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Alanis Stays on Top; R. Kelly Lands at No. 2

It’s already beginning to look a lot like Christmas at America’s
record stores. Not only have superstars dutifully lined up new
releases to cash in on the coming holiday shopping season, but
actual Christmas albums are starting to fly out of stores, with two
in this week’s Top Ten.

One, Home for Christmas, belongs to boy wonders ‘N
Sync
. The new album arrived at No. 7 for the week ending
Nov. 15, according to SoundScan. That’s right beside the act’s
self-titled debut (No. 6), which has been on the charts for months.
(Between the two records, ‘N Sync sold 248,000 records last week.)
The other Top Ten holiday album is Celine Dion‘s
These Are Special Times, which inched up from No. 4 to No.
3 it’s second week in stores.

As for the straight ahead superstar releases, R&B hit-maker
R. Kelly‘s latest, the two-CD set R.,
came in at an impressive No. 2. While the much-anticipated
boxed-set from Bruce Springsteen, Tracks,
debuted at a modest No. 27. (No doubt the package’s hefty list
price — about $70 — kept sales down a bit.)

None of the newcomers were able to budge Alanis
Morissette
‘s two-week-old Supposed Former Infatuation
Junkie
from the No. 1 spot. And even though Morissette has
kept a rather low professional profile for much of `98, her new
album is actually the third one this year that she has performed on
to go to No. 1. The others were the soundtrack to City of
Angels
and the Dave Matthews Band‘s
Before These Crowded Streets.

Looking ahead to next week when the sales tallies come back from
the industry’s so-called Super Tuesday of Nov. 17 (the date new
records by Jewel, Method Man, Mariah Carey, Whitney
Houston
, and more hit stores), Morissette doesn’t stand a
chance of hanging on to No. 1 for a third week. In fact the new
live double CD by Garth Brooks may outsell

Infatuation by one million copies next week alone.

Elsewhere on the chart, U2‘s greatest hits
package, Best of U2: 1980-1990, continues to sell well its
second week in stores, coming in at No. 5. The record could have
sneaked up one more spot but the band and it’s label opted to
release two versions of 1980-1990. One is a limited
edition double set, complete with an entire CD of B-sides, which
sold 136,000 copies last week. The other is a less expensive single
disc without the old rarities, which sold 29,000. If combined, the
two would have just edged out rapper Jay-Z‘s
latest for the No. 4 position.

From the top, it was Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
(selling 268,000 copies), followed by R. (216,000);
These Are Special Times (163,000); Jay-Z’s Vol. II:
Hard Knock Life
(161,000); Best of U2: 1980-1990;
`N Sync (130,000); Home For Christmas (118,000);
Shania Twain‘s Come On Over (105,000);
Dru Hill‘s Enter the Dru (90,000); and
The Backstreet Boys (89,000).

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