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‘NINE LIVES’ AT NO.1

Aerosmith disc bows atop music chart

For the eighth consecutive week, a new entry has topped the nation’s sales charts as “Nine Lives,” the latest disc from veteran rockers Aerosmith, landed the No. 1 spot on sales of almost 140,000 copies. Fewer than 180 copies separated the No. 1 and No. 2 discs.

The Aerosmith disc barely topped the tally logged by the soundtrack to “Space Jam,” which rose four notches into the No. 2 slot primarily on the heels of the pic’s homevideo bow and the growing popularity of R. Kelly’s single “I Believe I Can Fly,” which is a radio staple.

The promotional use of the film touting DVD in advertising also aided sales. The Warner Bros. disc sold just under 140,000 copies, bringing its 16-week total to more than 2.2 million copies.

EMI Latin’s soundtrack to “Selena” benefited from the film’s release March 14 and the accompanying publicity, which helped it jump from No. 20 to No. 12 on sales of 72,000 copies, nearly double last week’s tally.

Since many Latin albums are sold at mom-and-pop retail accounts and escape the SoundScan radar, the total is probably significantly higher.

Celine Dion continued her run in the Top 10, with her “Falling Into You” disc rising one spot to land into the No. 6 position on sales of 104,000 copies.

Her appearance on the recent Academy Awards telecast will likely help her maintain the solid sales pace. The Epic Records disc is a couple weeks shy of hitting the 8 million sales mark.

Also holding forth on the chart is 14-year-old country songstress LeAnn Rimes, whose Curb Records disc “Unchained Melody: The Early Years” has continuously hovered near the top since it bowed at No. 1 six weeks ago. The disc added nearly 106,000 copies to its impressive 805,000 total to earn the No. 4 position.

U2 dropped six slots with sale of almost 100,000 copies in its third week of chart residency. The band’s “Pop” disc nabbed the No. 8 post and crossed the 500,000-copy plateau. The disc will likely see substantial gains once the media machine for the band’s tour kicks in and a new single hits the airwaves.

Though the Aerosmith bow was shy of the 171,000 tally logged by its 1993 offering “Get a Grip,” sales of the band’s albums typically build over several years. The release also is noteworthy as it is the first release of the expensive recording pact inked by the band six years ago with Columbia Records.

The band inked the $35 million deal while it still owed a pair of discs to Geffen Records under the terms of that recording contract.

Interscope’s No Doubt closed out the list’s top 10 with more than 81,000 discs of its “Tragic Kingdom” album crossing retail registers.

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