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CD RELEASES Rock music bringing back steady fan base



Published: Wed, June 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Backstreet Boys also made a comeback after a five-year hiatus.

By JIM FARBER

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Hail, hail, rock 'n' roll!

For the eighth time in the last nine weeks, a rock album has chimed in at the top of the charts.

Last week, two did.

Coldplay again clutched the No. 1 spot with "X & amp;Y," following up its blockbuster opening week of nearly three-quarters of a million copies. But this time the group was given mighty chase by the Foo Fighters' latest CD, "In Your Honor."

Coldplay moved 322,990 to the Foos' almost winning figure of 310,585.

Pop

Breathing down both their necks was the Backstreet Boys' "comeback" CD, "Never Gone." It bagged the No. 3 slot with sales of 290,946.

That's a solid number for a group that had taken a five-year hiatus -- long enough for many of their pink-cheeked fans to outgrow them. The photogenic fivesome's last CD, 2000's "Black & amp; Blue," moved 1.6 million copies in its first week, and went on to push a hefty 5.4 million platters altogether. Yet those towering figures came way back during the height of boy-band mania.

The Boys' latest single, "Incomplete," has managed to go top 10 in Pop Radio and top 25 in Mainstream Adult formats, connecting them to the older audience they now need to survive. The group has also done as much TV promotion as in their prime, making key appearances on the "Today" show, "The Tonight Show" and "The View."

Landmark debut

Meanwhile, the power-chord opening for the Foo Fighters represents the band's biggest debut to date. Its last album, 2002's "One by One," started with 112,000 copies moved its first week.

The Foos join Coldplay, System of a Down, White Stripes, Audioslave, the Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas, Nine Inch Nails and Bruce Springsteen as rock acts that have enjoyed No. 1, 2 or 3 debuts since late April.

The only non-rock act to slip in at the top slot during that period was Mariah Carey. Her "Emancipation of Mimi" moved back to No. 1 during a guitar lull in the first week of June.

The rapper Fat Joe hasn't fared quite as well, but his "All or Nothing" is hardly something to sneer at. The CD began its run at No. 6 with sales of 106,502, a figure hefty enough to match Joe's personal best opening, for "Don Cartagena" in 1998, according to Billboard.

Michael Jackson also had relative reason to be cheerful. In the wake of beating all the charges in his child-molestation case, Jackson's greatest-hits package, "Number Ones," came back onto the charts.




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