with 122,000 copies sold of The Very Best of Cher.

Pop country crossover Chris Cagle put up the week's third best debut with his new self-titled album, which arrived at Number Fifteen with sales of 42,000. And the monstrous contract Virgin offered to Robbie Williams might have better been invested in bribing American music fans into giving the British pop phenom a chance. Williams' latest, Escapology, sold 21,000 copies to come in at Number Forty-three.

Music of a spiritual bent continues to fare well during the current global climate. The week's big mover was Bishop T. Jakes' Wing and a Prayer, which climed from Number 175 to Number Sixty-three with sales of 16,000 (six places behind the gospel compilation Wow Worship).

This week's Top Ten: Linkin Park's Meteora; 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin'; Now That's What I Call Music! 12; Celine Dion's One Heart; Norah Jones' Come Away With Me; the White Stripes' Elephant; Cher's The Very Best of Cher; the Chicago soundtrack; Evanescence's Fallen; and R. Kelly's Chocolate Factory.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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