Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty Goes Platinum At #1

Punk-rap trio's fifth full-length effort passes 1 million sales mark as band begins its U.S. tour.

Sales of the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty forged past the 1 million sales mark this week, earning them a platinum award, a third week at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and an ego boost as they begin their trek across America to support the album.

According to SoundScan, 244,000 more people picked up Hello Nasty in the week ending Aug. 2, sending the album's total sales to 1.2 million and garnering the superstar punk-rap trio yet another platinum award from the Recording Industry Association of America.

Garbage drummer/producer Butch Vig, a friend of Beastie Mike D's who described himself as "super happy" for the Beasties' success this year, attributed the group's continuing popularity to its ability to give its fans what they want. "They haven't really covered any new turf, but they definitely have their own niche and it's loose and fun and has a weird, dark sense of humor," he explained. "They definitely have built up a fanbase with a niche out there that they fill that nobody else is in."

Hello Nasty, which continues the Beasties' evolution from a loud-mouthed white rap act to a trio that has pioneered the genre-blending of hip-hop and rock, is the Beastie Boys' fifth full-length album and the third to hit #1. Last Friday, they kicked off a critically acclaimed U.S. tour with rappers A Tribe Called Quest and multi-instrumentalist Money Mark.

Experiencing a nice sales bump this week were quirky Canadian pop-rockers Barenaked Ladies, whose Stunt surged from #10 to #6 after moving 103,000 copies; 10,000 more than they sold last week. Their continued success can be attributed to increased exposure of "One Week" (RealAudio excerpt) on radio and MTV as well as their on-and-off headlining spot on the H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock Developing Everywhere) tour. Rock Spectacle, their 1996 release, also saw chart movement, inching up from #103 to #96.

Also headed upward on the chart was the current leader of the swing revival movement. The Dirty Boogie, the third album from the Brian Setzer Orchestra, jumped, jived an' wailed 10 spots to #18 on sales of 56,000, bringing the total sales to 239,000 for the bandleader and former frontman of the rockabilly act Stray Cats. Cherry Poppin' Daddies' Zoot Suit Riot rose four places to #20 after selling 53,000 copies, for a total of 847,000 to date. A little further down the line, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's self-titled release jitterbugged 17 notches to #50 on a 7,000-unit sales leap from last week's 22,000 figure, topping off at 406,000 total.

The highest debut of the week belonged to R&B singer Mary J. Blige, whose The Tour, a recording of an April show at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, came in at #21 on sales of 52,000.

Meanwhile, rapper Celly Cell took the #53 position with G-Filez, and metal monsters Fear Factory placed their latest, Obsolete, at #77.

Further down the chart, the soundtrack to "Disturbing Behavior" -- which features songs by modern-rock acts the Flys and the Phunk Junkeez -- landed at #169, and the soundtrack to "There's Something About Mary" -- which features songs from Jonathan Richman and the Dandy Warhols -- hit #185.

Moving south on the chart this week was the group of hip-hop acts that made its mark last week on the chart's upper regions. On the downward slope, the various-artists album The Swarm -- featuring songs from a variety of Wu-Tang Clan-related groups -- slid from #4 to #11, while Wu affiliates Sunz of Man saw their debut tumble from #20 to #41.

Cam'ron's Confessions of Fire, which features fellow rapper Mase on "Horse and Carriage" (RealAudio excerpt), also dropped, slipping from #6 to #19. The only rapper to hold his ground was hot rap/R&B producer Jermaine Dupri, whose Jermaine Dupri Presents -- Life In 1472 stayed in the top 10 at #4, on sales of 105,000 copies.

The rest of the top 10: Various Artists, Armageddon -- The Album (#2);

Various Artists, City Of Angels soundtrack (#3); Various Artists, Dr.

Dolittle: The Album (#5); Brandy, Never S-A-Y Never (#7);

Backstreet Boys, Backstreet Boys (#8); 'N Sync, 'N Sync (#9); and

Will Smith, Big Willie Style (#10).