Brooks box’s tops

6-album set edges Dave Matthews, Rimes

The boxed set of Garth Brooks’ six-album repertoire “The Limited Series” was the bestselling album in the nation last week, with a whopping 372,000 copies going home with consumers, according to sales data released Wednesday.

The 66-track set, which also boasts six new tunes, becomes the first box to top the chart since Bruce Springsteen’s live set bowed at No. 1 in 1986.

Brooks’ bow was joined by four other newcomers to the chart’s latest top 10 list — which covered the seven-day period ended May 10 — including LeAnn Rimes’ third album and the soundtrack to “Ally McBeal.”

Some snags

While the Brooks bow is impressive, it doesn’t come without controversy.

Many retailers griped that their profit margin on the box is less than a dollar when priced to be competitive and sold at the parameters set by the country music phenom’s label, Capitol Nashville. The label also will only press 2.5 million copies of the box.

The label has placed a $40 cap on the set, $20 less than the typical price for a boxed set and just north of the usual pricetag for a two-disc set. Most stores are selling the set for around $30.

“The retailers, as always, are a key partner in making a project like this a success, and their efforts are greatly appreciated,” said Pat Quigley, prexy-CEO of Capitol Nashville. “This success is shared by many people.”

Last week’s album sales chart leader, Dave Matthews Band, saw its latest RCA Records disc, “Before These Crowded Streets,” drop one notch to No. 2 on sales of more than 200,000 copies.

Word-of-mouth

The tally is significant as it is based largely on word-of-mouth and a proficient setup by label marketers. The disc’s single, “Don’t Drink the Water” has yet to garner widespread radio airplay, although airings of the video are increasing.

“Sittin’ on Top of the World,” the latest offering from country music’s First Kid LeAnn Rimes, bowed at No. 4 on sales of more than 150,000 copies. Since the songstresses’s last two offerings bowed at No. 1, Rimes had been expected to top the chart in the first week of release.

The publicity aimed at this Curb Records disc coupled with Rimes’ tour with Bryan White has also helped spark sales of the rest of her repertoire.Tori Amos’ highly anticipated Atlantic Records disc “From the Choirgirl Hotel” bowed at No. 5, closely trailing Rimes. Sales are brisk as the disc’s first track, “Spark,” is catching fire at radio, and Amos’ club tour is playing to SRO crowds.

The heavily promoted soundtrack to “Ally McBeal” debuted at No. 7 with a bit more than 140,000 copies going home with devotees of the quirky Fox TV series.

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