The publicity surrounding last week's announcement of the latest Grammy
nominations apparently helped move the work of several of the potential honorees up the charts, but none could top the surprise #1 debut of the Titanic movie soundtrack.
The album rose to the top of the charts nearly as fast as the ship about which the soundtrack's movie was based sank in the cold waters of the Atlantic in the early part of the century.
"We've sold out of it two or three times already," said Jenny Leal, 21, a sales associate at San Francisco's Virgin Megastore. "It's kind of surprising to me because it's just the music from the movie and that Celine Dion song ["My Heart Will Go On"]." The soundtrack to the epic film, which has grossed more than $200 million at the box office, landed atop the Billboard album charts for the week ending Jan. 11.
Donna Marchetti, 34, a sales associate at Tower Records in Philadelphia, concurred with Leal's assessment. "It was kind-of a shock to me," she said. "I guess, though, that it's been the #1 movie for so long, so it shouldn't seem so shocking."
Less shocking, however, is the movement up the charts witnessed by the
various Grammy nominees. SoundScan reports that Bob Dylan's Album of the
Year-nominated Time Out Of Mind sold 17,000 copies last week and
landed at #77, whereas the previous week found 16,000 copies sold and the
album dwelling at #115. Critical favorites Radiohead, whose OK Computer is also nominated for Album of the Year, saw their album jump from #102 to #76 on sales of 17,000.
SoundScan also recorded that 15,000 Paula Cole fans picked up a copy of her
multi-nominated This Fire and launched the album from #122 to #91.
Fans of Best New Artist nominee funky rapper Erykah Badu bought up enough copies of Baduizm to lift it from #160 to #152, while Rap nominee Wyclef Jean's Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival jumped from #92 to #78.
Meanwhile, Great Expectations, the soundtrack to the film version of the Charles Dickens' classic -- which features new tracks from Tori Amos and former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, as well as the solo debut track from Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland -- debuted at #80. Cornershop's critically acclaimed sitar-rock fusion, When I Was Born for The 7th time, appeared on the charts for the first time at #169 with SoundScan-reported sales of 6,100.
The rest of the top 10: Celine Dion (#2), Chumbawamba (#3), Usher (#4),
Garth Brooks (#5), Mase (#6), Backstreet Boys (#7), Matchbox 20 (#8), LeAnn
Rimes (#9) and Puff Daddy & The Family (#10). [Wed., Jan. 14, 1998, 6:30 p.m. PST]