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Sony scores one-two punch: Rage, Carey

Santana slips to No. 5

Rage Against the Machine scored its second straight No. 1 album and managed to surpass the opening sales total of its previous album by a hefty 73%.

The group’s third album, “The Battle of Los Angeles” (Epic), was one of six debuts in the top 10 — including the first four entries — of the U.S. pop chart for the week ended Sunday. According to Sony Music, which scored a one-two punch with the Rage and Mariah Carey albums, sales of the top 200 are up 20% from last week.

Rage’s 430,000-unit opening stand eclipses the 248,700 debut of the group’s second album, “Evil Empire,” in April 1996. Rage’s self-titled 1993 debut peaked at No. 45 in 1994.

The L.A.-based group has promoted the new album with appearances on CBS’ “Late Night With David Letterman,” MTV’s “Total Request Live” and with sold-out club shows in New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

Carey’s ninth album, “Rainbow” (Columbia), debuted at No. 2 with sales of 322,800 copies, a sum that exceeded the first-week totals of her previous releases in the eight-year SoundScan era. Her previous best was the 235,500-unit opening sum for 1997’s “Butterfly,” her last album of new material. Carey has promoted “Rainbow” with in-store appearances and a performance on NBC’s “Today.”

Veteran rock group Santana, which had ruled the charts for the past three weeks, slipped to No. 5 as “Supernatural” sold 203,000 units, the album’s highest one-week sum in its 21 weeks on the charts. Total sales stand at 2.5 million.

In between were rapper Lil’ Wayne’s “Tha Music is Hot” at No. 3 and a World Wrestling Federation compilation at No. 4.

The final two debuts in the top 10 came from Counting Crows at No. 8 and Foo Fighters at No. 10. Counting Crows’ “This Desert Life” sold 129,100 copies.

Filling in the gaps in the top 10 were a trio of pop albums: Backstreet Boys’ “Millennium” at No. 6 (down two places from last week); Britney Spears’ ” … Baby One More Time” at No. 7 (down two); and Lou Bega’s “A Little Bit of Mambo” at No. 9 (down six).

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