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Funk Sells, but the Backstreet Boys and Ricky Are Truly Red Hot

Chili Peppers, Smash Mouth crack a stubborn Top Ten; Backstreet Boys hold on to No. 1

June 16, 1999 12:00 AM ET

The arrival of a new Red Hot Chili Peppers album in 1999 may not create quite the same stir that it would have circa 1991, but judging from the No. 3 debut of the alt-funksters' Californication, there's still a couple hundred thousand faithful fans that will make a concerted effort to hear it first. Californication was one of just two new albums in the Top Ten this week, according to SoundScan; the second was Smash Mouth's Astro Mouth, which entered at No. 10.

As for the No. 1 slot, anyone still in the dark about that is probably still waiting for the first Star Wars prequel to hit the screens. For the fourth week in a row, the Backstreet Boys ruled the top slot with Millennium, which is already the third highest-selling album of 1999 with total sales of 2,565,000 -- just behind Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time and TLC's Fan Club. Hanging on to No. 2 for the third straight week, after being dethroned by Nick Carter and Co., is Ricky Martin (incidentally, the sixth best-selling album of the year).

Of last week's four Top Ten debuts, only Ja Rule's Venni Vetti Vecci is still in the neighborhood, though it slipped from No. 3 to No. 5. Jennifer Lopez's On the 6, which had fellow Latin sensation Ricky Martin in its sights last week with an impressive No. 8 debut, fell to No. 12. Blink-182's Enema of the State tumbled from No. 9 to No. 14, and Da Crime Family by Tru dropped all the way from No. 5 to No. 15.

Elsewhere, high-gloss, Eighties' style pop metal made a strong comeback in the form of Def Leppard's Euphoria, which debuted at No. 11, just a nudge away from Smash Mouth's No. 10 spot. Less impressive was Jamiroquai's Synkronized, in at No. 28. Rapper MC Eiht's Section 8 debuted at No. 54, punkers Pennywise at No. 62 with Straight Ahead, and jazz pianist Diana Krall at No. 68. Ministry's Dark Side of the Spoon, banned from K-Mart for its cover art, debuted at No. 92, and Pavement's Terror Twilight bowed at No. 95.

From the top, it was Millennium (371,000); Ricky Martin (310,000); Californication (189,000); ...Baby One More Time (148,000); Venni Vetti Vecci (120,000); Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause (109,000); Shania Twain's Come On Over (107,000); the soundtrack to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (104,000); Fan Mail (100,000); and Astro Lounge (99,000).

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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