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Staind Leaves Mark On Album Charts

Radiohead’s highly anticipated fifth album posted the strongest first-week sales figures in the group’s history, but the mercurial British band failed to break the cycle of Staind’s album-chart dominance.

“Amnesiac” (Capitol), the follow-up to Radiohead’s No. 1 debut “Kid A,” took second place this week, selling more than 231,000 copies, according to SoundScan data. That’s just 13,000 fewer units than Staind’s sophomore album, “Break the Cycle” (Elektra), sold in its third week on the charts. The hard-rock act has shifted nearly 1.3 million discs to date.

Coming in just behind Radiohead was the Universal debut of the St. Lunatics, a rap collective fronted by St. Louis-based superstar Nelly. “Free City” sold 196,000 copies in its first week.

It was another successful week for “Moulin Rouge,” the Interscope soundtrack that has lingered in the top 10 for more than a month now and sold 624,000 records to date. In the latest session, “Moulin” slipped one spot to fourth place, but sales actually swelled 34 percent over last week.

The soundtrack to the Universal Pictures car-action film “The Fast and the Furious” (Def Jam) made a surprisingly aggressive debut at No. 13. The record, which includes tracks by Ja Rule, Limp Bizkit and Faith Evans, sold 75,000 copies.

Faring less well was the “Tomb Raider” soundtrack (Elektra). The album, which had been considered a top-10 contender, landed at No. 33 with sales just shy of 41,000 copies.

Other strong openers included teen-pop thrush Jessica Simpson, whose second Columbia release “Irresistible” bowed at No. 6, and “Young and Thuggin,”‘ from Uptown/Universal rapper Turk, which debuted at No. 9.

A pair of artists from opposite ends of the country music spectrum made respectable showings: Roots/Americana veteran Lucinda Williams hit No. 28 with “Essence” (Lost Highway), and country-pop crowd-pleaser Trisha Yearwood slid in right behind her with “Inside Out” (MCA Nashville).

Next week is fixing to be another strong one for rock ‘n’ roll, as Blink-182’s “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” (MCA) is the odds-on favorite to finally unseat Staind in the top spot of the pop album charts. Also keep an eye out for releases from Sugar Ray, Travis and Eminem proteges D-12.

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