County cookin’

Brooks books 'Sevens' atop disc chart

Garth Brooks’ “Sevens” was the bestselling album in the nation for the third consecutive week. More than 528,000 copies of the Capitol Nashville disc went home with consumers, bringing the three-week tally to more than 2 million units, according to sales data released Wednesday.

Since the disc’s Nov. 25 bow, Brooks has aggressively promoted “Sevens” by appearing on national and regional chat shows, as well as satellite interviews. The disc recently was certified quintuple platinum by the Recording Industry Assn. of America, reflecting the number of albums shipped into the marketplace but not yet sold through to consumers.

His profile will be further enhanced when the country phenom hosts NBC’s airing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Saturday. Brooks will celebrate the 51st anniversary of the pic and NBC’s fourth turn airing the Jimmy Stewart-starring seasonal perennial.

There was little movement among the top-10 list for the period ended Sunday, and the sales pace was considerably brisk. The top 26 albums boasted six-figure sales tallies compared with the usual top 10 contingent.

On a roll

The industry’s sales momentum, which got off to a rousing start during Thanksgiving weekend, continued this week with more than 185 of the top 200 albums posting increases from the previous week. The week before Christmas typically is the industry’s biggest.

At No. 2 was Celine Dion, whose “Let’s Talk About Love” disc went home with more than 348,000 fans, a sharp spike compared with last week’s tally of 289,000 copies.

The 550/Epic Records disc posted slightly higher sales than conglom mate Barbra Streisand, whose “High Ground” album held the No. 3 spot for the second week in a row.

More than 321,000 copies of La Barbra’s Columbia Records disc were sold, and both discs have crossed well into the 1-million-unit plateau.

Teen sensation LeAnn Rimes’ “You Light Up My Life” moved nearly 256,000 copies during the week, earning the Curb Records disc the No. 4 spot.

Rimes recently was dubbed the bestselling artist of 1997 by the RIAA. The 16-year-old singer is credited with selling more than 12.5 million units during the year, according to the trade org.

Her disc, which crossed the 2 million unit tally, bested Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumber” disc, which rose two notches to check in at No. 5.

More than 253,000 copies of the Universal Records ensemble’s debut were sold during the period, representing an 80,000 unit increase over the previous week.

Spice nice twice

The Spice Girls held steady at No. 6 for the second week, with their sophomore disc “SpiceWorld” being sold to more than 223,000 consumers.

The Virgin Records quintet nabbed a 40,000-disc boost over last week’s tally off its recent UPN spec and the increase in profile from promotional efforts associated with the Jan. 23 bow of its Columbia Records film “SpiceWorld.” An upcoming appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” should garner an additional sales uptick.

Rounding out the chart’s top 10 were Mercury Records acts Shania Twain and Hanson, who checked in at Nos. 7 and 9, respectively.

Twain’s “Come on Over” was sold to nearly 200,000 fans and Hanson’s “Middle of Nowhere” went home with 178,000 shoppers. Hanson’s debut disc benefited from the trio’s recent ABC Christmas spec, which also helped boost sales of its seasonal disc “Snowed In.” More than 145,000 copies of the disc were sold during the week.

Metallica’s Elektra Records offering “Re-Load” checked in at No. 8 for the second week on sales of 193,000 copies; while Mariah Carey’s “Butterfly” closed out the list. The songstress’s Columbia Records disc rose one notch, on sales of 162,000 discs.

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