Combs disc bows at No. 1

The eagerly awaited disc from producer-turned-artist Sean “Puffy” Combs was the nation’s bestselling album last week with more than 560,000 copies sold. The tally for the Bad Boy/Arista Records disc “No Way Out” made it the third-bestselling bow of the year.

The soundtrack to the Columbia Pictures film “Men In Black” was pushed out of the top spot by the hefty Puffy bow, but managed to log an increase over its previous week’s total.

The Columbia Records/Sony Music Soundtracks disc moved 180,000 copies during the seven-day period ending July 27, a 13,000-copy increase over the previous week.

The “MIB” disc was among 12 of the Top 20 discs that posted increases over the previous week’s tallies and demonstrated healthy across-the-board sales action during the week.

Combs, who uses the nom de disc Puff Daddy, trails the 690,000-copy bow registered in April from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Life After Death” album and Wu-Tang Clan’s 612,000-unit take on its “Wu-Tang Forever” disc in June.

Spice Girls’ Virgin Records disc “Spice” rose one notch to No. 3 on sales of 140,000 copies, while Mercury trio Hanson received a two-slot boost to No. 4 on sales of 124,000 copies for their popular “Middle of Nowhere” debut.

The rise by the aforementioned albums pushed Sarah McLachlan’s highly anticipated Arista Records sophomore disc, “Surfacing,” down a trio of posts to No. 5 (116,000) and Prodigy’s Maverick Records disc “Fat of the Land” to No. 6 on sales of 102,000 copies.

Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, whose Elektra Records debut “Supa Dupa Fly” landed at No. 7 following a No. 3 debut the previous week, continued to see brisk sales action (99,000) of her first solo disc.

The disc is getting strong word of mouth and is aided by the rappers’ contribution to a trio of hit tracks on other albums, including “Not Tonight” from the “Nothing To Lose” soundtrack.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Atlantic Records songbird Jewel, with 81,000 copies of “Pieces of You” earning her the No. 8 spot; labelmate Matchbox 20’s “Yourself or Someone Like You” nabbing the No. 9 spot on a 75,000-unit tally; and B’Rite/Interscope’s “God’s Property” from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation at No. 10 with sales action of 72,000 copies.

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