'Heavier Things' rises to the top

Times Staff Writer

John Mayer, the young singer-songwriter whose 2001 major-label debut, "Room for Squares," has sold nearly 3.1 million copies, is off to a fast start with his new studio collection.

"Heavier Things," which features more of his wistful soft-rock tunes, entered the national sales chart at No. 1 on Wednesday after selling 317,000 copies in its first week in the stores, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The only other new release to break into the Top 10 this week is Seal's "Seal IV," which finished No. 3 after selling 82,000 copies last week.

The most dramatic increase was registered by Warren Zevon's "The Wind," which jumped from No. 40 to No. 12, the second-highest chart position of any of the late singer-songwriter's albums. "Excitable Boy," which contained the hit "Werewolves of London," reached No. 8 in 1978.

Zevon, who recorded "The Wind" with such musician friends as Jackson Browne, Don Henley and Bruce Springsteen after learning last year that he had inoperable cancer, died Sept. 7, less than two weeks after its release.

On the singles front, DJ Paul Oakenfold's remix of Elvis Presley's 1970 recording of "Rubberneckin' " entered the singles chart at No. 1. The song, which sold 11,000 copies last week, will be on "2nd to None," a follow-up album to last year's "Elvis 30 No. 1 Hits" package. The new CD is due next month.

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