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Matthews’ ‘Stuff’ right for No. 1 spot

Nelly drops to second as rock makes an impact

The Dave Matthews Band arrived once again in a familiar place — the top of the album sales list — as the RCA act’s disc “Busted Stuff” sold nearly 622,000 in the week ended Sunday, according to SoundScan statistics.

Opening numbers rep a drop compared with last year’s “Everyday,” which sold nearly 750,000 copies in its first week and also debuted at No. 1. It’s a considerable leap, though, from the band’s two previous studio efforts, 1998’s “Before These Crowded Streets” (422,000 sold) and ’96’s “Crash,” which debuted at No. 2 on sales of 254,000.

Week was a good one for rock ‘n’ roll in general. “Highly Evolved,” from Capitol’s Australian import the Vines, hit No. 11 on sales of 64,000; Robert Plant’s “Dreamland” (Universal) dropped in at No. 40, selling 25,000; and the Flaming Lips’ “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” sold 22,000 to come in at No. 50. Other high-charting debuts were gospel duo Mary Mary at No. 22, selling 43,000 copies of “Incredible” (Columbia), and, one slot lower, country artist Darryl Worley’s “I Miss My Friend” with sales of 42,000.

Last week’s top nine all stayed in the top 10, with Nelly’s “Nellyville” (Universal) dropping to No. 2 on sales of 305,000. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “By the Way” sold 140,000 plus — almost exactly half of its debut week total.

Warners’ soundtrack to “Austin Powers: Goldmember” made its debut at No. 56 on sales of 20,000.

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