No shock: ‘Private Parts’ tops disc chart

Howard Stern is truly the King of All Media. He can now add the record industry to his list of conquests and lay claim to having the highest debuting soundtrack in the SoundScan era.

The Warner Bros. soundtrack “Howard Stern’s Private Parts” was the top-selling album for the week ending March 2, with nearly 177,590 copies crossing retail registers, according to label execs.

Ironically, the victory comes on the day the venerable label significantly trims its staff as part of a cost-cutting move. (See story, page 7.)

If the Rysher Entertainment film detailing Stern’s life up though 1985 — which bows Thursday night— performs as expected, the radio personality will break new ground by having the No. 1 soundtrack and the No. 1 film at the same time in the SoundScan era. The soundtrack was released Feb. 25.The “Parts” bow bested the first-week tally logged in late 1996 by Arista Record’s “Waiting To Exhale,” which nabbed the third spot during its first week, on sales of 177,284 copies. Many soundtracks, such as the Disney animated features and “Forrest Gump,” see sales rise following the release of the film.

Earlier this year, the soundtrack to Gramercy Pictures “Gridlock’d” hit the top spot, but on sales of only 151,000 copies for the Death Row Records disc.

Stern, who is broadcasting his syndicated radio show today and Friday from Billboard Live in West Hollywood, benefitted from heavy MTV and VH1 exposure in the week leading to the pic’s debut. Other artists benefiting from the power of TV were performers on last week’s Grammy Awards, most notably Grammy winner Celine Dion, whose Epic Records disc “Falling Into You” rose six spots to No. 4 on the chart on sales of 120,000 units. Hers was the biggest unit gainer of all the artists appearing on the CBS telecast.

LeAnn Rimes’ Curb Records disc “Blue” spiked from No. 16 to No. 9 on sales of 89,000 copies; while the Atlantic Records disc of Grammy nominees also experienced a significant bump, rising 15 posts into 14th on sales of 64,000 copies.

Warner Bros.’ “Phenomenon” soundtrack, which boasts the Grammy-winning track “Change The World,” jumped 17 spots to No. 53 on sales of 21,000; Sheryl Crow’s self-titled A&M disc rose to 22nd with 45,000 copies.

“Secret Samadhi,” the highly anticipated follow-up album from Radioactive/MCA Records rockers Live which de-buted last week in the top spot, landed a very respectable second on sales of 127,000 copies.

The band will embark on a tour in the coming months and will likely see a rise in sales as a result.

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