Soundtracks Storm Charts, No Asylum for Soul Asylum

And...action! Surging soundtrack sales, brewing since Titanic unleashed its blockbuster album late last year, exploded at record stores last week. Led by the new No. 1 album, the soundtrack to City of Angels, and closely followed by Godzilla's soundtrack at No. 2, this week's charts are loaded with movie and TV music. Four soundtracks squeeze into the top ten (rounded out by Ally McBeal and Titanic), and six are in the top twenty (Hope Floats and Bulworth).

After nine weeks on the charts, the City of Angels, boasting hits by the Goo Goo Dolls ("Iris") and Alanis Morissette ("Uninvited), finally climbs up to No.1, selling 165,000 copies for the week ending May 31, according to SoundScan.

From the top it was City of Angels, followed by Godzilla (selling 149,000 copies); DMX's It's Dark & Hell Is Hot (123,000); Garth Brooks' The Limited Series (97,000); Backstreet Boys (91,000); the Dave Matthews Band's Before These Crowded Streets (88,000); Sparkle (82,000); Ally McBeal (80,000); Shania Twain's Come On Over (78,000); and Titanic (75,000).

Executives at Sony Music must be thrilled with the week's tally, considering they own three of the top four soundtracks: Godzilla, Ally McBeal, and Titanic. The problem is Sony's Columbia Records is also the not-so-proud owner of arguably this year's biggest flop: Soul Asylum's Candy From a Stranger. Released just three weeks ago, the record falls out of the top 200 this week, selling only 4,000 copies in the last seven-day period, and just 20,000 copies to date. Soul Asylum's' 1993 hit album, Grave Dancers Union, which sparked the top-ten hit single "Runaway Train," sold more than two million copies.

Along with radio hits by Nirvana, Urge Overkill and others in the early Nineties, Soul Asylum proved that critically acclaimed rock bands, once relegated to college radio, could emerge as commercial powerhouses. For Soul Asylum, looks like it's time to go back to college.