OutKast Top Strokes, R.E.M.

Hip-hop duo return to Number One

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Despite a fairly strong set of new releases, OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below returned to Number One this week, selling 142,000 copies, according to SoundScan. Actually the top of the charts was a logjam, but not of new releases. Instead, OutKast's latest just edged Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook, Volume II (141,100 copies sold at Number Two) and Clay Aiken's Measure of a Man, which sold 140,900 at Number Three.

The Strokes' Room on Fire is officially listed at Number Four with sales of 126,100, but R.E.M.'s In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1993-2003 sold more copies. The compilation was released in two formats, a deluxe two-CD version (with a bonus disc of rarities) that sold 75,500 copies at Number Eight, and a single-disc version that sold 51,100 at Number Sixteen, for a combined 126,700.

Strong debuts were also posted by R&B singer Gerald Levert, who sold 97,000 copies of Stroke of Genius at Number Six; Luther Vandross, whose Live 2003 at Radio City Music Hall sold 42,000 copies at Number Twenty-two; and Hatebreed, who sold 33,000 copies of Rise of Brutality at Number Thirty.

Overall sales slipped, albeit marginally, for the second straight week. But with this week's releases -- including Ja Rule's Blood in My Eye, P.O.D.'s Payable on Death and Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow -- next week's chart could usher in the annual November sales surge.

This week's Top Ten: OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below; Rod Stewart's Great American Songbook, Volume II; Clay Aiken's Measure of a Man; the Strokes' Room on Fire; Ludacris' Chicken and Beer; Gerald Levert,'s Stroke of Genius; the Eagles' The Very Best of the Eagles; the deluxe edition of R.E.M.'s In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1993-2003; Dido's Life for Rent; and 3 Doors Down's Away From the Sun.

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