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Death Cab For Cutie, Sinatra lead U.S. album chart

Indie rock band Death Cab For Cutie claimed the No. 1 spot on the U.S. pop album charts for the first time in its decade-long career on Wednesday, while a hits package from Frank Sinatra opened at No. 2.

“Narrow Stairs,” the band’s second album for Atlantic Records, sold 144,000 copies during the week ended May 18, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Death Cab’s previous album, 2005’s “Plans,” debuted at No. 4 with 90,000 copies and spent 50 weeks on the chart.

The Sinatra collection “Nothing But the Best” (Reprise) followed with 99,000. It’s been nearly 15 years since Old Blue Eyes was this high on the chart. In December 1993, his “Duets” album spent three weeks at No. 2. The new album was released to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Sinatra’s death.

After becoming his first No. 1 last week, Neil Diamond’s “Home Before Dark” (Columbia) tumbled to No. 7 with 53,000 copies.

Other new entries on the Billboard 200 included singer/songwriter Jason Mraz’s “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” at No. 3; Welsh newcomer Duffy’s “Rockferry” at No. 4; and R&B star Keith Sweat’s “Just Me” at No. 10.

Overall album sales dropped 8.5% from the previous week’s sum to 7.43 million units, and were down 13.5% from the same week last year.

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