Sales Spring Forward

It'll take more than "Family Values" and "Matrix" to topple Britney

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Nothing like spring fever to send music fans bounding into record stores. Virtually every major release enjoyed big sales jumps at the cash register last week, and nobody benefited more than Britney Spears. Her debut, . . .Baby One More Time, remained at No. 1, but its weekly sales shot up sixty-three percent, selling 273,000 copies for the week ending April 4, according to SoundScan. What makes that number remarkable is it represents Spears' biggest sales week ever, despite the fact the album has been in stores for four months. Her album has sold more than two million albums based on just one single.

Two new albums on opposites ends of the music spectrum debuted in last week's Top Ten: blind Italian vocalist Andrea Bocelli's Sogno came in at No. 4, while Family Values Tour '98, featuring live hard rock performances from Korn, Rammstein and Limp Bizkit, bowed at No. 7. (More hard rock was found at No. 18 with the arrival of the new Matrix soundtrack, featuring Rob Zombie, Deftones, Rage Against the Machine and Monster Magnet.)

Of the top twenty albums last week only Ginuwine's 100% Ginuwine failed to pick up a sales bump. (In just two weeks that record has dropped from No. 5 to No. 19.) Among last week's big winners was the Irish girl group B*Witched. Their self-titled release jumped to No. 12, as their weekly sales shot up 100 percent. Boy band vets 'N Sync crashed the Top Ten yet again, coming in at No. 9. Their sales climbed seventy percent in seven days, perhaps due to a new tour and the release of their latest video, "I Drive Myself Crazy," which hit the air last week.

From the top, it was Britney Spears' . . .Baby One More Time, followed by TLC's Fanmail (selling 197,000 copies); Eminem's The Slim Shady LP (170,000); Bocelli's Sogno (149,000); the Offspring's Americana (136,000); Shania Twain's Come On Over (133,000); Family Values Tour '98 (122,000); Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (121,000); 'N Sync (112,000); and the Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces (111,000).