‘Bell’ rings up sales; Nirvana hot

While Pink Floyd’s “The Division Bell” still tops the SoundScan chart, the big story at the nation’s music retailers continues to be the rise of the four albums from Seattle grunge rockers Nirvana following the April 8 suicide of bandleader Kurt Cobain.

According to SoundScan numbers obtained by an industry source Wednesday, Nirvana’s latest DGC collection, “In Utero,” made the largest jump for the second week in a row, moving from No. 27 to 11, with sales exploding from last week’s 40,000 to 69,000 this time. In the week before Cobain’s death, “In Utero” sold just 18,000 and was listed at No. 72.

Nirvana’s groundbreaking 1991 set, “Nevermind,” is taking similar strides, moving from No. 167 two weeks ago to 56 last week, to 28 on the new listing. Sales increased from the last chart’s 20,000 to 35,000 this week. The group’s 1992 odds-and-ends collection, “Incesticide,” is now up to No. 73 after re-entering the chart last week at 135. Sales for that title stand at 14,000.

Nirvana’s debut album, “Bleach,” was released by Seattle’s Sub Pop Records in 1989 and appears on SoundScan’s Catalog Album listing of older titles at No. 3 on sales of over 13,000.

Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, is the singer for L.A.-based group Hole; that band’s DGC debut, “Live Through This,” enters the chart this week at No. 55 on sales of 19,000.

Despite a more than 50% sales drop, “The Division Bell’s” sales of 226,000 were more than enough to keep it comfortably at the top. The band’s ’70s classics “Dark Side of the Moon” (Capitol) and “The Wall” (Columbia) hold down the top two spots on the catalog chart, fueled by the group’s current concert tour.

Top new entry for the week comes from the Rollins Band, led by former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins. The power-punk group’s new Imago title, “Weight,” sold more than 31,000 copies, placing it at No. 33. The band’s U.S. tour begins May 9 in Providence, R.I., and arrives in Los Angeles June 11.

Other bows this week include: the self-titled debut from Big Beat/Atlantic R&B vocal group All-4-One at No. 41; “Strange Pleasure,” the new Epic release from Austin, Texas, blues guitarman Jimmy Vaughn, at No. 127; and “Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid,” the debut Atlantic album from hot new Georgia rock band Collective Soul, at No. 143.

The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos are proving that they have long legs under those robes. The EMI/Angel group’s smash release “Chant” bullets from No. 12 to 6 in this, its fifth week, adding another 82,000 copies sold to its already amazing total.

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