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Snoop, Armageddon Dominate Again

Beasties Hold Tight, Liz Phair Debuts

August 20, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Rapper Snoop Dogg (he's dropped the "Doggy" part) hangs on to the No. 1 album in the country for the week ending August 16.

Snoop's Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told, sold 246,000 copies its second week in stores, according to SoundScan. In a rare bout of chart stability, the top three records this week (Snoop's, the soundtrack to Armageddon, and the latest by the Beastie Boys) are the same as last week's.

The week's highest debut belongs to hip-hop DJ Funkmaster Flex and his Mix Tape Volume III: The Final Chapter, which comes in at No. 4. Other new, high-flying releases include the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced R&B soundtrack to How Stella Got Her Groove Back (No. 10), country singer Vince Gill's The Key (No. 11), rapper E-40'sElement of Surprise (No. 13), and Kelly Price's Soul Of AWoman (No. 15.) Price's current single, "Friend of Mine," has been theNo. 1 song on R&B radio for the last month.

Down a bit further, alternative rock queen Liz Phair returns with her first album in four years, whitechocolatespaceegg, which debuts at No. 35 this week, a respectable showing. The question is where the record will land in coming weeks after hardcore fans have picked up their copies? The problem is that, to date, radio programmers have not taken to Phair's new single, "Polyester Bride."

Meanwhile this week the Barenaked Ladies become the first rock band this year to debut in the top ten and then stay there for six or more weeks. Pearl Jam didn't do it, the Dave Matthews Band didn't do it and neither did the Smashing Pumpkins. And considering sales for BNL's Stunt continue to rise, the band should easily surpass the two-month mark safely within the top ten. Not bad for a band that in the past was lucky to break the top 100. Credit the BNL's hit single "One Week," headlining slot on the HORDE tour, and old-fashioned word-of-mouth praise for the band's rise to the top.

From the top it was Snoop Dogg's Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To BeTold, followed by the soundtrack to Armageddon (selling 186,000copies); the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty (183,000); Funkmaster'sMix Tape (122,000); the Barenaked Ladies' Stunt (119,000);'N Sync (109,000); the soundtrack to Dr. Dolittle (106,000);the soundtrack to City of Angels (95,000); The BackstreetBoys (94,000); and the soundtrack to How Stella Got Her GrooveBack (91,000).

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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