Blockbuster albums are back in style, judging by the January sales certifications by the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

Seven albums sold more than 2 million units in the last five months of 1993, indicating that record buyers have abandoned conservative, recession-driven purchasing habits and are likely to increase the number of titles with multiplatinum sales, which waned in the early ’90s.

The RIAA’s January certs saw Pearl Jam’s Epic disc “Vs.” certified for sales of 5 million units, with Snoop Doggy Dogg’s “Doggystyle” on Death Row/Interscope registering 3 million sold.

Carving out sales of 2 million units over the last five months were Frank Sinatra with “Duets” on Capitol; Michael Bolton, “The One Thing” on Columbia; Bryan Adams, “So Far So Good” on A&M; Mariah Carey, “Music Box” on Columbia; and Garth Brooks, “In Pieces” on Liberty.

Aerosmith’s “Get a Grip” on Geffen Records was also a 1993 success story, and is now certified for selling 3 million units since its release April 20, 1993.

Kenny G’s Arista album “Breathless” was certified at 6 million units; Sade’s “Love Deluxe” at 3 million for Epic; Meat Loaf’s original “Bat Out of Hell” now at 9 million units for Epic; and Anita Baker’s “Rapture” at 5 million for Elektra.

Also setting new marks were the original cast album for “The Phantom of the Opera,” now at 3 million Polydor units; Shai’s “If I Ever Fall in Love,” 2 million for Gasoline Alley; Michael Bolton’s “Soul Provider,” 5 million units for Columbia; and the twin RCA soundtracks “Dirty Dancing” and “More Dirty Dancing,” 11 million and 4 million, respectively.

Strait to multiplatinum

Rounding out the multiplatinum picture are George Strait, whose “Pure Country” has sold 3 million units for MCA/Nashville; Bonnie Raitt, whose “Luck of the Draw” is at 5 million for Capitol; and Whitney Houston, whose self-titled debut album has sold 10 million units for Arista.

Platinum albums, for sales of 1 million units, include Sinatra’s “Duets”; Pearl Jam’s “Vs.”; Babyface, “For the Cool in You” on Epic; Harry Connick Jr., “When My Heart Finds Christmas” on Columbia; 10,000 Maniacs, “MTV Unplugged” on Elektra; “Doggystyle”; Gin Blossoms, “New Miserable Experience” on A&M; Clint Black, “No Time to Kill” on RCA Nashville; and Bolton, “The One Thing” on Col.

Also platinum was Adams’ “So Far So Good” on A&M; Aaron Neville, “The Grand Tour” on A&M; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Greatest Hits” on MCA; Salt ‘N Pepa, “Very Necessary” on Next Plateau; and Elton John, “Duets” on MCA.

Also, “Beavis & Butt-Head Experience” on Geffen; Guns N’ Roses, “The Spaghetti Incident?” on Geffen; Ace of Base, “The Sign” on Arista; Weird Al Yankovic, “Even Worse” on Scotti Bros.; and R. Kelly, “12 Play” on Jive.

Gold albums, certified for sales of 500,000 units, included Jimi Hendrix, “The Ultimate Experience” on MCA; Sinatra’s “Duets”; Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette & Loretta Lynn, “Honky Tonk Angels” on Columbia; Taylor Dayne, “Soul Dancing” on Arista; Pearl Jam’s “Vs.”; Gloria Estefan, “Christmas Through Your Eyes” on Epic; and Celine Dion, “Colour of Love” on Epic.

Shaq good as gold

Also gold was Too Short, “Get in Where You Fit In” on Jive; Shaquille O’Neal, “Shaq Diesel” on Jive; “Doggystyle”; Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled Epic Associated album; and various artists, “Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix” on Reprise.

Also gold was Tevin Campbell, “I’m Ready” on Qwest; Black’s “No Time to Kill”; Elton John, “Decade: Greatest Hits 1976-1986″ on MCA; Shenandoah, “The Extra Mile” on Columbia Nashville; Bolton’s “The One Thing”; various artists, “Bob Dylan: 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration” on Columbia, a two-CD box; A Tribe Called Qwest, “Midnight Marauders” on Jive; R. Kelly’s “12 Play”; DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, “Code Red” on Jive; and Alan Jackson, “Honky Tonk Christmas” on Arista.

Also, Columbia’s “Christmas Album” by various artists; the Police, “Message in a Box” on A&M, a four-CD set; Adams’ “So Far So Good”; Petty/Heartbreakers’ “Greatest Hits”; Ace of Base, “The Sign” on Arista; Diamond Rio, “Close to the Edge” on Arista; and John’s “Duets”.

Also, “Beavis & Butt-Head Experience” and Guns N’ Roses’ “The Spaghetti Incident?”; Alabama, “Cheap Seats” on RCA Nashville; Tag Team, “Whoomp (There It Is)” on Life/Bellmark; Duice, “Duice” on TMR Records; the Breeders, “Last Splash” on Elektra; Michael Crawford, “A Touch of Music in the Night” on Atlantic; the original London cast, “Soundtrack: Miss Saigon” on Geffen; and Counting Crows, “August & Everything After” on Geffen.

Multiplatinum singles for January included Duice’s “Dazzey Duks” on TMR Records (2 million units) and Tag Team’s “Whoomp (There It Is)” on Life/Bellmark (3 million units).

Domino’s singular success

Gold singles for January, certified for sales of 500,000 units, included Domino, “Ghetto Jam” on Outburst/Chaos/Columbia; Culture Beat, “Mr. Vain” on 550 Music/Epic; Alice in Chains, “Sap” on Columbia; the Cranberries, “Linger” on Island; and Jodeci, “Cry for You” on Uptown/MCA.

In video, three titles were certified gold for sales topping 50,000 units: “Livin’, Lovin’ and Rockin’ That Jukebox” by Alan Jackson for Arista Records/6 West Home Video; “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along: Let’s Make Music” by Shari Lewis on A&M Home Video/Paragon Entertainment; and “Lamb Chop’s Play-Along: On Our Way to School” by Shari Lewis on A&M Home Video.

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