A huge first week for controversial rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg’s debut album was but the gravy on a bountiful Thanksgiving feast for the nation’s music retailers last week as all but five ofthe top 30 bestselling albums showed significant gains.
The all-important year-end gift-buying season is off to a roaring start for music retailers.
Snoop’s Death Row/Interscope bow, “Doggystyle,” sold nearly 803,000 copies, according to SoundScan sales figures obtained Wednesday by a record industry source, placing the disc in the No. 1 spot on the chart. This is the second-largest first-week perf, behind the five-week-old record set by Pearl Jam’s “Vs.,” which sold 950,000 copies in its bow. That Epic-released collection slips to No. 2 this week with sales of 205,000.
Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is free on bail following his indictment on murder charges stemming from an incident in which one of his bodyguards allegedly shot a man from a vehicle the rapper was driving.
Greatest sales gainer of the period was Mariah Carey’s “Music Box.” The Col. album sold 193,000 units, up from 116,000 a week earlier, thanks to exposure from her NBC holiday spec, last week’s No. 34 primetime program.
Titles from Geffen Records, both debuts, occupy Nos. 4-5: Guns N’ Roses’ “The Spaghetti Incident?” was snapped up by nearly 190,000 fans, while “The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience,” a compilation project inspired by the top-rated MTV cartoon, sold nearly 173,000 copies.
Among the other noteworthy debuts for the week: Elton John’s MCA release “Duets”– featuring collaborations with, among others, Bonnie Raitt, Kiki Dee and Don Henley — which sold almost 53,000, good for No. 25; “Live Shit: Binge and Purge” (Elektra), a live music/video box set from superstar metal outfit Metallica, which did business with 52,000 head-bangers, at No. 26; Arista dance troupe Ace of Base at No. 43 with its debut, “All That She Wants”; and Linda Ronstadt’s latest for Elektra, “Winter Light” enters at No. 92.
A host of high-profile releases, including albums from Janet Jackson, Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Smashing Pumpkins, Boyz II Men and Harry Connick Jr., took huge sales leaps, but the latest from Michael Bolton, “One Thing” (Col.), slipped unexpectedly to No. 8 after a No. 3 bow one week ago.