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Jay-Z sets ‘Blueprint’ for week’s LP-sales toppers

Nickelback lands at No. 2, Dylan enters at No. 5

Brooklyn-born rapper Jay-Z’s latest LP, “Blueprint,” led a torrent of new releases at the top of the album charts this week as American record buyers continued to take to the stores despite Sept. 11’s terrorist attacks.

Island/Def Jam release flew from shelves last week, shifting nearly 427,000 units, according to data compiled by SoundScan. Sales of “Blueprint” were powered by the near-ubiquity of its first single, “H.O.V.A. (Izzo),” on both urban radio and music television.

Island/Def Jam’s chart dominance continued in the latest session with Nickelback’s “Silver Side Up,” which came in at No. 2 with 178,000 copies sold. “Silver Side Up” marks IDJ’s second major success through its joint venture with hard-rock indie Roadrunner. The first was shock-metal act Slipknot, which opened in third place earlier this month with “Iowa,” selling nearly 255,000 records.

Archetypal singer-songwriter Bob Dylan made a formidable showing this week with “Love & Theft” (Columbia). The album, which opened at fifth, showed that Dylan’s spare, poignant style continues to resonate with music fans after four decades.

‘Fabolous’ bow

Also high on the debut list were “Ghetto Fabolous” (Elektra), by rapper Fabolous, at four, and “Satellite” (Atlantic), from alt-metal outfit P.O.D. (aka Payable on Death), at sixth.

Coming in just behind the San Diego metalers at seventh was Mariah Carey with the long-delayed soundtrack to her new film “Glitter.” The LP — Carey’s first to be released on Virgin Records, following her split with Sony — sold 116,000 copies. Release of both the record and the film was postponed this summer following Carey’s hospitalization for a mental and physical breakdown.

The onslaught of new releases pushed most of last week’s top performers further down the ranks: For example, “Toxicity” (Columbia) from System of a Down, slipped from No. 1 to No. 11, as sales fell by more than half from its debut week to 99,000.

Keys still key

One exception to that trend was the indefatigable R&B diva Alicia Keys, whose J Records release “Songs in A Minor” fell just one spot to three, with sales of 161,000 albums. “Songs” has scanned more than 2.3 million units to date.

Also making respectable bows on the latest chart were “Worship” (Zomba) from gospel crooner Michael W. Smith at 20, “Face 2 Face” (Arista) from producer-songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmunds, “God Hates Us All” (American) from thrash pioneers Slayer at 28, “Rockin’ the Suburbs” (Epic) by Ben Folds at 42 and finally “Funk Odyssey” (Epic) from Jamiroquai at 44.

Next week, keep a lookout for strong-selling new releases from rock act Live, redneck rapper Bubba Sparxxx, R&B singers Gerald Levert and Macy Gray, and songwriter-tortured soul Tori Amos.

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