Puff Daddy back on top

After just a one-week absence, Puff Daddy and the Family’s “No Way Out” returned to the top of the U.S. album sales chart. The Bad Boy/Arista Records disc switched posts with rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, whose “Art of War” disc moved down to No. 2.

More than 228,000 copies of “No Way Out” were sold in the seven-day period ending Aug. 10, while Bone Thugs’ Relativity Records disc logged more than 183,000 copies, reflecting a drop of more than half in its second week.

Thanks to a strong first-week bow, Puff Daddy, whose real name is Sean Combs and who is CEO of Bad Boy Records, saw his disc top 1 million units in just three weeks of release.

The album joined the Columbia Records/Sony Music Soundtrax “Men in Black” soundtrack, which also crossed the 1 million unit threshold, in six weeks of release. The disc logged its third week at No. 3 on sales of 150,000 units.

Only two of the top 20 discs showed increases over the previous week, with just two debuts joining that list.

“Transistor,” the highly anticipated release from funk-rockers 311, bowed at No. 4 on sales of 128,500. The Los Angeles-based quintet’s fourth album is a double set priced as a single-disc release.

The other new release in the top 10 was the hip-hop soundtrack to “How to Be a Player,” which bowed at No. 7 on sales of almost 106,000 copies. The strong showing of the Def Jam disc was aided by the longrunning promotion of the Bill Bellamy-starring pic from Gramercy.

The Spice Girls’ Virgin Records disc “Spice” slipped a notch to No. 5 (125,000 copies), while Hanson’s Mercury Records disc “Middle of Nowhere” clocked in at No. 6 (108,000).

Sarah McLachlan’s Arista Records set “Surfacing” dropped two posts to No. 8 (93,000). Matchbox 20, one of the two artists to show an increase, saw its Atlantic Records disc “Yourself or Someone Like You” hold at No. 9 (92,000).

Prodigy’s Maverick Records bow “The Fat of the Land” dropped two slots to No. 10.

Garth Brooks’ most recent studio album, “Fresh Horses,” returned to the pop album charts at No. 167 thanks to his free concert in New York’s Central Park Aug. 7 and the HBO telecast of the event.

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