When teen vixen Britney Spears sings the title of her hit single "... Baby One More Time," maybe she's singing about landing at No. 1 on the country's album chart -- again.
In a rare showing of commercial staying power, Spears' debut, named after her smash Top 40 hit, returned to No. 1 after dropping out three weeks back. For the week ending Feb. 2, ... Baby One More Time sold 182,000 copies, according to SoundScan.
In today's tight marketplace it's rare for an act to hit No. 1, get bumped, and then return weeks later. And this may be the first time a former Mousketeer has pulled off the feat. Sales for Spears' album have increased each week the record has been in stores.
Spears easily muscled aside rapper Foxy Brown for No. 1. Brown's two-week-old Chyna Doll dropped to No. 4. Breaking the Top Ten for the first time was Everlast. The former House of Pain member's solo effort, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, jumped from No. 12 to No. 10. Everlast's single, "What It's Like," has spent an amazing two straight months at No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock radio chart.
Elsewhere, as expected, Cher cashed in on her Super Bowl performance. Even though she simply sang the national anthem (and not her chart-climber, "Believe"), Cher's new album jumped from No. 21 to No. 12. Think that was a fluke? Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, who performed briefly during the Super Bowl's halftime extravaganza, saw their record jump from No. 133 to No. 58, with its weekly sales jumping 300 percent, thanks to a performance before 100 million American television viewers.
Meanwhile, this week R.E.M. announced plans for a summer tour in support of Up. But is it too late to save the four-month-old release? Odds are next week the album will fall off Billboard's 200. Last week it dropped from No. 163 to No. 194.
From the top, it was Spears' ... Baby One More Time, followed by Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (selling 112,000 copies); Offspring's Americana (109,000); Foxy Brown's Chyna Doll (108,000); `N Sync (94,000); Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces (93,000); Silkk the Shocker's Made Man (92,000); 2Pac's Greatest Hits (91,500); DMX's Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood (80,000); Everlast's Whitey Ford Sings the Blues (79,000).