‘Titanic’ disc drive

Soundtrack steady at No. 1 for 10th week

The soundtrack to “Titanic” was the bestselling album in the nation for the 10th consecutive week, with more than 448,000 copies of the Sony Classical/Sony Music Soundtracks disc going home with consumers during the past seven days. The disc will need two more weeks at the top to tie the soundtrack to “Chariots of Fire” as the longest-reigning instrumental soundtrack.

Topping the “Chariots” disc should be easy, as Monday’s Academy Award broadcast — “Titanic” is nominated in 14 categories — boasts a performance by Celine Dion of the nominated track “My Heart Will Go On,” which is featured on both the soundtrack and Dion’s latest album.

Madonna’s “Ray of Light” nabbed the chart’s No. 2 spot for the second consecutive week, with sales of the Maverick/Warner Bros. disc hitting 224,000 copies. The sales data released Wednesday covered the seven-day period ended March 15.

Dion’s 550/Epic Records disc “Let’s Talk About Love” logged nearly 199,000 copies, which was sufficient to earn it the No. 3 berth for the second week.

Pic powers disc sales

Both Dion’s disc and the “Titanic” soundtrack continue to reap the benefits of the heat surrounding the Paramount/20th Century Fox pic, which continues to break box office records.

Eric Clapton scored the first debut to crack the top five in two weeks, with his eagerly awaited Duck/Reprise Records disc “Pilgrim” entering at No. 4.

Clapton, who kicks off a world tour later this month, is finding favor among adult contemporary programmers, who have added “My Father’s Eyes,” the disc’s first single, to their playlists.

Savage Garden’s self-titled Columbia Records debut checked in at No. 5 for the second week on sales action of more than 168,000 copies. The band’s single “Truly Madly Deeply” has become a Top 40 radio staple and has been frequently used as source music in TV series.

At No. 6 was K-Ci & Jo Jo, whose MCA Records disc “Love Always” logged north of 116,000 copies and rose one chart slot for the fifth consecutive week since its entry into the chart’s top 10.

Rounding out the top 10 were the Maverick Records soundtrack to “The Wedding Singer” at No. 7 on sales of 94,000 units; the eponymous bow from Jive Records success story Backstreet Boys at No. 8 on a tally north of 90,000 copies; Scarface at No. 9, with his Virgin Records disc “My Homies” nabbing 88,000 in sales; and newcomer Natalie Imbruglia, with a surprisingly strong bow at No. 10 on sales of 84,000 copies of her RCA Records disc “Left of the Middle.”

That disc’s lead-off single, “Torn,” has gained widespread radio acceptance, and Imbruglia’s recent appearance on “Saturday Night Live” helped spur sales.

PBS power

The potency of PBS was again illustrated as discs from Michael Crawford, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman posted substantial gains over the previous week’s tallies. The three artists were each featured performing during recent pledge drives on the pubcaster.

Crawford’s Atlantic Records disc “On Eagles’ Wings” tripled its previous-week tally and jumped 109 slots to No. 57 on sales of nearly 21,000 units, while Brightman’s teaming with the London Symphony Orchestra on the Angel Records disc “Time to Say Goodbye” rose 76 spots to No. 71 on sales action of nearly 18,000 records, double the previous week’s numbers.

International success story Bocelli, who appeared with Brightman on the pubcaster, saw his Philips Records disc “Romanza” move into the chart’s coveted top 40 by climbing 31 berths to No. 39 on sales of 31,000 copies.

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