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DMX Hangs onto to No. 1 Spot on the Charts

January 7, 1999 12:00 AM ET

It's back to reality at the nation's record stores as the post-holiday sales lull takes hold. There's not one new record in the top 150, and only the two-week-old soundtrack to The Faculty, featuring the remake of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," actually increased sales over the previous week. Not that there wasn't lots of jockeying for chart position, it was just a question of which artists' sales decreases were the smallest. The answer: Rap artists, that's who.

For the second straight week, New York rapper DMX had no trouble hanging on to the No. 1 album in the country, according to SoundScan. For the week ending Jan. 3, DMX's second album in less than a year, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, sold 248,000 copies. (Breaking with industry tradition, which says new albums cannot be released just days before Christmas because they'll get lost in the shuffle, DMX's latest, released three days before Christmas, has sold 918,000 copies in two weeks. So much for tradition.)

But even DMX's sales were off sixty-three percent compared to last week's steroid numbers, when forty-six different albums broke the 100,000 sales mark. This week, just twelve managed that magic number. Still, certain acts are clearly connecting with fans and climbing the charts, including the Offspring (who jump from No. 8 to No. 2), Jay-Z (10 to 3), Tupac (11 to 6), Busta Rhymes (21 to 12), R. Kelly (31 to 19), Outkast (56 to 37), Limp Bizkit (55 to 39) and Ice Cube (83 to 48).

From the top, it was DMX, followed by the Offspring's Americana (selling 174,000 copies), Jay-Z's Vol. II: Hard Knock Life (170,000); Mariah Carey's No. 1's (162,000); 'N Sync (161,000); Tupac's Greatest Hits (152,000); Garth Brooks' Double Live (148,000); Jewel's Spirit (146,000); The Backstreet Boys (114,000) and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (113,000).

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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