Manson madness

'Mechanical Animals' disc debuts at No. 1

Marilyn Manson’s latest album, “Mechanical Animals,” nabbed the top spot on the album sales chart with nearly 223,000 copies going home with devotees of the Nothing/Interscope Records shock rocker, according to sales data released Wednesday.

Manson’s bow ended the three-week run at the top by “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” the solo bow from the Fugees front woman. Her Columbia Records disc was purchased by more than 194,000 fans, and put the debut past the 1 million unit sales plateau in just four weeks of release.

Beasties’ bow in 3rd

The Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal/Capitol Records disc “Hello Nasty” rose one berth to No. 3 on sales of more than 111,000 copies, besting the first-week tally logged by “Musical Chairs,” the third album from Hootie & the Blowfish, which checked in at No. 4. Less than 800 albums separated the two acts.

RCA Records ensemble ‘N-Sync slid two posts to No. 5; while “Stunt,” the Reprise Records disc from the Barenaked Ladies, held steady at No. 6 for the third consecutive week on sales north of 92,000 copies.

“Rush Hour” runs 7th

The Def Jam Records soundtrack to the box office champ “Rush Hour” bowed at No. 7 with a tally of more than 89,000 copies — sufficient to keep the eponymous disc of Jive Records act Backstreet Boys from ascending above No. 8, where it has resided for its second consecutive week.

Madonna’s “Ray of Light” album continues to reap sales from the entertainer’s appearance and multiple wins on the MTV Music Video Awards telecast. Her Maverick Records disc rebounded four slots to No. 32 on sales of more than 38,000 copies.

Bette Midler’s first album under her Warner Bros. contract, “Bathouse Betty,” debuted at No. 46 on sales north of 28,000; while L.A. Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal saw “Respect,” his first album under a new A&M Records pact for his Twism Records banner, bow at No. 59 on sales action of around 21,000 copies.

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli’s two Philips albums, “Aria: The Opera Album” and his longstanding “Romanza” disc ascended 23 slots and 14 slots, respectively, as a result of recently being featured on PBS.

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