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Page & Plant Debut At No. 8

Nashville crooners made their presence felt on this week’s sales chart, with three albums in the Top 10: Shania Twain’s Come On Over and two new ones, courtesy of George Strait and Faith Hill debuts. Led Zeppelin heroes Jimmy Page and Robert Plant also hit the Top 10 with their first studio work in 20 years.

Meanwhile, the soundtrack to Titanic hangs on to the top spot for the fourth month in a row, but its days at No. 1 are clearly numbered. The soundtrack sold 184,000 copies for the week ending April 26, according to SoundScan; the blockbuster’s weakest showing since early January. For next week’s chart, look for the Dave Matthews Band’s new album, Before These Crowded Streets, or possibly the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s new movie, He Got Game, featuring Public Enemy, to finally knock Titanic off.

From the top, it was Titanic, followed by Strait’s One Step at a Time (selling 178,000 copies), followed by the City of Angels soundtrack (158,000); Celine Dion’s Let’s Talk About Love (122,000); Savage Garden (103,000); Backstreet Boys (96,000); Faith Hill’s Faith (85,000); Page & Plant’s Walking Into Clarksdale (82,000); K-Ci & Jo-Jo’s Love Always (77,000); and Shania Twain’s Come On Over (77,000).

Another notable debut was the hip-hop soundtrack to the movie Bullworth, coming in at No. 21 with 45,000 copies sold. For such a star-studded record (Dr. Dre, LL Cool J, Method Man, RZA, Ice Cube, etc.) that showing might be seen as weak. After all, recent rap soundtracks engineered by Master P (I Got the Hook) and Ice Cube (Players Club), both debuted in the Top 10. Either Bullworth record sales will rise once the movie opens in theaters (the way the City of Angels recently did), or a hip-hop record married to a Warren Beatty political satire like Bullworth will have trouble connecting with rap fans.

Elsewhere, on the singles sales chart pop diva Mariah Carey’s latest, “My All,” was unable to oust “Too Close,” the R&B hit by Next, from the No.1 position. (“My All” debuted at No. 2, selling 123,000 copies.)

That’s significant, since throughout her career virtually every one of Carey’s commercially released singles has gone to No. 1, usually debuting there and often selling over 200,000 copies. “My All’s” first-week performance may have confirmed an industry suspicion. Prior to the release of “My All,” only the second single off Carey’s eight month-old album, Butterfly, some insiders had been suggesting that she and her label, Columbia, were holding out in fear that Carey’s streak of No. 1’s would be broken.


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