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Ja Rule Still No. 1

Rapper's third album continues to dominate charts

October 17, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Ja Rule's Pain Is Love has topped the charts for a second straight week, selling 220,793 copies, according to SoundScan. Pain continues to reap the fruit of the labor of Ja's previous album, Rule 3:36, which pulled the rapper into prime time. The new album is handily topping 3:36's tallies, besting the previous album's sales by 50,000 copies in their respective second weeks. Without a doubt, it's a better start for the album, though Pain will need to find legs in the form of multiple, viable singles to match the triple-platinum success of Rule 3:36.

Enya continued her nearly yearlong climb towards Number One, enjoying yet another sales spike (of more than 30,000 copies) to move up a notch to Number Two. In doing so, the album pushed past the 3 million copies sold mark.

The Top Ten looked virtually the same as last week, with nine of the ten entries just playing a game of musical chairs. Only one entry, Bubba Sparxxx's Dark Days Bright, changed the roster from last week. And Sparxxx's debut was impressive, selling 132,174 copies; still the number falls closer to first-week numbers of Haystak (or Vanilla Ice's latest, for that matter) than Eminem in the dubious tradition of white rappers.

Other debuts were bountiful, if not exactly eye-popping. Charlotte Church's Enchantment (Number Sixteen) and the Bones soundtrack (Number Forty) both worked their way into the Top Fifty. The O'Jays tapped some Isley Brothers-inertia to put For the Love . . . in at Number Fifty-four, while New York buzz band the Strokes' debut, Is This It, will have to be a slow burn if it is to match it's success in the U.K., arriving at Number Seventy-six with sales of nearly 17,000.

Next week features a trio of new releases with Top Ten potential: Angie Stone's Mahogany and Soul, Ozzy Osbourne's Down to Earth and John Mellencamp's Cuttin' Heads. And loyal New Order fans will flock to stores to pick up the group's Get Ready, their first new recording in eight years.

This week's Top Ten: Ja Rule's Pain Is Love (220,793 copies sold); Enya's Day Without Rain (162,257); Bubba Sparxxx's Dark Days Bright (132,174); Jay-Z's The Blueprint (128,180); Nickelback's Silver Side Up (113,465); Totally Hits 2001 (103,462); Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor (103,381); Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory (103,011); Usher's 8701 (96,307); and P.O.D.'s Satellite (81,550).

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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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