Diskeries hold back bows; Chicks cling to top

HOLLYWOOD — Two albums by Christian singers Bill and Gloria Gaither were the week’s only top 30 debuts as major diskeries shied from releasing albums during the week of Sept. 11 remembrances.

The Gaithers tapped into the patriotic spirit with “Let Freedom Ring,” which sold 39,000 copies and hit No. 15, and “God Bless America,” which made it to No. 19 on sales of 36,000. Spring House released both.

‘Home’ at No. 1

The Dixie Chicks held on to the top spot for the third week, moving 214,000 copies of “Home” (Open Wide/Sony). Avril Lavigne’s “Let Go” (Arista) and Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” (Interscope) swapped the place and show positions as both discs sold more than 122,000 units.

Toby Keith’s “Unleashed” (DreamWorks), which features the single “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” waved the flag strong enough to jump to No. 5 from 11 on sales of 69,000.

Top 40 debuts

Other albums making top 40 debuts were Rebecca Lynn Howard’s “Forgive” (MCA Nashville), which sold 26,000 to hit No. 31; Ani DiFranco’s two-CD live set “So Much Shouting So Much Laughter” (Righteous Babe), which moved more than 25,000 copies to land at No. 34; and gospel singer Fred Hammond’s “Speak Those Things — Pol Chapter 3″ (Verity), which sold 22,000 copies, good enough for No. 39.

Next week is likely to see a slight shakeup in the top 10 as new discs arrive from Disturbed, Lifehouse and Kenny G.

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