‘Thriller’ tops in disc sales, Eagles topped

Despite a brief challenge from the Eagles for bragging rights to the industry’s best-selling disc, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” has reclaimed the honor by topping 25 million copies, according to the July certifications released Thursday by the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

For the past four months, “Thriller” has had to share the honor with the Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” which tied Jackson at certification of 24 million units moved. But recent activity has moved Jackson ahead once again.

The bump is curious considering Jackson’s career is languishing in the U.S., where his “Blood on the Dance Floor” EP has yet to be certified gold after more than 2 months of release. He still maintains a following abroad, but even that seems to be down sharply from his peak.

During July, the trade org certified 15 platinum (1 million copies), 17 multiplatinum and 23 gold (500,000 copies) discs.

One multiplatinum, three platinum and seven gold singles were also awarded. The RIAA certifications represent shipments by the record labels to the stores, but not yet sold through to consumers.

Sales puffed up

Rap entrepreneur/producer/artist Sean “Puffy” Combs, recording under his nom de disc Puff Daddy, landed his second multiplatinum single of the year with the triple-platinum certification of his duet with Faith Evans, “I’ll Be Missing You,” the posthumous tribute to rapper Notorious B.I.G., a reworking of the Police hit “Every Breath You Take.”

“Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” the first single from Bad Boy/Arista Records artist Puff Daddy, was certified at double platinum and as a result the rapper can lay claim to this year’s highest-certified multiplatinum singles.

‘Spice’ reaches 4 mil

Virgin Records’ Spice Girls saw their debut album “Spice” reach four million units. The disc is powered by two hit singles, “Wannabe” and “Say You’ll Be There.”

Kenny Babyface Edmonds continues to prove he has the Midas touch by nabbing his third consecutive multiplatinum album as his LaFace/Arista disc “The Day” was certified at 2 million copies. It follows the double-platinum disc “Tender Lover” and the 3 million tally of “For the Cool in You.”

Jewel tops 5 mil

Jewel’s potent Atlantic Records bow “Pieces of You” topped the 5 million mark; while Mercury Records teenster trio Hanson picked up a double-platinum nod for their debut “Middle of Nowhere.” The disc’s ubiquitous single “Mmmbop” has topped 500,000 copies.

In music video certs, Michael Flately’s “Lord Of the Dance” has been certified at 600,000 copies, making the Polygram MusicVideo the year’s best-selling title.