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Hole Debut in Top 10

September 16, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Courtney's back, but does anybody care? Punk queen-turned-Hollywood diva Courtney Love returned to the rock arena with her band Hole's anxiously-awaited, four-years-in-the-making release, Celebrity Skin. But are fans of Love and her grunge past ready to accept the New Courtney and Celebrity Skin's pop sheen? After one week in stores, Celebrity Skin debuted at a respectable No. 9, but sold an underwhelming 86,000 copies for the week ending Sept. 14, according to SoundScan. (By comparison, in its first week, the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty recently sold eight times what Skin did.)

The week's other big arrival belonged to rapper Canibus, whose debut Can-I-Bus (produced by Fugee Wyclef Jean) came in at No. 2, selling 127,000 copies. Like Hole, Canibus' numbers were lower than expected considering the buzz that has surrounded the rapper. Neither were able to oust hip-hop's Lauryn Hill from the top spot. Her Miseducation of Lauryn Hill hangs on to No. 1 for the third week running.

Both Canibus and Hole used live performances on last week's MTV Video Music Awards show to promote their new records. Other beneficiaries included Madonna, who performed and also walked away with Best Video of the Year honors. Her Ray of Light climbs from No. 42 to No. 36. Meanwhile, Dirty Boogie by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, which closed the MTV show with the swingin' sounds of "Jump Jive An' Wail," inched its way toward the top ten, landing at No. 11. (Even acts that didn't perform on the VMA's squeezed out small sales gains last week, including Garbage, Green Day, Aerosmith and Radiohead.)

From the top, it was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (selling 214,000 copies) followed by Can-I-Bus; 'N Sync (111,000); Hello Nasty (110,000); Back to Titanic (107,000); the Barenaked Ladies' Stunt (104,000); the soundtrack to Armageddon (92,000); Backstreet Boys (89,000); Celebrity Skin; and Alan Jackson's High Mileage (82,000).

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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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