Big Velvet goldmine

Weiland group's disc debuts in No. 1 spot

Velvet Revolver, the supergroup featuring former Guns N’ Roses musicians and Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland, shot to the top of nation’s album sales chart, moving 256,000 copies of RCA debut “Contraband.”

Bolstered by the single “Slither” and a recently commenced U.S. tour, the rockers bumped Usher’s “Confessions” from the top perch. His LaFace album, which spent nine weeks at No. 1 in the 12 weeks since its release, sold 171,000 copies.

Top 10 welcomed two other rock efforts: 311’s “Greatest Hits ’93-’03” and the “2004 Warped Tour” two-CD compilation. The 311 album (Volcano/Zomba) came in at No. 7 on sales of 63,000; “Warped” (Side One Dummy) was one notch lower on sales on 61,000.

Holding steady in the top 10 with only minor sales slips are Avril Lavigne’s “Under My Skin” (122,000 sold), Gretchen Wilson’s “Here for the Party” (Epic), 92,000; Prince’s “Musicology” (NPG/Columbia), 72,000; and Hoobastank’s “The Reason” (Island), 66,000.

Other debuts included country trio SheDaisy’s “Sweet Right Here” (Hollywood), selling 42,000 to hit No. 16; Marc Anthony’s career-best opening for a Spanish-lingo disc, “Amar Sin Mentiras” (Sony), at No. 26 on sales of 35,000; and PJ Harvey scoring her biggest week ever with “Uh Huh Her” (Island) — 34,000 sold to take No. 29.

Also debuting in the top 40 were Fred Hammond’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout Love” (Verity) at No. 35 and Bad Religion’s “The Empire Strikes First” (Epitaph) at No. 40.

Selling 23,000 copies each were the Corrs’ “Borrowed Heaven” (Atlantic) and the Calling’s sophomore disc “Two” (RCA). Sonic Youth’s “Sonic Nurse” (Geffen) did 17,000 in its first stanza.

Week’s biggest gainer is Epic act Los Lonely Boys, whose self-titled disc is at its highest spot on the charts — No. 13 — on sales of 45,000, a spike of 9,000 copies.

Tony Awards telecast resulted in a 400% uptick for “Avenue Q,” though it failed to chart, and “Wicked” entered the chart at No. 140. Its cume is now 132,000.

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