Arista discs spin to record sales in ’93

Arista Records posted U.S. sales of more than $ 220 million for calendar year 1993, making it the biggest year in the company’s 18-year history.

Buoyed by the success of “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, which has sold more than 25 million copies and spawned the longest-running No. 1 single in history, “I Will Always Love You,” the label scored significant success using a mixed bag of musical styles.

The label’s top sellers included Whitney Houston, who copped four Top-10 singles off “The Bodyguard” while the disc picked up six Grammy nominations, and Kenny G, whose “Breathless” has sold more than 6 million copies and earned the saxman two Grammy noms.

Other successes for the label included Toni Braxton, whose multiplatinum debut disc was the first successful product of the Arista-LaFace Records deal, and the three-month chart reign of Ace of Base that landed the group a Top-3 single for “All That She Wants.”

The label mined Music City gold as Arista Nashville artist Alan Jackson went triple platinum with his “A Lot About Livin’ (A Little About Love)” and sophomore effort “Hard Workin’ Man” from award-winning duo Brooks & Dunn reached double-platinum sales.

On the alternative front, the second album from Crash Test Dummies is crossing genre lines with its first single “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.” The “No Alternative” disc featuring Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Soul Asylum has given the label a strong presence in that genre.

Although Taylor Dayne’s second disc, “Soul Dancing,” failed to meet the label’s expectations, it produced Top-20 hit “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” and reached gold.

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