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On the Charts: Linkin Park Rule the Day

Plus: Carly Rae Jepsen calls the shots again

Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park performs in Los Angeles.
Mark Davis/Getty Images
July 4, 2012 12:05 PM ET

WINNER OF THE WEEK: Scream rock on the albums charts and frothy pop for the singles. Linkin Park entered the Billboard Top 200 with their usual bombast, debuting at Number One with their fifth studio album, Living Things. This marks their fourth consecutive record to crack Billboard at its peak – only their first release, 2000's breakthrough Hybrid Theory, took some time to foster enthusiasm – and is a validation for producers Mike Shinoda and Rick Rubin, who took a more introspective approach this time to the California band's squall.

Over in the Billboard Hot 100 for singles, Carly Rae Jepsen flashed a winsome smile as she ruthlessly held onto the Number One spot for the fourth week. "Call Me Maybe" also sold 251,000 downloads to top the Digital Songs charts again and surpass four million sales to date; now the former Canadian Idol contestant boasts the longest-leading Hot 100 Number One song by any Idol singer, including the American series.

LOSER OF THE WEEK: In a Fourth of July anomaly, there were few fireworks on the charts this week; the Singles chart, especially, stayed largely static. So let's not kick Gotye while he's down; despite the still-unyielding ubiquity of "Somebody That I Used to Know" (and the still-irritating fact that somebody can be a "who" or a "whom" but not a that, and get off our lawn already), his single didn't regain the traction of its eight-week Number One run earlier this summer and languished at Number Three. Fun's six-week Number One victor, "We Are Young" with Janelle Monae, also stalled at Number Seven.

STOP, EDM TIME: What do David Guetta and MC Hammer have in common? The staggering sexuality that only comes from wearing shoulder pads, sure, but also superb runs of hits for Capitol Records. Guetta's "Titanium" hit Number Nine in singles this week, making the French DJ/producer the first male artist on Capitol to score three Top 10 singles from one album (his Nothing but the Beat) since M.C. Hammer did the same in 1990 with Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em. Hopefully Guetta has better savings habits.

LAST WEEK: Justin Bieber Thrives, Fiona Apple Falls Short

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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