The Chart

Heat Stroke

The Strokes' second CD proved more sizzle than fizzle, with ''Room on Fire'' generating a reasonably incendiary 126,000 in first-week sales. Gerald Levert even jumped on the Strokes' bandwagon by naming his latest ''Stroke of Genius'' (sure, some would say ''coincidence''), resulting in a 97,000-copy debut. But OutKast were even hotter, and the hip-hop duo returned to the top by rubbing 142,000 two-CD sets together. After the Strokes' and Levert's No. 4 and 6 debuts, R.E.M. had the third-best bow at No. 8 with a rise-and-shine 75,000 first week.

POP ALBUMS

LAST WEEKS WEEK ON CHART

1 4 OUTKAST Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Arista 6 2 2 ROD STEWART As Time Goes By..., J 2 3 1 CLAY AIKEN Measure of a Man, 19/RCA 3 4 -- THE STROKES Room on Fire, RCA 1 5 5 LUDACRIS Chicken-N-Beer, Def Jam South 4 6 -- GERALD LEVERT Stroke of Genius, Elektra 1 7 3 EAGLES The Very Best Of, Warner Bros. 2 8 -- R.E.M. In Time: The Best of R.E.M., Warner Bros. 1 9 7 DIDO Life for Rent, Arista 5 10 15 3 DOORS DOWN Away From the Sun, Republic/Universal 10 11 19 STING Sacred Love, A&M/Interscope 5 12 11 HILARY DUFF Metamorphosis, Buena Vista 10 13 12 CHINGY Jackpot, Disturbing Tha Peace/Capitol 16 14 13 NICKELBACK The Long Road, Roadrunner/Island Def Jam 6 15 8 JAGGED EDGE Hard, Columbia 3

(c) 2003 VNU BUSINESS MEDIA, INC./NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN. USED WITH PERMISSION FROM BILLBOARD, NOV. 15, 2003.

IN STORES NOVEMBER 18

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IN STORES NOVEMBER 18

BRITNEY SPEARS In the Zone (Jive) She's got Madonna appearing on the first single, ''Me Against the Music,'' and guest producers and writers like Moby and R. Kelly. No need to cry her a river.

THE BEATLES Let It Be...Naked (Capitol) Producer Phil Spector's luscious Wall of Sound has been stripped from the classic album. Will fans appreciate the spare change?

BLINK-182 blink-182 (Geffen) The California neo-punks' latest doesn't have a punny title, but this enhanced CD does pack six exclusive band-made videos.

CYNDI LAUPER At Last (Epic) Should be interesting -- or not -- to hear what the earthy-zany singer does with straightforward pop staples like ''My Baby Just Cares for Me'' and ''Walk On By.''

ON TOUR

A PERFECT CIRCLE will go round the country to promote their Thirteenth Step, stopping in Tampa (Nov. 7), Albany, N.Y. (Nov. 26), and Kansas City, Mo. (Dec. 13), before heading Down Under.

Five years after releasing his last album, SEAL is back with a self-titled disc. He'll be showcasing it, along with his beautiful croon, everywhere from Vegas (Nov. 16) to Chicago (Nov. 26) to D.C. (Dec. 13).

Emo-metal act THURSDAY will wage War All the Time, including on a Friday (Nov. 14) in Charlotte, N.C., and a Wednesday (Dec. 3) in Milwaukee.

Originally posted Nov 14, 2003 Published in issue #737 Nov 14, 2003 Order article reprints