'Hello Nasty' tops charts with year's biggest debut

The Beastie Boys’ “Hello Nasty” topped the album sales chart, with a whopping 682,000 copies sold during its first week of release, according to sales data released Wednesday.

The Capitol Records disc, which logged the largest bow of the year, can also lay claim to being the eighth best opening in the SoundScan era.

The impressive debut is a testament to both the band’s ravenous fan base as well as months of extensive setup by label marketers led by Gary Gersh, former prexy/CEO of Capitol. Ironically, Gersh ankled earlier this month in a management shake-up.

“The band is constantly reinventing themselves, and musically they have always been ahead of the curve,” Phil Costello, senior veep of promotion and marketing for Capitol Records, told Daily Variety. “That, coupled with a six-month setup that (ranged) from street-level marketing to TV infomercials, is what put their record at the top of the chart.”

The strong bow, which is aided by the huge response to the single “Intergalactic,” marks the second visit by the Beastie Boys to the top of the listing: In 1986, “License To Ill” topped the album sales chart.

After two weeks at the top of the listings, the soundtrack to “Armageddon” shifted to the No. 2 position. The Columbia Records/Sony Music Soundtrax disc went home with 233,000 consumers during the period ended July 19.

Checking in at No. 3 were rappers Noreaga, whose “N.O.R.E.” disc jumped 133 slots on sales action of 153,000 copies. (Street date violations bowed the disc at No. 136 during the previous week).

Though the Warner-Sunset/Reprise Records soundtrack to “City of Angels,” slid two slots to No. 4, it posted a 6,000-unit gain from the previous listing, with 149,000 copies sold.

At No. 5 was “Never Say Never,” from singer/actress Brandy, with a 104,000-copy total for the Atlantic Records disc; Monica’s Arista Records disc “The Boy is Mine” bowed at No. 8 on sales of 91,000. Both albums share the latter disc’s title track as the pair perform a duet.

“Stunt,” the third disc from Reprise Records’ Barenaked Ladies, slid three notches to No. 6 and logged 98,000 copies in its second week of release. Other notable bows include the 53,000-copy tally logged by the Counting Crows’ “Across A Wire — Live in New York.” The DGC Records disc landed at No. 19.

Trisha Yearwood’s “Where Your Road Leads” scored 39,000 in sales in her first week on the chart.

The MCA Nashville disc is benefiting from the single “There Goes My Baby,” which is getting country and adult contemporary radio airplay. The next single, a duet with Garth Brooks, should help significantly spike sales of the disc.

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