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Fall Out Boy Score First Billboard #1

When Fall Out Boy released their third full-length album, From Under the Cork Tree, no one realized just how well the LP would do. It ended up being one of the surprise breakout hits of 2005 and sold more than 2.5 million copies in the U.S. alone – making for much less surprising first-week sales totals for the band’s follow-up effort, Infinity on High.

With close to 260,000 copies flying off record store shelves last week, FOB’s Infinity on High has earned the Chicago rockers a career first: a #1 debut on Billboard ‘s albums chart – a debut one could say was foreshadowed by the group’s cross-country, three-gigs-in-one-day stunt last week . Comparatively, From Under the Cork Tree opened at #9 the week after its release on 68,000 scans. But it was still a tight race for the chart’s peak position, with last week’s #1, Norah Jones’ Not Too Late, selling close to 236,000 units, and slipping one spot to #2, according to the latest SoundScan totals.

But Fall Out fans weren’t just snatching up copies of Infinity on High – many evidently also grabbed a copy of Cork Tree, and that album returns to the top 200 this week at #168, selling 5,300 units.

Elsewhere on the chart, for a third straight week, Daughtry, the self-titled debut from “American Idol” finalist Chris Daughtry’s rock outfit, holds at #3, with 76,000 copies sold, while Akon’s Konvicted climbs two places to #4, selling 64,700 copies. Bowing at #5 on next week’s chart is Headstrong, the debut studio offering from Ashley Tisdale, who plays Sharpay Evans in the Disney Channel original movie “High School Musical.” The LP sold close to 64,000 copies and was one of just three albums to debut in the chart’s top 10; the other, country singer Jason Michael Carroll’s Waitin’ in the Country, claims the #8 slot, with 57,600 scans.

Robin Thicke’s Evolution of Robin Thicke jumps three positions this week to #6, with sales reported at 60,800 (a 17 percent sales surge). The 2007 Grammy Nominees compilation – featuring 23 tracks from this year’s award contenders, including Gnarls Barkley, John Mayer, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justin Timberlake and James Blunt – follows at #7, selling just 50 fewer copies than Thicke’s LP. Meanwhile, Grammy nominee Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled album – which enjoyed a 32 percent spike in sales – takes the chart’s #9 spot, with 51,500 scans, and Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds enjoys a 24 percent sales boost to round out the top 10 with 48,400 copies sold.

A total of 11 new releases found their way onto next week’s chart, including Bloc Party’s latest, A Weekend in the City, which bows at #12 with 47,700 sold. Patty Griffin’s Children Running Through debuts at #34 with 26,600 scans, while Jordan Pruitt’s No Ordinary Girl fills the #64 slot, selling 14,000 units; Pruitt was the opening act for “High School Musical: The Concert.” The Used’s live Berth set follows at #71, with 12,800 copies sold, while Bayside’s Walking Wounded opens at #75 with 12,600 scans. The Barenaked Ladies’ Barenaked Ladies Are Men claims the #102 spot with 9,800 copies snatched up, while Rickie Lee Jones’ Sermon on Explosion Boulevard opens at #158 with sales of 5,800.

Prince’s Super Bowl halftime performance two weeks ago helped boost sales of his third hits collection, Ultimate, by a whopping 170 percent. The album sold close to 4,800 copies – around 3,000 more than the album had netted the week before.

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