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Hill Still on Top

But "Titanic" soundtracks are steaming back up the charts

September 9, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Here we go again. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the sequel soundtrack to Titanic is suddenly threatening to become the No. 1 album in the country, continuing the sinking ship-craze created with last winter's movie/soundtrack blockbuster. Dubbed Back to Titanic, the album features additional music from composer James Horner, as well as Celine Dion's hit "My Heart Will Go On" accompanied by dialogue from the movie. For the week ending September 6, the soundtrack sequel moved from No. 7 to No. 2 its second week in stores, selling 164,000 copies. Hip-hop's current queen Lauryn Hill remains at No. 1 though, with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill selling 265,000 copies, according to SoundScan.

Elsewhere in the top ten, country superstar Alan Jackson, riding the success of his latest top ten single, "I'll Go On Loving You," debuts at No. 4, while overweight rapper Fat Joe, comes in at No. 7 with his latest.

The colossal marketing campaign behind Titanic's release on home video (the Blockbuster chain alone sold more than one million copies of the three hour-plus movie last week) is clearly driving music sales, and not just for Back. The original Titanic soundtrack, which spent sixteen weeks at No. 1 this year and has sold over eight million copies domestically, is once again climbing the charts, moving from No. 43 to No. 25 this week.

From the top, it was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, followed by Back To Titanic, 'N Sync (selling 116,000 copies); Jackson's High Mileage (112,000); the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty (110,000); Barenaked Ladies' Stunt (109,000); Fat Joe's Don Cartagena (106,000); the soundtrack to Armegeddon (105,000); Backstreet Boys (96,000); Snoop Dogg's Da Game is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told (95,000).

Next week, eagerly anticipated records by Courtney Love's band Hole, as well as from rapper Canibus log on the chart. Look for Canibus to win that sales battle, but will it be enough to oust Hill from No. 1? Meanwhile, rap mogul Master P's got yet another soon-to-be hit record on the streets, Skull Duggery, featuring stars from P's No Limit Records, including Snoop, Silkk the Shocker and C Murder.

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Song Stories

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Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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