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Still smooth sailing for ship’s disc

Madonna, Clapton suffer slight slips

The soundtrack to “Titanic” was the bestselling album in the nation for the 11th consecutive week, with more than 455,000 copies of the Sony Classical/Sony Music Soundtracks disc going home with consumers during the past seven days.

The tally — a 3,000-unit boost from the previous week — means the “Titanic” disc has sold 6 million units domestically in its 15 weeks of release, a groundbreaking feat considering the disc consists of the pic’s orchestral score (save for the Celine Dion ballad “My Heart Will Go On”).

Dion returned to the chart’s No. 2 spot after a two-week absence, as her 550/Epic Records disc “Let’s Talk About Love” logged nearly 200,000 copies during the chart period for the week ended Sunday.

The diva’s one-slot ascension also returned ownership of the chart’s top two slots to the Sony Music family, which it previously held for more than two months.

An Oscar boost

The conglom’s run is likely to continue when heat from Monday’s Academy Awards telecast, during which Dion sang the ballad and the pic nabbed 11 statuettes, translates into record sales on the next chart listing. The tune also is on Dion’s disc.

At No. 3 was “Give Me Life or Death,” the Priority Records bow from C-Murder, on sales of 197,000 copies. The disc edged out the eagerly awaited return of Van Halen for the show slot.

The rock quartet’s latest Warner Bros. Records disc, “Van Halen 3,” which features new lead singer Gary Cherone, bowed at No. 4 on sales of nearly 191,000 copies.

Discs from Madonna and Eric Clapton each slid three slots, with the former’s Maverick Records/Warner Bros. disc “Ray of Light” nabbing the No. 5 spot on sales of 168,000; while Clapton’s Duck/Reprise Records album “Pilgrim” checked in at No. 7 on sales of 122,000.

Thanks to the three industry stalwarts, discs from the Warner Music family owned three of the chart’s top 10 slots, tying with Sony for the honor.

Slight slide

Madonna and Clapton were separated by Savage Garden’s eponymous disc, which landed at No. 6 and has held court in the chart’s middle berths for several weeks.

Though the band’s Columbia Records disc slid two spots, its seven-day tally approached 123,000 copies — a 6,000-unit up-tick from the previous week.

Holding steady at No. 8 for the second week in a row was the eponymous bow from Jive Records success story Backstreet Boys on a total north of 96,000 — a 6,500-unit boost over the previous chart tally.

At No. 9 was K-Ci & Jo Jo, whose MCA Records disc “Love Always” logged better than 89,000 copies, though its drop of three chart slots reversed a five-week climb.

The soundtrack to “The Players Club” nabbed the chart’s No. 10 spot, with the A&M Records disc logging 85,000 in sales.

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