The reign of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. was finally
ended this week as the queen of New Jill Swing, Mary J. Blige, took the top
spot for the week ending April 27. Blige, whose fourth album, Share My
World has garnered the often tempestuous diva some of her best notices
since her 1992 debut, took the top spot on the Billboard charts with
sales of 240,000 copies according to Soundscan, easily beating country legend
George Strait, whose Carrying Your Love With Me landed in the #2 spot on
first week sales of 194,000.
B.I.G.'s Life After Death, slipped to
fourth on sales of 134,000, giving it a six-week total of nearly 1.5 million in
sales, while the Spice Girls dropped a spot to third with their debut,
Spice, on sales of 145,000 copies. The only other debut in the top ten
was rapper Heavy D's latest, Waterbed Hev, which debuted at #9.
Other chart debuts this week: camp popsters Erasure's Cowboy landed
at #43, Son Volt's Straightaways at #44, punk folkie Ani DiFranco had an
impressive showing with her double-live album Living In Clip, at #59 and
Pennywise's Full Circle also had a strong first week, landing at #79.
Despite the hype over the start of their tour, U2's Pop slid down a
few more notches, to #15, while the Chemical Brothers' massively-hyped Dig
Your Own Hole continued to drop from its #14 debut a few weeks ago,
tumbling from #23 to #38. Meanwhile, the suddenly smokin' hot jazz combo
Squirrel Nut Zippers leaped eight spots to #35, for their highest chart
In re-issues news, a compilation of re-packaged Jimi Hendrix
material, First Rays of the New Rising Sun, which contains six tracks
never released on CD before and is the first in a series of Hendrix-family
approved recordings under a new deal with MCA Records, landed in the #49 spot
in its first week on the charts.