‘Evita’ album rises to number 2

Buoyed by the success of the film “Evita” and its widening release platform, the Warner Bros. soundtrack featuring Madonna was the No. 2 album in the nation last week, according to label execs. It rounds out a top 10 list in which four of the discs are film soundtracks.

It’s the first time in several years that more than two soundtrack discs have made even the top 20.”Evita’s” leap from No. 7 to No. 2 by selling nearly 104,000 copies for the week ending Jan. 22 is good news for Warner execs, who had predicted that despite a slow start the disc would climb the charts.

The rise from sales of 82,200 copies two weeks ago is also attributable to Madonna’s TV appearances on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and the “Rosie O’Donnell Show,” as well as reports on the film’s box office performance.

Many expect the disc to top the SoundScan sales charts once the glow from Sunday’s three Golden Globe wins translates into sales. If so, “Evita” will break the seven-week hold the Trauma/Interscope act No Doubt has had on the top spot.

The band’s “Tragic Kingdom” disc moved more than 143,000 copies during the week, marking only a slight decline from the previous week’s tally of 156,000 units.

After just over a year in release, the disc has sold nearly 5 million copies. Celine Dion’s “Falling Into You,” which has now sold 6.5 million units, nabbed the chart’s fourth spot by logging sales of slightly more than 82,000 copies.

The other soundtrack rising during the week was “Space Jam,” which moved into the No. 5 spot on sales of more than 81,000 copies and added to its 1.4 million unit tally, logged in a mere nine weeks.

The disc’s out-of-the-box success is giving the newly formed Warner-Sunset label, headed by Gary LeMel and Danny Bramson, a home run on its first release.

Capitol’s “Romeo & Juliet” soundtrack held the third spot on nearly 102,000 copies, though it was pushed from its No. 2 weeklong perch by “Evita.”

Arista’s “The Preacher’s Wife” soundtrack similarly dropped a notch on sales of just over 76,000 copies, while labelmate Toni Braxton’s “Secrets,” which posted sales of 80,000 copies, dropped to sixth. Her disc has sold more than 3.1 million copies since its April bow.

Leanne Rimes’ Curb Records debut “Blue” earns eighth place on sales of 70,000 copies, just topping Tupac Shakur, under the name Makaveli, which nabbed ninth on sales of 62,000 for the Death Row disc “Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory.”

Bush, which recently held the chart’s top spot, closed out the top 10, on sales of 57,000 copies of its Trauma/Interscope disc “Razorblade Suitcase.”

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