Spice Girls back at No. 1

The Spice Girls reclaimed the No. 1 spot on the nation’s album sales chart by toppling the three-week run in the top slot by Contemporary Christian crooner Bob Carlisle. The trio’s Virgin Records disc, “Spice,” moved 124,000 copies during the seven-day period ending June 29.

Motley Crue’s highly touted return, “Generation Swine,” surprised many in the industry by bowing in the No. 4 spot on sales of 81,000 copies. The Elektra act heavily promoted the new disc with a series of live listening parties and several TV appearances.

The tattooed rockers came close to ending country crooner Tim McGraw’s three-week lock on the chart’s No. 3 spot.

McGraw’s Curb disc “Everywhere” logged sales of 89,000 copies and continues to top the country album sales chart as well.

Mercury Records teensters Hanson rose three notches to claim the No. 2 spot with “Middle of Nowhere.” The disc, which continues to be led by the catchy single “Mmmbop” and which has become a chart and MTV staple, was scanned 98,000 times.

Carlisle’s Diadem/Jive Records disc “Butterfly Kisses (Shades of Grace” dropped to No. 6 on sales of 79,000 copies, placing it just behind the Warner Bros. soundtrack to “Batman & Robin,” which checked in at No. 5 on sales of just south of 80,000 copies.

“God’s Property” by God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation logged its second week at No. 7. More than 74,000 copies of the B’Rite/Interscope Records disc were snapped up by consumers.

Rounding out the top 10 were Loud/RCA act Wu Tang Clan at No. 8, on sales of 71,000 copies; Interscope act Wallflowers’ “Bringing Down the Horse” at No. 9, on sales of 69,000 copies; and Jewel’s Atlantic Records disc “Pieces of You” at No. 10, on sales of 64,000 copies.

Other notable chart movements include an 86-spot jump by the Work Group’s soundtrack to the Columbia Pictures film “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

The music and the film also benefited by repeats of a VH1 special on the making of the Julia Roberts starrer and the cabler’s airing of the Diana King musicvideo for the Dionne Warwick-warbled nugget “I Say a Little Prayer.” The vid was culled from the film’s opening credits.

The Insane Clown Posse, which garnered more publicity than it could ever buy when its “Great Milenko” disc was recalled from stores June 24 by Walt Disney studio execs, saw its Hollywood Records bow clock in at No. 63 on sales of 18,000 units.

James Taylor, who appeared on a special “Live By Request” on cable’s A&E on June 25 — where he chatted with callers and previewed tracks from his Columbia Records disc “Hour Glass” — got a small bump from the appearance. The disc rose five slots to No. 23, on sales of 42,000 copies.

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