'Troubadour' outpaces R.E.M.'s 'Accelerate'

George Strait outpaced R.E.M. to secure the fourth No. 1 of his career on nation’s album sales chart. “Troubadour” (MCA Nashville) sold 166,000 copies in the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

It is Strait’s 22nd No. 1 on the country chart and his 37th album overall. His latest single, “I Saw God Today,” is in line to become his 56th chart-topper.

As for R.E.M., the No. 2 slot ties a career high for the band. “Accelerate” (Warner Bros.) sold 115,000; “New Adventures in Hi-Fi” opened in the same spot in September 1996.

Rapper Trina’s fourth album, “Still Da Baddest” (Slip-N-Slide/EMI), is her first top 10 entry, coming in at No. 6 on sales of 47,000. Her previous album, “Glamorest Life,” sold 30,000 more copies but entered the chart at No. 11. Sales were driven by the singles “Single Again” and “I Got a Thang for You,” featuring Keyshia Cole.

Hard as it is to believe, Van Morrison had only one top 20 album prior to this week; he now has two. “Keep It Simple” (Lost Highway), his first album of all original material in two years, sold 37,000 copies to open at No. 10. His previous high came with the 1972 release “St. Dominic’s Preview”; in the 17 years of SoundScan tracking sales, he has placed eight albums in the top 40.

“Shine a Light” (Interscope), the Rolling Stones’ soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese-directed concert pic, sold about the same number to open at No. 11. The Black Keys’ “Attack and Release” (Nonesuch) sold 29,000 to take No. 14.

Among other debuts were Sevendust’s “Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow” (Asylum), which sold 25,000 (No. 19); the two-CD version of George Michael’s “Twentyfive” (Epic), 23,000 (No. 23); Theory of a Deadman’s “Scars and Souvenirs” (Roadrunner), 22,000 (No. 26); Moby’s “Last Night” (Mute), 21,000 (No. 27); and In Flames’ “A Sense of Purpose” (Koch), 20,000 (No. 28).

Selling 18,000 copies each were the No. 33 record, “We Weren’t Crazy” (Lyric Street) by the former Marine from “American Idol’s” second season, Josh Gracin, and, at No. 34, Canadian rock act Hawk Nelson’s “Hawk Nelson Is My Friend” (Tooth & Nail). Muse’s live CD-DVD set “H.A.A.R.P Tour” (Warner Bros.) sold 14,000 to hit No. 46.

Last week’s No. 1, Day26’s self-titled debut, saw a 73% sales dip to 51,000, dropping the disc to No. 4.

The DVD release of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” pushed the soundtrack back into the top 10 as sales more than doubled. The Razor & Tie release is at No. 5 on sales of 51,000.

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